Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Forestry › looking for tone wood
- March 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm #85148Grateful FarmersParticipant
Im looking for a few pieces of wood to build a guitar (for fun as this would be my first attempt)
Since I love working with draft horses I’d love for the wood to be horse logged. it has to be properly dried though and i don’t have the space/resources to dry it properly. Since I don’t have a proper workshop setup my first project will be a solid body electric since they require less tools. (I really want to build acoustic and semi hollow body someday!)
I’m hoping one of you logs with horses and has a few pieces of properly dried wood you can sell me.
dimensions do not have to be exact and there are other appropriate wood species depending where you are logging. so let me know what you have
2″ x 20″ x 14″ or it can be two bookmarked sections 2″ x 20″ x 7″
for the body Anything cool like quilted, flamed, birdseye maple is a big plus or burl or spalted wood etc pistachio wood, walnut, swamp ash, white ash, alder. quarter sawn. something interesting.
1″ x 4″ x 30″
for the neck flamed, birdseye, quarter sawn maple. Walnut ash. Maple is ideal
21″ x 2.75″ x 1/4″
fingerboard walnut, birdseye maple, persimmon heartwood a dense hardwood
thanksMarch 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm #85168Tom CoughlinParticipant
i would like to give some advice about your project if i may.i have been a pro. furnituremakerfor 25 years and have also handbuilt from scratch more than 30 acoustic guitars and ukes ,i have used all the woods you have mentioned at least once . for a first inst.i would suggest that you use only quartersawn wood for a neck and fingerboard any other cut is too unstable it is hard enough to get the neck to body geometry correct anyway when you add in figured wood it gets really complicated they move and warp in unpredictable ways.stick with tried and true species .persimmon expands and contracts alot with changes in humidity ie. summer to winter, way more than what you will make the neck out of.and walnut is way to soft for a finger board you will have string grooves in no timeand that will affect you action, i would use qrtr. sawn maple for the neck andbirdseye maple for the fb. . the body choice for an electric is much less of an issue pretty much anything will work ,for your first one make it easy on yourself it is hard enough to make a good inst. . also do you have a space to build that is relatively stable temp. and humidity wise. how much wwk. experience do you have? sorry i don’t have any horselogged wood for you. feel free to hit me with more ? if you got them. Tom
.March 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm #85171Will StephensParticipant
It only takes 1 year per inch to properly dry in the right conditions. My first electric guitar build (purchased a maple blank for the neck) had an ash body split with a froe out of a firewood pile (I dried it for a year after splitting it.) There are plenty of people who harvest their firewood with animal power!March 11, 2015 at 8:12 pm #85174dominiquer60Moderator
I agree with Tom, my father is a Luthier and teaches others how to make instruments. It is a common problem that beginners choose too complicated of a wood to work with for their first instrument. It can be very discouraging due to factors that Tom describes well, and some give up because of it. Make a couple good ones first then get fancy. Father rebuilt his first acoustic a couple times, even then his second and third were better, now he does it in his sleep. He also had years of experience working with exotic species and figured wood before he ever made his first guitar.
I hope I don’t come across as discouraging, instrument making is fun and rewarding, keep it simple and build on that. Enjoy your new adventures, nothing combines science and art like a luthier, best wishes.
ErikaMarch 14, 2015 at 9:34 pm #85215Grateful FarmersParticipant
Thank you all for the very thorough and helpful responses. I am encouraged by your advice. My woodworking skills are intermediate and my tools are mostly older but I am confident I could make a solid body electric. Acoustic and hollow bodies will have to wait until I have a nicer workshop setup. I realize many figured woods are more difficult to work with or take longer to work. That doesn’t bother me for the body. I’ll take your advice and stick to quarter sawn maple for the neck.
I have done a fair amount of horse logging in the past but do not currently have any dry wood thats been skid by horses (big pile from local loggers who drop off)
I was hoping one of the full time horse loggers worked with a kiln or someone had some seasoned maple in the firewood pile because I didn’t want to wait the year for it to dry… Although I just picked up an inexpensive used start to keep me busy for awhile.
Thanks again for all the great input
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