#1
I've been thinking recently about how loads of different woods are used for guitars, all giving different properties. Some cheapos at my school are made from plywood, ibanezes made from basswood, les pauls from mahogany, etc etc.

Would it be possible to make guitars from, say, oak or yew? or teak? Certainly not chipboard, but I just thought it might be an interesting idea to discuss, esp. if anyone around here is experimental enough to try using a new type of wood for their guitars.
Also, perhaps mention the properties of each wood and say why/not they are in/effective?
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#2
Generally, people stick with the likes of Alder and Mahogany because the known tonewoods have been tested and are commonly used. As long as the wood isn't too soft, you could use anything. It'd kinda be at your own risk though, since you don't necessarily know what kind of sound to expect.
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#3
They make guitars out of ak47's....you can do anything these days!
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#4
Pretty much any kind of wood can be used for guitars. Some1 on here is making one from Birch, and alot of custom jobs have Cocobolo fretboards instead of rosewood or Ebony. Alot of ppl use Zebrawood, even tho its heavier than Mahogany. I think oak and yew take too long to dry oput and be useable, so u cant use those too much. Wood like Bloodwood and Purpleheart look really nice, but are expensive. Most guitar wood is used b/c it has exceptional properties or isnt too expensive.
#5
try here
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#6
Most Danelectros are made of masonite.
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#7
I believe oak is not stable enough, or so I've heard. As all people here have said, generally any hardwood is fine. People will say your taking your chances with sound, but the kind of wood doesn't really, really effect sound THAT much. Sure maple is bright, mahogany is warm, but a lot of people aren't going to tell the difference between them in terms of sound.

As for tried and true tonewoods:

Alder- Light, stable, resonant - good mids to lows

Ash - Light wood, stable, good sustain - good highs

Basswood - Light wood, stiff and stable - good lows (hence the name basswood?)

Bubinga - Very heavy, often used only for facings

Aspen (AKA Poplar) - Unusually resonant, exceptionally crisp sound

Mahogany - Warm tone, surprisingly good sustain

Koa - Similar tone to mahogany, a little brigter

Walnut - Remarkably light weight, similar tone to mahogany
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#8
Quote by 8footsativaist
I've been thinking recently about how loads of different woods are used for guitars, all giving different properties. Some cheapos at my school are made from plywood, ibanezes made from basswood, les pauls from mahogany, etc etc.

Would it be possible to make guitars from, say, oak or yew? or teak? Certainly not chipboard, but I just thought it might be an interesting idea to discuss, esp. if anyone around here is experimental enough to try using a new type of wood for their guitars.
Also, perhaps mention the properties of each wood and say why/not they are in/effective?



I have heard of teak being used, not too bad apparently but i have never used it.

There are plenty of woods, look at your native timbers too!

I'm collecting a lot of native tone woods that the rest of the world (US) are taking, such as:

Queensland Maple (a little brighter than Mahogany)
Tasmanian Blackwood (Very similar tone to Mahogany, also related to Koa)
Queensland Walnut (expected to be darker than Mahogany)
Sheoak (expected to be bright)
Victorian Ash (similar to Queensland Maple, tad brighter)
Silky Oak (Aussie lacewood, supposedly sound similar to Alder)

They are the Aussie alternatives to the traditional tonewoods.

People are using Birch and Beech if they live in Europe, another example of using native timbers i guess.

Of course, everyone uses the traditional timbers too, in a current build I'm using a 1-piece Brazilian Mahogany body and QLD Maple neck, Rosewood Fretboard, which is mostly traditional timbers but throwing some natives in the mix.


Good Luck in your timber hunt!
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#9
Quote by Øttər

Basswood - Light wood, stiff and stable - good lows (hence the name basswood?)




It's said the same as the fish, interestingly enough.
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#10
Quote by 8footsativaist
I've been thinking recently about how loads of different woods are used for guitars, all giving different properties. Some cheapos at my school are made from plywood, ibanezes made from basswood, les pauls from mahogany, etc etc.

Would it be possible to make guitars from, say, oak or yew? or teak? Certainly not chipboard, but I just thought it might be an interesting idea to discuss, esp. if anyone around here is experimental enough to try using a new type of wood for their guitars.
Also, perhaps mention the properties of each wood and say why/not they are in/effective?
I've made quite a few rants about the use of oak in guitars. Search under my username in this forum, searching for the keyword "oak" to see them.
#12
i've seen a guitar made out of forklift pallets

it looked really nice and supposedly it sounded pretty nice as well
#13
Quote by Zackie EL
I've always wondered what a guitar made of ironwood would sound like...

I doubt it would sound good enough to make up for the money that you'd spend in broken/damaged tools.
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#14
Quote by Green_Jelly
Most Danelectros are made of masonite.


...oh god ew
#16
Quote by Axecutioner
Wasn't there a guy crazy enough to be making violins out of ironwood?

isnt ironwood one of the most dense woods available?
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#17
Quote by kool98769
isnt ironwood one of the most dense woods available?


Hence the name IRONwood
#18
Quote by kool98769
isnt ironwood one of the most dense woods available?


No, you're thinking of jellowood.
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- SmarterChild - says:
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#19
absolutely never use oak to build a guitar. oak is hard to saw through and an oak guitar will be a lot heavier than any les paul. i'd suggest using maple wood. that way you can get a nice flame top finish on it.
#20
Quote by Green_Jelly
Most Danelectros are made of masonite.


LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!! EPIC FLAME ON DANELECTRO!!!!!! ya they suck ugly one, a level up that and you get those crappy strat replicas you get at costco.
#21
Quote by slash16x
absolutely never use oak to build a guitar. oak is hard to saw through and an oak guitar will be a lot heavier than any les paul. i'd suggest using maple wood. that way you can get a nice flame top finish on it.


Because maple isn't heavy, or hard to saw? ^_^
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