#1
This is a kind of weird question i guess but i want to practice making a guitar body soon and i was wondering what kind of cheap wood could i use that would be good to work with and somewhat similar to Alder. if such a wood exists?

my first idea was just to grab some cheap pine and get going but im pretty sure that alder and other tone woods have much denser grain which made me think they could have a vastly different feel when you're working with them.

It would be awesome if you guys could either point me in the right direction of a good, cheap type of wood to use for a practice, or point out that theres a negligible difference really and not to worry about it.

Thanks guys
#3
Quote by derekwalden_-33
Possibly maple? It just seems like a good first choice to me, because you could always make a "decent" body out of maple unlike pine if you needed to. Wait for others input tthough, Im sure they will have better ideas.

yeah, this practice body is just for gluing, shaping, routing and maybe finishing practice.

the idea isnt to make something i'd potentially put a neck on etc but so im not too inexperienced when i go to build myself a proper body out of nice wood and wreck it.
#4
poplar ftw. i made my first "neck" out of poplar. it cost me a total of, i think 6 dollars for 1/4" x 3" and 1" x 3" poplar. with the thin stuff you can practice fret slotting, inlay etc, with the thick stuff you can practice scarf joints, truss rod channels and all of your gluing.

for bodies, poplar is reallllllly inexpensive (3 dollars a board foot) and if you're successful, you can still use it for the body because it's a good tonewood
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#5
^ Yeah poplar is pretty cheap

plywood, blockboard, mdf (as long as you dont string it up or you'll rip the bridge out) maybe oak, pine

I dont think you will get a cheap wood like alder, cheap stuff tends to be constructional material, but check out your local lumberyard.


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#6
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
poplar ftw. i made my first "neck" out of poplar. it cost me a total of, i think 6 dollars for 1/4" x 3" and 1" x 3" poplar. with the thin stuff you can practice fret slotting, inlay etc, with the thick stuff you can practice scarf joints, truss rod channels and all of your gluing.

for bodies, poplar is reallllllly inexpensive (3 dollars a board foot) and if you're successful, you can still use it for the body because it's a good tonewood

hmm, sounds good man cheers. Hopefully its not too hard to get a hold of but the price is right thats for sure.
#7
^ oh... right... australia... do you have lowes or home depot? how far are you from perth? maybe perry can help you. I don't know much about Australia so I wouldn't even know where to check. Good luck though
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#8
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
^ oh... right... australia... do you have lowes or home depot? how far are you from perth? maybe perry can help you. I don't know much about Australia so I wouldn't even know where to check. Good luck though

we dont have those chains but we have pleanty of hardware stores and all of them sell pleanty of different woods used in construction or whatever which is why a few slabs of pine or something similar will be easy to come across. something like poplar i'm not too sure.

and yeah when i go to make the body i'm going to use for my guitar i'll most likely be buying some alder from perry but enough for a body will run me around $180 i think which is why i want a practice run first
#9
ahhh ok gotcha. what's it like over there? I know nothing about australia other than there's a lot of desert and small creatures that can kill you in minutes
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#10
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
ahhh ok gotcha. what's it like over there? I know nothing about australia other than there's a lot of desert and small creatures that can kill you in minutes

its good man, what you know about australia is correct but nobody really lives in those places the major cities are all pretty good, weathers good, the country is pretty good really.

only downside is we pay a lot for guitar gear, like a real lot, its pretty ridiculous.
#11
if not for the 24 hour flight I wouldn't mind checking it out. maybe i'll pay a visit when the star trek teleporters become readily available

are there any casinos out there? we have a large portion of desert in the USA too... somebody had an idea in like the 1940s or whatever to build a resort casino in the middle of nowhere... today the Las Vegas strip is a multi-billion dollar cash cow... food for thought
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

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#12
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
if not for the 24 hour flight I wouldn't mind checking it out. maybe i'll pay a visit when the star trek teleporters become readily available

are there any casinos out there? we have a large portion of desert in the USA too... somebody had an idea in like the 1940s or whatever to build a resort casino in the middle of nowhere... today the Las Vegas strip is a multi-billion dollar cash cow... food for thought

haha, yeah the Crown casino in Melbourne is pretty big and SkyCity in Adelaide where i live is always really busy.

i'd say with quite a bit of confidence that we havent got a large enough population with enough people with enough money to support a city of casinos, as awesome as that may be
#13
^ you guys need to procreate more
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

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#14
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
ahhh ok gotcha. what's it like over there? I know nothing about australia other than there's a lot of desert and small creatures that can kill you in minutes


I can see something like that being on a travel brochure. "Come to Australia, where the sun is really intense, the deserts are vast and full of small creatures that can kill you in minutes. Did we mention are shark infested waters?"

lol, kidding.

Hey, poplar is an awesome wood, if you can get ahold of it. I use it frequently because its relatively cheap, sounds alot like alder, and is easy to work with.

But, hey, if you want to practice with pine, its not a lost cause. Most people think pine is bad tonaly, but its not. Leo used pine to make a few of his telecasters, and it's definetly not bad for practice, as its decently priced in most places.

Cheers!
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Coming soon.
#15
You forgot this little guy... you guys have something crazy in your water??? To me it looks like colorful sushi

Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#17
I'm using pine for my practice guitars and when i get bored and wanna make a guitar , I have about 5 slabs 2m x 30cm, I havn't played on any of the guitars yet so I don't know how they sound...

By the way, Australias not a desert where sleep out with the dingos and we have the country aussie axcent (however you spell it ) Thats just a stereotype
Last edited by guitarcam123 at Oct 28, 2008,
#18
Just buy alder. The amount of money you would put in just getting poplar would almost be wasteful rather than to just get the real thing. It's not as hard as you think, just take your time on the piece you have and measure with the advanced measuring quantity theorem.

X is your age.

x^2=Y

Y is the number of times you should measure before you cut.
#19
poplar is a good tonewood - hence the reason I said to use it. jackson and fender uses poplar for certain guitars.
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#20
Poplar and Basswood are both relatively cheap, but their tonal qualities aren't all bad (despite what some believe about basswood)

Poplar is a popular budget choice for an alder-ish sound. Basswood is used a lot by Ibanez and such.

Not so tonally good, but Squier cut prices with Pine and Agathis.
#21
basswood is really soft poplar has a slightly more maple-ish feel to it IMO. yes, it's still softer but it seems to take a little more abuse.

I picked up a piece the other day 11 board feet for 30 bucks and it's got a gorgeous grain to it. i'm helping a friend make a bass out of it
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

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#22
Quote by Diamond Dave
we dont have those chains but we have pleanty of hardware stores and all of them sell pleanty of different woods used in construction or whatever which is why a few slabs of pine or something similar will be easy to come across. something like poplar i'm not too sure.

and yeah when i go to make the body i'm going to use for my guitar i'll most likely be buying some alder from perry but enough for a body will run me around $180 i think which is why i want a practice run first

Dude 180 bucks?
I got my pieces of Alder big enough for a body for 40 bucks. go to a local lumber yard.
#23
^ its australia everything is crazy out there
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#24
^
Oh.
Well that sucks. Jeez, I should just buy a blank and ship it to him. It'd still cost him less!
#25
Quote by ohspyro89
Just buy alder. The amount of money you would put in just getting poplar would almost be wasteful rather than to just get the real thing.



Except, he would spend about $180 on alder and about $30 on poplar.

So yeah it's totally worth it.

Take me, for example. If I want good tonewoods I have to pay a few hundred dollars, where as cheap practice wood grows all around me and is readily available at stored for a low price.

Quote by Duval67
Dude 180 bucks?
I got my pieces of Alder big enough for a body for 40 bucks. go to a local lumber yard.



Man I wish I had a lumber yard near me. It would make things so easy, and cheap /
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#26
Quote by Øttər

Man I wish I had a lumber yard near me. It would make things so easy, and cheap /

Haha, I know. It's so convenient!
#27
hi guys, thanks for all the responses but i think a few of you missed the point slightly.

im not actually after a good tone wood for cheap, the properties i wanted similar to alder were what its like to work with, like similar density of grain, hardness, or whatever.

i've got a little bit of experience with woodworking and one thing that i've noticed is that working with a harder wood like jarrah (maybe australian only?) is quite different to working with a softer wood like pine or something similar.

i'm mainly after a cheaper alternative to alder that shares similar physical properties rather than tonal properties (but i guess the two would kind of go hand in hand)

and one last thing, i wont be using this body to make a guitar out of, it's more for a bit of experimentation and ****ing around with to kill some time in the holidays.

Thanks a lot for all the responses though, poplar sounds like a good thing to look into so i'll see how much i can pick some of that up for.
#28
Yeah but the point I think people are making is that poplar and basswood are cheap woods and can also act as a good tone wood, and also similar to alder, so you can practice on them.


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Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#30
Quote by ohspyro89
Damn, even that's pricey. I got a piece of Mahogany big enough for almost 3 bodies for around 55 bucks. Instead of 3 bodies, I am just making 2 BIG ones!


You sure you don't want to make 2 normal ones, and sell the third blank to me for 20 bucks? haha.

And ahh ok, I did missinterpret a bit TS.
#31
I have no idea how cheap my poplar is anymore, but i think it costs maybe 10 dollars for a body blank.. 2 piece of course...
#32
i got enough poplar for three 2 piece bodies or 6 king Vs for less than 30 bucks. poplar is like 2.80 a board foot or something like that
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#33
Quote by Absent Mind
Yeah but the point I think people are making is that poplar and basswood are cheap woods and can also act as a good tone wood, and also similar to alder, so you can practice on them.

yeah i know and its good but im not too sure what the availability of some of them in australia will be like
#34
safe to say you could probably use jarrah... but i think that would be more for a fretboard considering the janka hardness
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology