Fir tree wood?

Discussion in 'Wood' started by Jonajon91, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Jonajon91

    Jonajon91 New Member

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    I have never seen guitars built from fir wood and I don't know why. Is it really heavy or hard to work with or something?
    It does look very appealing, what are its qualities?
    [​IMG]

    ---edit---

    I'll also ask about some other woods while i'm here.
    - Cedar
    - Iroko
    - Sapele
    - beech
    - chestnut
    - elm
    - cherry (and other fruit trees)
     
  2. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    from the list i can only comment on sapele and cherry

    Sapele is a very nice wood to work with. looks beautiful, finishes well, and machines well. its open pored but doesnt take long to fill if you want to. i usually leave it open.

    It looks gorgeous with a nice oil or clear finish on it.
    another plus is that its super cheap too


    Cherry i used for some neck laminations, so no extensive work but nothing too extraordinary or difficult.
     
  3. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Beech is really heavy, I wouldn't use it in guitar. Used to use it when I worked at a furniture factory... Cherry and Sapele get used in guitars, they're a good choice. Spanish cedar is pretty common in guitars, we use it at Collings in acoustics, it looks, smells, and sounds fantastic.
     
  4. otterhound

    otterhound New Member

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    Cherry is a wonderful wood to work with and use for guitars .
    I have used it for bodies and necks . Personally , I feel it is too soft for fretboards .
    I have a considerable amount of cherry from slabs to bookmatched acoustic sets .
    It sure smells great when cutting it .
    As a side note , I just finished installing some raw cherry flooring in my house . A bit more sanding and it will be ready for the Waterlox .
    The front room has pin oak in it and will be finished at the same time .
     
  5. Blue Belly Guitars

    Blue Belly Guitars New Member

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    Stability is a big issue with some woods. Ive used pine on an archtop(top) & it worked ok. The reason spruce is used, pretty exclusively, over other soft woods is that its really strong for it's weight, can have nice tight growth rings & is great to work with. Of course, it also has a great tonal charachter
     
  6. Clsatt

    Clsatt New Member

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    I built three out of Douglas fir. Requires no filling, relatively light, resonant, ridiculously strong, cheap, it also takes stain like crazy. this dude uses it a lot.

    I liked the results but it dents between the hard stuff fairly easy and if it's not perfectly 1/4sawn, it'll cup like mad when you rout cavities.

    Mine were all hollow bodies and I love how snappy they turned out-- like maple top hollow body snap but from light weight wood. One I'll likely use again in the future.
     
  7. Jonajon91

    Jonajon91 New Member

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  8. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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  9. Blue Belly Guitars

    Blue Belly Guitars New Member

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    I used redwood for the body of a bass. It had 3/4" slab of maple laminated to the top. Redwood is crazy soft & sands out between the grain. It's a reay cool effect, if you play it right. Sometimes things can work really well if you use them with their strong & weak points in mind.
     
  10. jcsimons

    jcsimons New Member

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    I wouldn't use 2x4 douglas fir, but the old growth quarter sawn is pretty special wood. The good stuff is quite expensive, but its light and strong like spruce but with more character. A good friend of mine made a guitar completely out of this wood (well, not he fret board) as an 'excercise' for building his 'real' guitar, but the DF one sounds great and he's hasn't seen the need to build it over again in other wood. Watch the splinters - they really hurt
     
  11. Clsatt

    Clsatt New Member

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    That's funny. That's exactly what happened to me. I was only going to use it to test templates and operations.
     
  12. Lagtastic

    Lagtastic New Member

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    We use Sapele often in place of Mahogany. But beware, some pieces can be reaaaaaly heavy and dense. We are currently building a set neck with full (non chambered) sapele back and carve maple top, sapele neck and it will finish at more than 10 lbs..!
    BUT we love the way this wood looks and the tone it's got!

    EDIT: If you want to see what it looks like : http://rlcustomshop.wix.com/rlcustomshop#!olivia---ok/c1tbd The body and neck of those 2 guitars are made with Sapele.
     
  13. Murkar

    Murkar Well-Known Member

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    I love cherry wood :) It's dense and about as heavy as maple or walnut. The only thing you need to be careful of is that is burns easily with power tools, so it's a good idea to have a sharp scraper on hand (the burns do not sand out easily).
     

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