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Old 9th October 2012, 04:56 PM   #21
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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OK, how about 2 inch slabs of purpleheart? Compressed bamboo flooring?

I only build small boxes where 3/4 material seems to be sufficient. I don't have a beef with MDF if you know how to use it. My biggest problem is the glue joints showing up a year after they are done through the paint. My big sub boxes are only 60L and they are a composite layup of MDF, ceramic plates and plywood.
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Old 9th October 2012, 05:00 PM   #22
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Why not do like prairieboy suggested and use solid for sides top and bottom with the grain running around the cabinet, and use plywood for the front and rear baffle.
Evan
Exactly what I thought I said I was planning to do, I think.

Yeah, I figured mahogany was stable enough since electric guitars can be made of it.

Ive never had a mahogany Gibson SG or LP cracking with age and environmental exposure, only through rough treatment.

On the subject of guitars, I had considered other woods typically used in solid body types, such as Ash or Alder, but I like the look of woods like Cherry and Mahogany much better.

Its convenient that mahogany is a good bet, so thanks for the advice!
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Old 9th October 2012, 05:01 PM   #23
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Pretty, but you are left with sharp front baffle edges. I too am looking at solid woods so I can get the full 3/4 radius I found is required to manage diffraction issues. Corner inserts, or even laying up from thin slabs in the old cold-form method are all on the table. I like wood. I also like round edges. Hard to do both with sheet goods.

I built an entire kitchen cabinet set from second quality oak 3/4 flooring. Lots of work but the effect was stunning.
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Old 9th October 2012, 05:02 PM   #24
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OK, how about 2 inch slabs of purpleheart? Compressed bamboo flooring?
HAHAHAHA! brilliant! You read my mind! A little TOOO thick though!

Purpleheart is available in 2" thick slabs for solidbody guitarmakers. This is the only source I know of for the stuff!

I couldnt agree more about the baffle chamfer. With solid 'sides' and Ply baffle and rear panel, a big >1" roundover/mitre can be done, either by skilsaw or jigger, and with plenty of sanding... et voila!

small errors can be corrected, you dont have the same worry about chipping the top A side veneer at the edges...etc etc.

You could even just roundover the edge with a draw scraper/plane.

My experiences with MDF are mixed. Finishing is always a pain, as is the dust. Sealing is easily done, but then MORE sanding. Damages at corners too easily. quality is very variable.

Birch ply/general ply is a different animal. Sanding isnt so bad (worst with birch), sealing and finishing needs less stages, cut edges very fragile and easy to damage, but at least its fairly tough. Even cheapo ply may well be better than some MDF.

Solid wood offers (me) some advantages: Simple finishing, even if alot of sanding still required, great looks, finish and durability should be somewhere between the others.

The granite pair im planning are the most awkward: hard to cut/polish, heavy and if i should drop them, they may well break.
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Old 9th October 2012, 05:43 PM   #25
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I am not sure on the tool and skill levels of everyone so please do not take this as an insult but just make sure that you have access to the right tolls and an understanding of how wood behaves.

Lumber is rarely sold in the final dimensions or thickness that is needed so be sure that you can joint and plane to get all your stock square and the same thickness. And remember just as wood moves seasonally it will move while you work it. Take too much from one side and it can bow...
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Old 9th October 2012, 06:05 PM   #26
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thanks kooshball. Im not planning to bookmatch or anything fancy. The construction im considering is to fingerjoint using planed square stock, like kitchen tops but a monocoque 'ring' of blocks. 8 lengths: H,W, H-2xStock size and W-2xStock size. Alternate layers, creating interlocking fingers at the corners.
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Old 9th October 2012, 07:52 PM   #27
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I work with 2 master woodworksers and between the 2 have been playing with solid wood builds for over 5 years, with only one failure. Builds have been Douglas Fir (both builders sourcing from vinatge sources -- 1 a railroad bridge with timbers >100 years old, the other a floor that was originally installed 70+ years ago), Locust, Yew, Black Walnut, and a real sleeper, Western Red Cedar. Its downside is that it is easily dinged, but we are experiementing with expoxy finishes that should turn them into a chaotic constrained layer with really tough exterior. This last effort aided by marine applications like what you see creating west system cedar canoes,

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picture from here New Custom Boats - 17' Brown Reproduction

Many of these builds are quite small, but the solid fir Woden Victor certainly is not. Some examples can be seen here: miniOnken/Fonken gallery pictures only

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Old 9th October 2012, 08:36 PM   #28
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Thanks Dave.

I noticed the Locust and Cedar, on the chart of dimensional stability a kind poster, um posted.

Teak is one of the best, mahoghany and cherry fair pretty well. Yew and Oak arent so good. Im a little disappointed that Beech comes out so badly.

In the end, what I can afford to buy will play as much of a part in the end result. Ive yet to find a good wood supplier anywhere near me!

My experience of epoxy resin 'paints' is from the paint we use at work (for oil rigs etc). That stuff is hardwearing, but not hard at all.
Polyester type 2 packs, like what 'the industry' has used for years on many of the cheaper solid body electric guitars (where the core could be MDF/ply). That stuff would be worth a shot. Like hardwood 'corian'
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Old 9th October 2012, 11:37 PM   #29
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...and a real sleeper, Western Red Cedar...
And it also smells absolutely wonderful.
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Old 9th October 2012, 11:48 PM   #30
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And it also smells absolutely wonderful.
Indeed. We just re-did the back deck with 2x6" planks.

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