Super light weight mahogany, where to get, what to look for?

Satellitedog

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Thanks for the tip. The wood database website also sings its praises.
Also thanks for the warning, my first proper build probably won't have a maple cap.
 

Rock City

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you won't see neck dive in a les paul guitar even if you go with lightest specie body + maple top and mahogany neck. i've built les pauls with super lightweight exotic wood body, maple top, hog neck ...total 3 kg(6.61 lb) , no neck dive, perfect balance.
i've also built whole lp with this lightweight wood, no seperate top, one piece carved top solidbody and neck from the same piece of wood with rosewood fingerboard. no neck dive 2.5 kg total weight (5.51 lb), and it does sounds like les paul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbGX-oul6ng
the weight is not major determinant how lp will sound like or how much sustain will have or low midd, i would be more concern about nice neck to body tonal marriage. to cut few extra necks is useful in this game

You just can not beat Mouse's guitar!
About "light weight": there is a wood so called "Paulownia" or "Indonesian mahogany" and it should be taken with special care. The wood grains look like "real" mahogany's but it's 2/3 - 1/2 its weight since it is "fast grown" like poplar. It is comfy at the moment you build your guitar, but sometimes this kinda wood could soak your tones, not reflect like it should, and you have more damage than benefit. I played newer Gibson LP Junior black satin with nice rounded neck, but plugged in sometimes was wrong. And I realized the light weight wood was the problem which could not be fixed.
When you look for a light weight wood, be sure it is not soft and resonates well when you tap the board you wanna cut. Then, give the neck joint the best care. Hardware and pickup(s) will do the rest.
 

ARandall

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^ resonance in guitar is an odd beast. Not everything hard produces only bright tone, not everything soft does the opposite. I had to choose my least brightest strat pickups for the Paulownia guitar as it had a crisp top-end.
Plus only considering weight as the culprit for 'bad tone' ignores a whole host of other elements.....the fact that you have planks from perhaps 4 or 5 different trees present in a guitar being being the biggest key to whether they might work well as a whole.
 

Mouse

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You just can not beat Mouse's guitar!
About "light weight": there is a wood so called "Paulownia" or "Indonesian mahogany" and it should be taken with special care. The wood grains look like "real" mahogany's but it's 2/3 - 1/2 its weight since it is "fast grown" like poplar. It is comfy at the moment you build your guitar, but sometimes this kinda wood could soak your tones, not reflect like it should, and you have more damage than benefit. I played newer Gibson LP Junior black satin with nice rounded neck, but plugged in sometimes was wrong. And I realized the light weight wood was the problem which could not be fixed.
When you look for a light weight wood, be sure it is not soft and resonates well when you tap the board you wanna cut. Then, give the neck joint the best care. Hardware and pickup(s) will do the rest.
I do not build with Paulownia, and i know who pushed it as an idea of tone wood, not my choice of wood. i like good middle, not soak midd qualities with strange ringing upper harmonics. i don't like that at all. but i do like lightweight guitars with different wood choice and nice midd.
 

Satellitedog

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That All Gold Junior-Senior looks and sounds awesome, Mouse. What was the wood you used for the whole body? Did you sandwich two planks for the full thickness or was it just a big monolith slab?
 

Rock City

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I do not build with Paulownia, and i know who pushed it as an idea of tone wood, not my choice of wood. i like good middle, not soak midd qualities with strange ringing upper harmonics. i don't like that at all. but i do like lightweight guitars with different wood choice and nice midd.

I know. I mentioned you in a comment above just about tone of your Goldie.
I think Chinese counterfeits are made of Paulownia or similar fast grown wood.
 

Satellitedog

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Basswood is popular too. It's light and soft, but I wasn't impressed by the tone.
 

Joth

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Guys I will do some research about shipping mahogany in relation to CITES etc. I think we have local laws too that lumber cannot be exported raw and that wooden items must be in some processed form. I would hope to think that maybe a planed and rough cut guitar blank could be considered a processed item.
I must say tho that even though mahogany is locally grown, I still have a tough time getting guitar quality wide knot free boards, as I am constantly competing with the regular furniture and wood products industries here, who have no qualms about bulk buying and cutting up big wide gorgeous planks into tiny bits to made their toneless nonsense!
Spanish Cedar is more readily available as it is considered too soft for some regular woodwork uses and the tree naturally is alot bigger, so more nice big wide planks to choose from. Locals scorn the use of cedar in favour of teak and mahogany for cupboards and furniture etc.
The habits of the sawmills too are that mahogany usually is milled to 12" max width when slab cut 2" thick, it is rare to get the length of a log consistently wider than 12" so they would stop at that width. I am more likely to see wider boards slab cut to 1" thickness, the last time I encountered this at a lumberyard I made a huge stink about it! I fussed that I would have bought the entire load if it were milled 2" thick, but the truth is that most buyers want the wide 1" boards for countertops etc so that's their regular market.
Spanish Cedar is still done to maximum width whether is is 1" or 2" thick
Do not interpret this as a group buy announcement, I am simply going to look further into the matter.
 

bruce bennett

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Fijian mahogany which is the same "Honduran species" just "farm gown" on then Fiji islands is supposed to be pretty lightweight.

also I was going to mention that at the 2010 Montreal jazz show Juha Roukangous handed me a 5 lb Full solid Les Paul made from Spanish Cedar with a Rock maple top.
sounded great and played so good I wanted to go home and toss all my machines out the door and open a tea shop.
 

valvetoneman

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I've got Spanish cedar but would like light weight honduran
I've got 2 customs planned for next year and want all mahogany, one with a bigsby so it needs to be featherlight to keep the weight down
I want under 9lb with a bigsby and non chambered or weight relieved, I'll wait until I find the right pieces, they'll have to have a mahogany cap, that's a compromise straight away
I'm not sure 60mm solid mahogany that's light weight even exists now
 

Mouse

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That All Gold Junior-Senior looks and sounds awesome, Mouse. What was the wood you used for the whole body? Did you sandwich two planks for the full thickness or was it just a big monolith slab?
Thanks.
one piece big slab for the body, neck is from the same plank cuted out just above the body, it was 10cm thick big slab. i call it Nice African Specie

here is sound check : 2.5kg NAS, 3 kg NAS with maple top and honduran neck and 3.5 kg all honduran, maple top. All pauls in video use 9-42 strings

[ame]www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZXPEL55fCw[/ame]


The next project is with very old cuban mahogany, we'll see how it sounds. anyways, it should be fun !

15025147_10208952380179763_8394080195941400849_o.jpg
 

Satellitedog

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Whoa, Cuban Mahogany! The real deal.

I hope you'll make a build thread.
 

Mouse

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Whoa, Cuban Mahogany! The real deal.
Yup, darn old slab pile, nice and thick.
Got some necks for the necks to body matching. still don't know which one ...they need more work but now i can play marimba.

15156861_10209095428475881_1605234025813668320_o.jpg




[ame]www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FzmrhvRTZ0[/ame]
 

valvetoneman

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Hey mouse would you ever fancy shipping some of that lovely mahogany over to the uk

I'd love to build one and test it against my other stuff
 

Murkar

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What would "a goddamn sack of lead" weigh in lbs, out of curiosity? I've heard of LP's ranging from 9-13 lbs

My neck-through LP weighs in at 9.6 lbs and I dont find the weight to be bothersome at all even after a gig or long rehearsal.


Lol I exaggerate. But LPs are known for being one of the heavier guitars out there.
 

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