So Pine as a 'Tonewood'. Fill me in.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DrBob, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. DrBob

    DrBob Member

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    Right, let me just start by saying that this thread is in no way a sneering attempt to denounce Pine but a genuine enquiry born out of curiosity.

    So anyway I've seen a few threads here recently, particularly relating to Telecasters where the bodies have been made of often reclaimed Pine.

    So what's the score?
    When I started at College on my instrument building course they gave us lumps of Pine to play with whilst learning how to sharpen and set up our Planes and Chisels, to be discarded for the traditional Hardwoods like Ash, Alder, Mahogany, Rosewood, and Ebony to actually build the guitars with.

    And as to using reclaimed Pine. Is it scarce in the U.S. ?
    I ask because over here in England the Discount Furniture Barns are awash with Pine furniture and the wood looks very similar to the stuff that I'm seeing the guitars being made of.

    I'm guessing that maybe there's maybe some kind of historic precedent to this ?
     
  2. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Silver Supporting Member

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    The first Tele was made of pine, if I recall correctly.

    I've played several Pine-bodies teles, and they all sounded pretty damned good, to me... in addition to being VERY light.

    I've got one in the works now, that I hope to complete by this weekend's gig... a full report, if I finish it up in time...
     
  3. gkoelling

    gkoelling Supporting Member

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    Northern Pine, also called Sugar Pine, is most commonly used on guitar bodies. It's very light weight and resonant with more mids and rounder tones in the highs.

    Some of the very early Tele style guitars were pine but Fender used it for a very short time.

    The pine you see used in furniture is not the same variety.
     
  4. DrBob

    DrBob Member

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    OK cool, thanks for responding, the lightness is good news.
     
  5. gkoelling

    gkoelling Supporting Member

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    I still haven't weighed my pine Tele but the body itself was just 3 pounds, 3 ounces. It's a feather and sounds great.
     
  6. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    How topical. Gretsch just announced they were reissuing their Roundup with the knotty pine top.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Dave Wakely

    Dave Wakely Member

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    Didn't some of the early (high end) Hofners also use pine - possibly from their coachbuilding/woodworking tradition?

    Hopefully not something that used to be someone's kitchen cupboard ...
     
  8. m@2

    m@2 Supporting Member

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    OMG! i flippin love it! What a top! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO POST THAT??? You are killin me!

    : )
     
  9. vrdyer

    vrdyer Supporting Member

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  10. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    Haha, yes, it's a beauty. Add the belt buckle tailpiece, G-brand, western inlays, and leather tooling on the sides, and they've left all subtlety in the dust. This was Gretsch's attempt at a cowboy guitar for Chet Atkins. I'm sure he looked at it and went "WTF?????" :)
     
  11. mark norwine

    mark norwine Supporting Member

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    I've had 2 pine telecasters.

    The second one was pretty darn good. The first one was AMAZING.

    I wish that I had not sold either, but there's always some siren sweetly singing, now isn't there?
     
  12. DrBob

    DrBob Member

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    I'm liking your turn of phrase.

    So, tonal comparisons then ?
    In my head it's in the Swamp Ash ball park. But please do feel free to disabuse me of this notion.
     
  13. KBR

    KBR Member

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    I have had 4 Piners, all Tele and all were Great.
    A good wood, for sure. Jaydawg makes em right/ and Don Mare or Jason Lollar pups, seal the deal!
     
  14. gkoelling

    gkoelling Supporting Member

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    Sorry if you've already seen this but here's the butt end of my pine tele.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Silver Supporting Member

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    Sweet!
     
  16. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I wanted to grab one of the 2 that were in the Emporium last week. One was a Jaydawg build and another was a GuitarMill partscaster. Both looked really nice and might still be available. If my MIJ 52RI doesn't cut the mustard and one of the two is still available, I might have to grab it.
     
  17. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice butt (GRIN) . I've always liked the way the binding makes that guitar look, Greg - good job!

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  18. Mike9

    Mike9 Gold Supporting Member

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    I found a supplier for 8/4 Sugar Pine and wide enough for a two piece body. I have some 100+ year old wide Eastern White Pine I should check on I'm intrigued now myself.
     
  19. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder Gold Supporting Member

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  20. gkoelling

    gkoelling Supporting Member

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