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Forum topic by guitarguy posted 11-20-2017 10:03 PM 1209 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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guitarguy

5 posts in 25 days


11-20-2017 10:03 PM

Hello!
Glad to be here and hoping I can get some questions answered. I want to attempt building an electric guitar. I have a design and plan all worked out in my head and cardboard cut outs of my design to make MDF templates from. I have opted to make my own body blanks and I plan to use Florida Grown Cypress in the body’s consturction. I’m planning a one piece, faux neck-through, made from Florida Grown Oak. In anycase, I have decided to make a few test runs, starting with the body, before I start hacking away at the Cypress, which I have yet to procure. I have in my garage several 2×4 and 4×4 pieces of pine and a couple of poplar boards that I would like to use for the practice runs. I went an bought a moisture meter and measured everything in my garage and I am getting 10% to 12% moisture content. I need to get it down between 5% to 7%. The lengths will up to 40”. The wood has been sitting in my garage for the past 1.5 years so it is probably as low as it is going to get out there. What can I do to get it where I need it short of taking it to a kiln and paying out of the rear end for it? the nearest kiln that I could find online is an hour away, a little far of a trek for me. Thanks for all input in advance!


14 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4479 posts in 2189 days


#1 posted 11-20-2017 10:56 PM

Do you heat your house in winter? Bring it inside.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

476 posts in 389 days


#2 posted 11-20-2017 11:17 PM

Read an article the other day where a fella said for his acoustic guitar builds he put the top in an oven for 30min (Mayb and hour I can’t remember for sure) at 100 degrees It’s suppose to do something for the sound Anyway after that he said he let it adjust and rehydrate before using it I’d say the same would work for u. I’ve seen a lot of electrics built from pine lately from DIY guys most were 2bys. U could build a body from that An then get a $30 neck from eBay and still end up with a nice guitar that was built as practice

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9632 posts in 3486 days


#3 posted 11-20-2017 11:34 PM

For the mock-up I wouldn’t be too worried
about the moisture content as long as the
wood feels dry to the touch. A solid body
guitar isn’t the sort of wood project that can
explode from wood movement issues. It
will just shrink in width a little as it dries
further indoors. The fingerboard MC may
be different which could result in the neck
shrinking more than the fingerboard, but
again, for a mock-up it doesn’t matter much.

You can bring the wood inside for a few months
and see if the MC goes down.

Acoustic guitars are more sensitive to moisture
content. The tops can shrink and crack if
they are braced too wet. When I’ve made
them I’ve just kept an eye on a hygrometer
in my shop and done the bracing in during
a dry spell. A lot depends on the climate
you’re in. Shipping a guitar to a much drier
climate than the one it was made in can cause
problems. I think some early Japanese acoustics
imported to the US would split for this reason
but the makers soon figured out how to
prevent that.

View guitarguy's profile

guitarguy

5 posts in 25 days


#4 posted 11-21-2017 12:15 AM



Do you heat your house in winter? Bring it inside.

- bondogaposis

I live in Tampa. We welcome the few nippy days that we get in winter and open the doors and windows to give the AC a little break, lol.

View guitarguy's profile

guitarguy

5 posts in 25 days


#5 posted 11-21-2017 12:19 AM



Read an article the other day where a fella said for his acoustic guitar builds he put the top in an oven for 30min (Mayb and hour I can t remember for sure) at 100 degrees It s suppose to do something for the sound Anyway after that he said he let it adjust and rehydrate before using it I d say the same would work for u. I ve seen a lot of electrics built from pine lately from DIY guys most were 2bys. U could build a body from that An then get a $30 neck from eBay and still end up with a nice guitar that was built as practice

- JCamp

I hoping that one of the mock ups will be usable. A fellow I know gave me an old Kramer neck from the early 90s to practice refretting on. Hoping to mate it to a trial run upon a hopefully successful refret.

View Eeeg's profile

Eeeg

7 posts in 25 days


#6 posted 11-21-2017 12:45 AM

I’ve had to dry a few pieces of myrtlewood once upon a time. I built a well sealed insulated box big enough to House the wood, a small fan and a cheap dehumidifier. Brought it down to 7% from 16%. Worked great. This was about 25 years ago and can’t remember how long it took but it didn’t seem too long.

-- If you watch the clock, you’ll never be more than just one of the hands.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1035 posts in 2599 days


#7 posted 11-21-2017 01:01 AM

My experience with cypress is it is a very soft wood not much harder than balsa. This would lead me to believe cypress would be prone to the denting of the finished wood unless it is very well protected. I imagine the continuous handling of the guitar would make this a problem. You might want to test a piece of cypress to see if it is up to your requirements.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#8 posted 11-21-2017 04:31 AM



I’ve had to dry a few pieces of myrtlewood once upon a time. I built a well sealed insulated box big enough to House the wood, a small fan and a cheap dehumidifier. Brought it down to 7% from 16%. Worked great. This was about 25 years ago and can’t remember how long it took but it didn’t seem too long.

- Eeeg

I saw something similar on the PBS TV show a Craftsman’s Legacy. The guy was making Windsor chairs from green wood and drying the parts in the box. They had the box insulated and a 100 watt bulb inside to keep it warm and the lower the humidity. Since 100 watt incandescent bulbs are rare these days, you probably have to use a 75 watt halogen bulb instead. Probably need some holes in the top and bottom to allow the warm humid air to exit from the top? Get yourself a cheap wireless outdoor thermometer with humidity sensor and you can monitor it without opening the box. .

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2564 posts in 2721 days


#9 posted 11-21-2017 06:32 AM

Wood moisture content will reach a natural equilibrium with the environment. I guess if you’ve had the wood drying for 1.5y and its moisture content is still 10-12%, maybe that is the natural equilibrium moisture content of the wood. I have a few pieces of kiln dried wood that I have recorded their moisture content every month for the past 2 years out of curiosity. They range from less than 5% moisture content in the dry winter months to ~9% in the summer for the hardwood pieces to ~11% for the 2×4 piece. I don’t live in a particularly humid area, so I imagine that in Florida you have a much more consistent temperature and higher humidity. So…you could dry the wood out with a kiln or oven etc, but unless you’re planning to always keep the wood in a carefully humidity controlled environment, it’ll just go back to it’s natural moisture content.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1274 posts in 758 days


#10 posted 11-21-2017 12:22 PM

guitarguy,

Unless there is a special requirement when building guitars that requires wood dried below the moisture content equilibrium, your 10%-12% moisture content lumber is ready to work. Wood dried to 5% to 7% will return to about 11% in Tampa.

Chapter 13 of the US Forest Services “Wood Handbook” entitled “Drying and Control of Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes” discussion moisture content of wood and provides data showing equilibrium moisture content across the US. In Florida, the equilibrium moisture content of wood averages 11%. Pages 3-5 discuss moisture equilibrium of wood…

https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr190/chapter_13.pdf

View guitarguy's profile

guitarguy

5 posts in 25 days


#11 posted 11-22-2017 01:01 PM



guitarguy,

Unless there is a special requirement when building guitars that requires wood dried below the moisture content equilibrium, your 10%-12% moisture content lumber is ready to work. Wood dried to 5% to 7% will return to about 11% in Tampa.

Chapter 13 of the US Forest Services “Wood Handbook” entitled “Drying and Control of Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes” discussion moisture content of wood and provides data showing equilibrium moisture content across the US. In Florida, the equilibrium moisture content of wood averages 11%. Pages 3-5 discuss moisture equilibrium of wood…

https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr190/chapter_13.pdf

- JBrow

So Its just that simple then? I’m ready to go! That is good news. Now I just need to find some time to do it!

View guitarguy's profile

guitarguy

5 posts in 25 days


#12 posted 11-22-2017 01:03 PM


I’ve had to dry a few pieces of myrtlewood once upon a time. I built a well sealed insulated box big enough to House the wood, a small fan and a cheap dehumidifier. Brought it down to 7% from 16%. Worked great. This was about 25 years ago and can’t remember how long it took but it didn’t seem too long.

- Eeeg

I saw something similar on the PBS TV show a Craftsman s Legacy. The guy was making Windsor chairs from green wood and drying the parts in the box. They had the box insulated and a 100 watt bulb inside to keep it warm and the lower the humidity. Since 100 watt incandescent bulbs are rare these days, you probably have to use a 75 watt halogen bulb instead. Probably need some holes in the top and bottom to allow the warm humid air to exit from the top? Get yourself a cheap wireless outdoor thermometer with humidity sensor and you can monitor it without opening the box. .

- Lazyman

Not a bad idea.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2589 posts in 2353 days


#13 posted 11-22-2017 01:49 PM

Having built about 85 solidbody guitars, I can tell you that many times I had wood that was in the 10-12% range, and it never made any difference.
I always used either a double layer sandwich construction, or for quite a few, a triple layer sandwich construction with a thin layer in the middle of an opposing color. Either way, the size of the guitar, plus the sandwich construction worked for me. Oh, and I always used Titebond III, for its slow setup to give me time, and its waterproof qualities.
I have guitars out there still being played for about nine years now, and they still are going strong. I know the fellow who owns #20, and he is still gigging with it. A double layer of chestnut with a zebrawood pickguard. He used to own number #4, but sold it to a fellow in Florida. As far as I know, it is still up and running. That would have been built almost ten years ago.

You can see some of my guitars in my projects section. You might get some ideas. Help yourself!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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