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Standard Oak as a tonewood?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by LajoieT, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Hey all, I've been toying with the idea of making a bass from scratch for years now and with the wealth of information I've gotten from reading and looking at all the FANTASTIC stuff you folks have provided here on TB as well as all the stuff referenced to here I am even more stoked to try it. Anyway I was wondering how well plain old Oak would be (think Home Depo Lumber) for basic prototype building. I've worked a lot with Oak for the woodworking in my house and I actually really like the look of it (which I've heard some people say the opposite, but that's the nature of opinions on appearance, and it's certainly not on the same appearance scale as the many Spalted/Burled/Exotic woods I GAS for). Is there any deficiency in Oak for instrument purposes? Would it be OK to use to get the kinks out of the building process?

    Thanks again for all of your expert advice!!!
  2. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    very opened grain, the sound would be like a vintage P bass, but mushyer would be my guess.

    also HD lumber is pretty crappy, not even close to be considered "instrument" grade.

    you can pick up cheap 2/3 peice body blanks on Ebay alot of times, swamp ash, alder, mahog, i would suggest that to ya.
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Oak has good rep for necks and fingerboards (around here anyway). Not as good for body. It's said to have a "narrow" resonance frequency spectrum.

    Make sure to get the proper quality (void free!) and dry wood!
    I can imagine that HD don't carry properly dried wood at all, and oak is prone to micro- or mini-cracking when dried. Take care!
  4. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    HD sells lumber which has been treated to somehow stand weather elements... so its been impregnated w/ some type of chemical treatment. I'd stick to a real wood source, that's geared towards luthery.

    Try these great sources...



  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Ouuch, stay away from that!!!:eek:

    Find a local sawmill with kiln drying. No need to source local woods from exotic wood suppliers.