1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Ash body blank?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by FatFenders, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. FatFenders


    Mar 30, 2011
    My parents recently cut down an ash tree. I had them save me a large part of the trunk with thoughts of using it for a jazz inspired body. It's too big to handle by myself so I was thinking of trimming it down with a chainsaw. My question is based on the attached picture is this even worth it? From the little bit I've read most ash bodies are swamp ash? This tree lived it's life in central Illinois. I'm not sure if the discolored center is rotten or not. I also notice a lot of small cracks. If this is something worth pursuing what slab should I go after? Half of the log looks to have tighter grain. So, slab A, B, C, D or none of the above?

  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    What are the dimensions?

    Also, you'd better paint or seal those ends pretty quick before it splits beyond usefulness.

    Rule of thumb is it takes a year per inch of thickness to air dry lumber.
  3. FatFenders


    Mar 30, 2011
    I'd say it's at least 18" across and close to three feet long.
  4. Ideally you should cut into boards then dry laying flat with stickers between boards to keep air flowing. You definitely need to seal the end grain pronto. I've used ash instead of swamp ash many times. I think swamp ash is lighter in weight. See if you find someone with a wood mill, far less waste and more accurate than a chainsaw
  5. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    The brown center is normal, not a sign of rot. Might make a nice detail to use it.

    At minimum, paint or wax the ends, cut or split it in half, and get the bark off. Further processing can wait at that point (or proceed, for faster drying.)
  6. Ken R

    Ken R Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    Howell NJ
    The brown center is the Heartwood, the lighter wood is called Sapwood. Perfectly normal.
  7. funkymann1


    Sep 1, 2016
    you wont get much out of that there, no one will want a heavy ash bass body & it will take years to dry to get it a little light

Share This Page