I'm going to build a guitar soon and I'm hoping to get the wood from a yard where my grandad and uncle get their wood from for projects (it will be much cheaper than buying body blanks).

Basically I'm wondering how to identify a good piece of tonewood and how long it will take before it is stable enough to work with. I'm hoping it will have been kiln dried but I'm not sure if the wood will be.

You want alder.
Quote by chip46
"I'm discontinuing production on the Timmy now as well. It might come back into production at some point down the road, but probably not because people will just clone it anyway cause they're stupid jerk face doo doo heads. -Paul C."
tonewood is very vague. almost any wood there will work great. if its at the lumber yard it has been kiln dried. if you are just starting and have no wood working skills, you will want wood thats easy to work with. as for the body... Alder, Mahogany, Sapele, ash, poplar, soft maple. As for necks... probably want to go with some plain old Hard Maple... get quartersawn if possible. those are the easiest to work with. the body, if you want to do a one piece, you need to get 14'' wide, 20'' long. two piece you need atleast 7'' wide, and 40'' long.
Oh BTW I actually do want alder for the body and a neck made of maple and walnut. I have the measurements needed. I should have clarified earlier ,sorry :P . I heard that you have to knock on the wood to listen for something. Is that true?
no. choosing a tonewood is simple. Certain woods, supposedly, give certain tones. this is somewhat true to an extent. Lets say you want bright chimey clinky tone... you want maple...

now looking at the maple, you want to look at the end grain... if the grains are SUPER tight, thats what you want, but if the grains are far apart (1/8'') then that will not give you a super chimey tone, more of an edgy tone, not quite bright and chimey. slightly smoother and warm.

yo uwant warmth and bassy tone? look at mahogany... if the growth rings are super loose... it will be a super warm sounding wood, if the growth rings are tight, it will be al ittle more bright and edgy than the normal mahogany tone.

your neck pocket determines your tone more than anything. bolt on = brighter and more clarity, set-in neck will result in a more warmth tone, neck-through gives you the best of both worlds (assuming your glue joints are perfect).

a 3 piece neck out of maple/walnut/maple would be pure sex by the way, if you know how to flip grain when gluing it up, it ill be indestructable as well. you will nee to put a hard lacquer/poly finish over the walnut... it tends to check as its a pretty soft wood.
Thanks for that. Do you know how to gauge when the wood is stable enough to work with?