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What's wrong with oak?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JesterJoker010, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. JesterJoker010


    Nov 4, 2018
    Never heard of an instrument build out of oak.
    It's a hardwood, nearly as hard as mahogany.
    Why is it not used by anyone, or at least not very common?
    ThinCrappyTone and Pbassmanca like this.
  2. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    My guess is that its dense and very heavy...an Oak P-bass would probably weigh 15lbs or more
    JIO, bassdude51, drumvsbass and 4 others like this.
  3. InternetAlias


    Dec 16, 2010
    This video answers this question really well
    4 Strings Good, Pbassmanca and Jokei like this.
  4. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Pbassmanca and Dave Neal like this.
  5. Copperhead

    Copperhead Still creakin' around. Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2018
    nearly as hard as mahogany.

    Oak is waay harder than mahogany. That's why it weighs so much, it's really dense.
    Trust me, I've worked with lots of both. Mahogany smells nicer too.
    JIO, Teacher and Mvilmany like this.
  6. JesterJoker010


    Nov 4, 2018
    Sorry, you are right.

    I got it wrong, not way harder though, and far from as hard as marble.

    The wood data bass says:

    White Oak: Janka Hardness: 1,350 lbf (5,990 N) White Oak | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood)

    African Mahogony: Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf (4,760 N) African Mahogany | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood)

    Marble: Janka Hardness: 2,530 lbf (11,250 N) Marblewood | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood)

    Also thanks for the answers.
  7. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    Element Zero and Pbassmanca like this.
  8. Krizz


    May 26, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    Kind of disagree with his assertion that oak is not a good looking wood. Quarter sawn or rift sawn could make a really nice top, plain sawn he's more or less right, you'd have to be selective to find pieces with classic ash style cathedral graining. A solid oak body would certainly be heavy, he's right about that
    Uncle Hanky likes this.
  9. HD007

    HD007 Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2018
    Martin makes a few high priced acoustic guitars with oak back and sides (the Arts and Crafts series). So it is used sometimes.

    Drawbacks already covered by previous posts
  10. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Agreed. Additionally, oak and ash (along with elm and chestnut) are quite closely related and so, while certainly not identical, have pretty similar appearances.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  11. Oak is good wood, to be sure. From my own experience or can tear if you're not working properly, and can be inconsistent in hardness, and can be heavy and unstable. Also: stigma, that stuff can be frequently used as firewood, and barrels for wine and liquor. That being said though, it's good wood, can work quite well, and definitely bends well enough for the acoustic instruments.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    This guy is mostly just blabbering, I think.
    Nothing about structural stability, usage for a neck vs. body, how it takes varnish etc.
    Just...Ugly /heavy.
    Many use it for necks and do so very successfully, it seems.

    Not the best advert for him either, I think.
    ...and I don't buy stuff because Robert frappe does( he uses crimson guitars, I think)...
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  13. David Pinton

    David Pinton

    Jul 27, 2008
    Normandie, France
    Builder DPinton Guitars and Basses
    I've got a small stock of quartersawn curly oak (the french kind) and I certainely plan to make myself a bass out of it!
    instrumentalist and Pbassmanca like this.
  14. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Oak is a very rare wood and in lands very it grows it's rare, also. If it is not in your personal property it can be protecting to be cutted off. It's a very special wood. This is ok is over 110 years old.
    View attachment 3223963
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
    nbsipics and Pbassmanca like this.
  15. Dave Neal

    Dave Neal

    Aug 22, 2015
    It is used sometimes but has a very open grain and very open end grain. It's heavy and due to the amount of tyloses hard on tools. As a finishing carpenter, it is my least favorite wood but due to its price and abundance, you see it everywhere. The splinters are evil.
  16. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Also the toll it takes on blades ....
  17. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I’ve made several Craftsman style furniture pieces out of quartersawn white oak. It’s very hard, strong, and HEAVY. It dulls tools quickly, and can be easy to chip out, a bit like wenge. It’s not great looking wood unfinished, a greyish or even greenish cast, but stain can pop the grain, particularly quartersawn. The grain is very open, so any kind of painted finish would need a lot of grain filling. It would make a good neck wood, but overly heavy for a body. Red oak has an open pore structure that absorbs water easily, that’s why white oak was always used for wood barrels and ships planking, liquids won’t easily pass through it. I don’t think red oak would make a great neck wood on its own, but I guess you could laminate it.
  18. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    I used oak for the fingerboard on my acoustic guitar to bass conversion. It plays and feels good.
    bolophonic likes this.
  19. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    Nothing is wrong with oak. Some of Henry VIII's finest warships were made of it.
  20. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    In England, oak is our most common tree.

    Oak (Quercus robur) - Woodland Trust
    Dave Neal likes this.

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