#1
My father recently had to cut down the black walnut tree that has been growing in his yard, due to it killing the grass. You may or may not be familiar, but black walnut is a very expensive wood. It's also a dense medium hardwood, typically used in basses for a warm sound.

Anyway, he offered the wood up to me to build a guitar out of. I love my Strats, but I think it should be used for something a bit more... elegant looking. Do you guys have any suggestions? I don't want to make a bass, I want to make a regular guitar. I was thinking something like a PRS body style... something solid.

Any good ideas?
#4
Haha. He specifically said classy..

Yeah a double cut Les Paul kind of thing would be really really nice, even though I'm not a fan of the double cut. It'd still look very nice.

I think you could pull off a Strat, though. Just run it with a different pickguard.

My opinion though. If you don't want to do the Strat definitely, I'd do a Les Paul or double cut Les Paul.
#5
Go for a thin body if you are using walnut. If you have a 2" thick less paul body out of walnut, your arm is gonna fall off. You could make yourself an LP shape but with a strats thickness if you wanted to.

Really you have all the options in the world open to you. Do whatever strikes your fancy.

Do you know how to mill the wood for the best grain patters and stability?
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#8
While I'm not knowledgeable about drying and milling, my father has been working with wood in fine detail for years. I figured it was a good project to begin learning more about woodworking.

Anyway, I do like the idea of a Les Paul double cutaway. I have a cherry sunburst Les Paul with a gorgeous flame top, a black walnut Les Paul (thin as a Strat) would look really nice.

Thanks for the suggestions. I know I have countless suggestions at my disposal, I just wanted to see what you guys would say to get me to jumpstart my thinking.
#9
a whole tree ? make loads haha
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#10
If you put a veneer over that Walnut I will jam the finished guitar into places unmentionable.
#12
Haha, no veneer on black walnut... that would defeat the purpose of even using such a beautiful, expensive wood. It's going to be solid black walnut with a light glazing on time to give it shine and protect the wood.

The trunk isn't big enough for a one-piece guitar. Unfortunately, the tree wasn't that old. I could comfortably make a few guitars from it, but I think my dad is going to sell the scraps and leftovers to Reuger for gun handles.
#13
Aww mann... I would build a Rhoads V out of it.... but I'm a rabid metalhead whos addicted to that shape.

Come to think of it, RVs can look classy But I'm sure you'd prefer the Les Paul shape. PLEASE post pics while you're working on it and when you're done.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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#14
Could you get two three-footish 1 1/2 by 8s? That would be enough.
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#15
^Then it wouldn't really be a one piece guitar would it.

IMO a tele or DC would be cool.

You know, I know someone who would be happy to "dispose" of any back and side size "scraps" for you.
#17
A two piece split lengthwise would basically work the same way. Stick a skunk stripe of maple in or something.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#18
do you have experience in building guitars, and the wood would have to be dried for a while to get the moisture content down
#19
His father sounds like he has woodworking experience- guitar building isn't that big a difference from basic woodworking.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#20
I've always liked the look of maple stripes through dark wood, lord knows I have plenty of maple lying around.

As much fun as a Flying V style guitar would be, and as interesting as it would be out of black walnut, I think I may regret it after.

I'm not sure the size of what we can get out of this tree yet, I'm going to pull it out tomorrow and take a look.

Also, FYI, this project is a future project, nothing I'm embarking on anytime soon. I'm still working on a Strat build. I may get things started with getting the wood prepped, but as far as buying the rest of the parts, I think it's on hold for now. I will definitely get a thread going when the project gets rolling.
#21
One idea I did have was as PRS style guitar. I've contemplated buying the Saga HT-10 kit and just not use the body that comes with it. However, I think a rosewood fretboard wouldn't match up very well with a black walnut body. I think the fretboard either needs to be black walnut itself, or maple. Hmm...
#22
Aria mac series, those things don't have the name but their looks are awesome.

you know you should backwire it, and frase sculptures out of the front. Like dragons and stuff and as for the fretboard you could always use ebony.
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Last edited by FretboardToAsh at Jul 8, 2007,
#23
I dunno, that doesn't look any different than a standard FM guitar. Looks a lot like an ibanez S series...

But a mostly walnut body with a maple stripe and a maple fretboard would look amazing.

And the neck wood out of the saga kits is decent, but the fretwork is horrible and I'm starting to think the truss rod nut is decorative. Or maybe they just put it in backwards.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#24
Dude, neck through body walnut with the maple stripe, and an ebony fingerboard.

Sorry, I'm prejudiced against maple fingerboards because they remind me of country music. Although.. after further thought, maple would look nice with the stripe down the middle...

Man I wish I was a woodworker and had some black walnut to work with Mahogany, too... but I'd probably have to order that.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#25
Definitely backwiring the guitar. My original idea was to do a Strat shape and have no pickguard with everything back wired. Something unique. But, by the end of this month, I'll have two Strats, so I don't have much reason for a third.

Yeah, those Saga necks look... well, unfortunate. I'm not sure that Paul Reed Smith makes a maple fretboard, so I may have to improvise something. Perhaps buy an uncut warmoth or mighty mite and cut it the shape I want.

Anyway, good picture. I do like the shape of that guitar... and yeah, it looks like an Ibanez S series, but a bit larger.

I spoke with my father today. I can't believe it's been this long, but the black walnut was cut down about two years ago. He said it is probably sufficiently dried, though we'll look into that shortly.
#26
A maple neck would contrast with the black walnut really well. I've made a guitar out of walnut with maple neck and rosewood board but wish i have had a full maple neck.
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#27
That Aria doesn't look like an Ibanez S, but rather an ESP Horizon...

Anyways, I say PRS-style, perhaps a bit lopsided, like a Mayones or something...

Two years, eh? That's not "recently" at all. What are the prospects now that it's possibly dry enough?
Last edited by Pikka Bird at Jul 10, 2007,