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Maple guitar body slab?


 
1/2/2001 7:17 PM
Bow
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Maple guitar body slab?
Happy new year to you all!  
 
 
 
Can anyone tell me where I might find a 2" x 17" x 20" slab of maple to cut a solid, 1 piece, body from?  
 
 
 
I am looking to build a guitar like the George Lynch ESP models....for a lot less than $1600!  
 
 
 
Thanks for your help.  
 
 
 
Bow
 
1/3/2001 1:37 AM
Dr.Dan
Im serious about this,I called up a guy to cut down a tree on my property;I asked him if the wood from my tree was good enough to kiln dry and use for an instrument.He told me that it wasnt,but if I was interested,he would cut me a piece any size I wanted of any good wood he came across(he had done this kind of thing before for musicians)for a small fee of $50.I told him maple OR walnut.Icame home from work a couple of weeks later and found three slabs of wood,one maple,one walnut,and one of butternut.I paid him $100,and he brought me four more pieces he had left over that some other guy wanted but picked out the better pieces for himself and told him to keep the rest.It was definitely the best deal I had made in a long time;even though my wife thought I was nuts.The kiln drying took some time,but I even put a piece in my oven and dried it out myself!It also came out good even after I had it planed by a local cabinet maker,and it totalled less than 40 dollars to kiln dry a piece.Id call a tree trimming/cutting service at least once!
 
 
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1/3/2001 1:56 PM
Bow
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Hey Dr. Dan!
Thanks for the tip, that is a good idea.  
 
 
 
I wish I was back up in NY, cause maple trees in Houston are non-existant....  
 
 
 
I guess I can try to call around and see....  
 
 
 
How did you dry it yourself?
 
1/3/2001 11:21 PM
Dr Dan
If I were you,Id try some of that beautiful hard to work with mesquite wood you guys have down there!Id even swap you a piece of our local northwest maple come springtime when its not so godawful cold up here(I wish I was back down in the Rio Grande valley again)What I did may or may not be too safe,but Ill tell you what I did.The first thing I did was soak it in about a four or five gallon tray of denatured alcohol for a week in the garage.Then I took it out to let it dry out in the yard for about a week.I then held a flame to it periodically to see if it would catch fire.When it finally dried out,I put it into an oven I set up for powdercoating and baking stompoxes and car parts.It used to be our old gas oven.I left it on 300 degrees and periodically turned it every fifteen minutes for about 16 hours total on and off,whenever I had time.Then I bought this test kit at the local cabinetmaker shop that you spray onto the wood to check the color change for moisture content.When it was acceptable,I took it to that cabinetmaker to have him plane the slab.He let me use a huge band saw and sander to rough out the shape,and I finish sanded and routed(rear routed)for the controls i was going to use.I clear coated it with Behlen's nitrocellulose lacquer,and it and the other ones I did have shown no signs of cracking or "sapping".Thats about it.I dont recommend the alcohol part,though...My oven was out in the garage,and it was a good thing.It stunk to high heaven.I thought I could evacuate all the sap so it wouldnt catch fire,but it really didnt matter,it caught fire a couple of times when I wasnt watching it,but it doesnt hurt it much.It was probably the alcohol that didnt evaporate earlier.That was the maple body,and man that instrument still sounds good and tight.(no pun intended)
 
1/4/2001 1:35 PM
Bow
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Of course...you know the next question....
Got Any Pictures of it?  
 
 
 
It sounds like a beauty!
 
1/3/2001 2:29 PM
Mark Hammer
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Re: Maple guitar body slab?
Years ago, I played in a band with a guy whose father made butcher blocks. He scored me two sizable bookmatched hunks of decent 1-3/4" maple and I traced and made a Tele body. It's more than 25 years now since I had it, and my back still hasn't forgiven me. Do yourself a favour and make your guitar out of solder, plexiglass, or something else that is lighter than maple. Alternatively, make sure you have a health plan that allows billing to chiropractors, or have a build like an NFL defensive tackle.  
 
 
 
As I've mentioned in this forum before, one of the things that can make a guitar "magic" (or not) is the matching of neck to body. If the mass of the body is too much, relative to the neck, or vice versa, I find one tends to lose sustain. For that reason, my own preference would be to go with a lighter wood since the odds of scoring a neck that marries well to the body go up.  
 
 
 
Having said that, there is maple and there is maple, and there is maple with tone chambers and lots of routing that reduces the body mass. I've played guitars that were made from ostensibly brutally heavy woods (e.g., rosewood Telecaster) and they felt and played fine. If your intention is to score a hunk of maple and throw together a guitar as expediently as possible without all the planning for routing, though, there are probably other woods that are less likely to cause problems for you.
 
1/3/2001 7:31 PM
Bow
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Mark,  
 
 
 
Thanks for the input. Interesting take on the subject...Maybe that is why George Lynch is such a muscle bound freak now! All them years playing those 1 peice maple bodied ESP's!!  
 
 
 
I just am looking for a bright, sustaining tone that stands out...  
 
 
 
Alder, Ash, Basswood, mahogany are all too common and I want something that just screams in the world of heron induced music that is all over the radio these days...I believe it is called the shredder tone...  
 
You know it...that rip your face off tone from the 80's...  
 
 
 
Was your maple guitar a 1 piece body or was it a 2 or 3 piece?  
 
 
 
Thanks,  
 
 
 
Bow
 
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