Lightest woods available?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by patata, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Set up us the bomb

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    I wonder if a 1 piece ash neck with carbon reinforcement rods inside would be lighter and stiffer than a 3 piece hard maple neck. Basically it would be better allround than the classic recipe of maple necks.

    edit: http://www.simetric.co.uk/si_wood.htm

    according to this, white ash is actually higher density than honduras mahogany.
     
  2. Chuck

    Chuck SS.org Regular

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    African mahogany is quite light as well. My RGA's have African mahogany body's and the heaviest of the bunch is about 6.7lbs. And that's with a maple top and maple neck.
     
  3. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD SS.org Regular

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    Depends on the ash. So-called "swamp ash" is usually the same species as much heavier northern ash. It's only lighter because it grows faster (because it's in a wetter, warmer) environment). In general, woods that grow fast are not as hard and strong as woods that grow slowly.

    On the other hand, let's look at the numbers...

    Hard maple has an elasticity modulus of 12.62 GPa, while white ash is 12.0 GPa and green/swamp ash is 11.4 GPa. So it's not a big difference. Keep in mind, however, that those numbers are just samples. Different pieces of wood will have different performance characteristics. A very light piece of ash can vary significantly from the established "norm" of 11.4 GPa. Carbon rods are cheap insurance no matter what kind of neck wood you use. In my opinion, a carbon rod or two are never a bad idea for a guitar/bass neck.

    And about weigh savings...turns out, it's not really that much. Hard maple is generally around 44 pounds per cubic foot, while swamp ash is generally around 40 pounds. Pare that down to a piece the size of a guitar neck beam, and the supposed weight savings are probably just a couple of ounces. If that's worth the hassle of dealing with ash to you, then have at it.

    So yeah...you could probably make an ash neck a couple of ounces lighter and approximately as rigid as a piece of hard maple....but with the same carbon rods, you can make a stiffer maple neck that only weighs a couple of ounces more. Like so many frustrating things in guitar building, it's a trade-off.
     
  4. NHo

    NHo Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a silly question, but why don't you go for a smaller, thinner body, less hw and smaller tuners, and an average good resonating wood?
     
  5. patata

    patata 7 heaven

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    1 pickup,37mm thick body,1 pot.
    Thinner than that?
     
  6. NHo

    NHo Well-Known Member

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    for example..like an Ibby S type body..thats quite thin on the edges
     
  7. patata

    patata 7 heaven

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    That would make the guitar neck heavy,the body is super thin as it is.
    btw I love your guitars.
     
  8. NHo

    NHo Well-Known Member

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    It's a tough question...maybe with carbon neck? But finding the balance is quite a game :)

    Glad you like them!
     
  9. patata

    patata 7 heaven

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    I'm thinking of designing a guitar with a long upper horn.
    Maybe this way it'll be easier to balance it.
     
  10. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    Meranti is a reasonable weight .
     
  11. amberawakening

    amberawakening Well-Known Member

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    CHAMBERED GUITARS!!!
     
  12. Allealex

    Allealex SS.org Regular

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    Chambered+headless=lightweight
     
  13. patata

    patata 7 heaven

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    [​IMG]

    + I'm not really looking for any headless guitar right now.
    I like 'em,just not what I'm looking for right now.
     
  14. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD SS.org Regular

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    I dig it. I especially dig how the knob straddles the bevel. I'm guessing you are planning to recess the knob slightly? Would look cool.
     
  15. patata

    patata 7 heaven

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    Yep.I mean,who wouldn't? :lol:

    Thought of adding a bit on the upper horn.

    EDIT:
    Maybe a 25,5 scale long with an additional 27 fan would make it less heavy?
     

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