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 Post subject: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:58 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:06 am
Posts: 91
First name: Mark
Last Name: Gammell
State: NE
Country: USA
I'm getting ready to build my first guitar, a solid body. Maybe I'm missing something, but are there any dealers who sell sets of body and neck blanks? I know I can buy them separately, but I want them to look like they belong together.

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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:44 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:45 pm
Posts: 50
Where are you?

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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:58 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:06 am
Posts: 91
First name: Mark
Last Name: Gammell
State: NE
Country: USA
Omaha, NE

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"Real guitars are for old people, Mr. Marsh."

Eric Cartman


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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:12 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1363
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I guess I don't really understand your question Bill/Mark. Most solid body guitars are built out of ash, poplar, mahogany - once in a while bass wood or something else. Sometimes with a top cap of maple or something pretty. The wood is usually chosen for workability, looks and sometimes various tone parameters (resonance, speed of sound, sustain), often tradition.

Most guitar necks are made out of wood chosen for its stability - maple and mahogany being the most common. If you are trying to match the body and neck woods your options are pretty limited - a mahogany neck on a mahogany bodied LP works pretty well (but then you need to choose the cap). Often you will see beautiful flamed maple on the back of an archtop or mandolin carried thru to a flamed maple neck but maple tends to be pretty heavy for a solid body. Most of these woods can be sourced from any of the great suppliers at the top banner of this forum - LMI is my main source but you should be browsing the web sites of all of them.

You can also do some interesting things with the way you finish - I'm currently building an ES-355 clone with a highly figured maple back and top, but a mahogany neck. With careful staining they look very good together with the deep cherry red finish that my customer wanted (and which is traditional with Gibson 335's)

So what exactly do you want to build and what woods are you thinking of using?


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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:51 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 6:25 pm
Posts: 2743
Location: Netherlands
What style of guitar are you building? Like Freeman says, there are quite a few 'standard' body woods, and the choice depends somewhat on the design. If you have a lumber yard near you that carries cabinet-grade woods, you can probably find what you need there.

In all honesty, I've only ever bought 'matched sets' of body and neck wood for very, very specific projects.

For a strat-ish style guitar, I would go with Alder (easy to finish) for color finishes, Ash (preferably 'swamp ash', i.e. not super heavy) if it's going to be clear.

If you want a more gibson-esque instrument, you're looking at mahogany of some form (the African varieities - Kahya, Sipo, Sapele - all work, and cost half or less than half of what 'true' mahogany costs), and you can go ahead and build neck and body from the same material. If you want to buy from a lutherie-specific dealer, go ahead and ask them to select blanks that are a good color match.

However, if you're going with clear finishes and letting the wood shine through, spend some time snooping around other alternative woods choices, at least for laminates (for example), because half the fun of building for yourself is that you don't have to limit yourself to what the big factories use on the assembly line.


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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:04 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:57 pm
Posts: 581
Location: Austin, Texas
IIRC, Colonial Tonewoods (one of the sponsors) offered a batch like this once...

Here's the rub, such 'sets' are still not going to come from the same log (at least the odds are very high that they won't) because the dimensions of a body blank (generally at 1.75", which means it came out of 8/4 rough wood) and the neck blank (generally at 2.5" wide, which if one buys flatsawn wood at 3" thick or so, planes it to take out the rough, then rips it to 3.5" and reorients the grain to be vertical makes a "proper" blank) are of different thicknesses...this means to have it out of the same plank/log one either has to buy the whole log and mill it up themselves, or use thicker materials to start with and waste a lot of wood thinning it down to a body blank...

You're best bet is to contact a supplier and ask them kindly to spend a little effort to try and find 'matching' pieces of wood, and even that is in some ways a shot in the dark as a body blank is going to be flatsawn (again, the odds) and the neck vertical grain, which means they may look different after finish is applied.


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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:15 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:06 am
Posts: 91
First name: Mark
Last Name: Gammell
State: NE
Country: USA
Thanks for the replies, guys.

I should have been more specific. I'm building a set neck guitar with 2 humbuckers, so Gibson-inspired would be accurate. I'm going to do a clear finish. Whether I stain it at all is yet to be determined. If I do, it will be subtle. I've got a nice book matched set of Ziricote for the "top" (it's 1/8" thick, so it will be flat), and I'm looking for wood for the rest of the guitar to complement it. I don't want to pop for "real" Mahogany, because by all accounts, since it's my first build my guitar will be mediocre at best. I'm certainly shooting for better than that, but I accept that likelihood. Now, some of your responses make it sound like it's unusual to build a guitar out of one kind of wood, but practically every set neck guitar I've ever played (or owned) has been made out of one kind of wood (usually Mahogany, of course). That's what I've always known, and that's what I want to do, at least for my first build.

What I'm running into is dealers (all online) that sell body blanks of certain woods, but don't sell neck blanks of the same species. There's one who sells Khaya bodies and necks (a sponsor here), and that's the way I'm leaning at the moment. There's one who sells Primavera bodies (also a sponsor here), but Primavera neck blanks are nonexistent (this leads to another question I have: Is Primavera not suitable as a neck wood, and if so, why?). I've exchanged a couple emails with them on this, and they're getting back to me. I've seen pics of guitars with Primavera bodies and it looks really nice. Also, what I've read about it makes me think it would be good for what I'm trying to achieve sonically and aesthetically. And you can bet that I'll get in direct contact with the dealer I choose and ask pretty please to pick 2 pieces that will look sweet together.

Thanks for your help, guys. It's a great thing that you're willing to take the time to help newbs like me on our quest.

_________________
"Real guitars are for old people, Mr. Marsh."

Eric Cartman


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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:27 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1363
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks for the clearification. Yes, most solid body Gibson style guitars will have a mahogany body and neck (most Fenders will be a mixture of woods). I have had very good luck buying both body sets and neck wood from LMI - they are not necessarily from the same tree but mahogany tends to be pretty uniform from on log to the next and, particularly if you use a little color in your pore filling, the pieces seem to match nicely. Here are two guitars with mahogany bodies and necks (all wood from LMI). The first is pretty much a LP clone

Image

Image

And this one is a little more like you are building - LP shaped but with a thin (1/4 cap, in this case flamed spanish cedar), but still mahogany body and neck. Fretboard, binding, pickup rings are all rosewood

Image

Image

On both of those guitars I made the covers for the electronics cavities from a third piece of mahogany, also from LMI - some left over sides or back pieces from some acoustic project. Again, they don't match perfectly but I think they are much better than the typical black Gibson plastic covers.


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 Post subject: Re: Solid body sets
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:35 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1363
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Here are links to the LMI pieces that I used

http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-woo ... ody-blanks

http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-woo ... eck-blanks

If you wanted to save a little money you could use sapele instead of Honduran mahogany.


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