Will an one piece swamp ash telecaster body bend or twist over time?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by myjeh, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. myjeh

    myjeh Member

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    I was wondering if an one piece swamp ash telecaster guitar body will bend or twist in several years.
     
  2. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    The best answer is maybe.
    One piece bodies can be prone to cupping.
     
  3. PeterUK

    PeterUK Supporting Member

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    Yes. Maybe is a good answer and cupping is something I've experienced with a 1-piece pine body.

    I still went ahead and used the body and it's settled down again. More importantly, it sounds superb, has become one of my main gigging guitars. I haven't run a straight edge over for ages; because it plays so well.

    :) Peter
     
  4. harpinon

    harpinon Silver Supporting Member

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    How about a one piece ash bass?
    Does the string tension add to the potential?
     
  5. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    I never knew about the cupping effect. Eeenteresting!
     
  6. AD_

    AD_ Member

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    Cupping? If the wood is dried, stable, and properly sealed, I'm not sure why it would. I'm curious as to how.
     
  7. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    "If" it is it's not likely.
     
  8. AD_

    AD_ Member

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    In my experience, the only reason wood warps that I can think of would be exposure to water. If, of course, the wood is allowed to acclimate before it is worked/sanded, etc.
     
  9. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    this is why i like 3 piece bods
     
  10. rusted

    rusted Member

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    Anything's possible. But if the wood used to make the body was properly dried, it's unlikely.
     
  11. myjeh

    myjeh Member

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    I was thinking about ordering an one piece ash body Tele. I talked a builder about it and he showed me a three-piece-wood for a guitar body material. So, I told him that I heard that, usually, an one piece body Tele sounded better than a multi piece one. He said that an one piece body Tele tends to bend more than a multi piece body Tele. And he told me that there was no difference in sound between an one piece body Tele and a multi piece body Tele.
     
  12. AD_

    AD_ Member

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    I'm sure they do sound the same, or similar enough that I couldn't tell the difference. But, if I had a three-piece body, I'd probably want an opaque paint job. With a one-piece body, transparent finishes really shine. A nicely bookmatched two-piece looks stunning, also.
     
  13. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Because it's hard to completely seal wood up. Even the best finishes can have microscopic holes in them. This can allow moisture during high humidity days to be absorbed by the wood. This can cause the wood to swell and change dimensions. And then on low humidity days the wood can shrink again. After a while the wood may flex. Usually toward the neck because of the tension of the strings. This is harder for a multi-piece body. Because multi-piece bodies are arranged so that the various pieces oppose each other. Anyway this is one reason why I prefer polyurethane finishes. Not all one piece bodies will warp. But you never know.
     
  14. Brett Faust

    Brett Faust Member

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    A very slight cup in a 1 pc body seems to be the norm rather than the exception, and it has nothing to do with string tension . The cup is caused by temperature and humidity changes that are not the same as when the blank was leveled out. If you are lucky enough to keep your guitar at the same temp and humidity as the day the guitar was built ,you should not see much of a cup.
     
  15. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    I'm currently putting together a Tele with a 1-piece swamp ash body. I'm a bit concerned with what I'm reading here and am hoping it's not an issue for me. Fingers crossed. ;)
     
  16. sondich

    sondich Member

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    All wood moves to some extent. If stability is more important than asthetics, I'd go with a 2+ pc glue up over a 1 pc solid every time. A 15" wide board may be kiln dried to within the industry standard of 6-8%, but have some variation within the board. A 7" board is more likely to be kiln dried consistently to the same degree. As others have pointed out, any potential movement in a glued blank can be minimized by opposing the grain of the staves. You don't have that option in 1pc.

    Acclimate for as long as possible before cutting. Plane it flat, let it sit, repeat as necessary and make sure it's flat before you start. A little patience on the front end can save headaches later on.

    Steve
     
  17. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    When you start into the motion of wood as ambient relative humidity changes, don't forget that a one piece body has no seam lines to raise.

    If a body is 2 or 3 pieces, and the humidity changes enough, the one piece may move differentially to the piece it is attached to and to me, that can be a bigger worry than the remote chance of some cupping.

    However, in fairness I would say seam lines and differential movement is not so much an issue on ash as it is on the other choices like poplar, alder.

    I'm not interested in wood from inferior sources, so the motion hasn't been an issue for me in Louisiana. All things being equal, I'll take the one piecers, please. Aesthetics, practical aesthetics. After you see Katrina'd guitars come apart at the seams, you might appreciate my "bias" this way. :^)
     
  18. Butterscotch

    Butterscotch Member

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    I've got a one-piece ash bodied guitar, and there's no sign of movement in any direction.

    If it does ever cup, I hope it does it in a way that fits round my belly!
     

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