Doug Fir Stair Tread Les Caster.

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including "disappearing" errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
Post Reply
Gilbert Fredrickson
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:07 pm

Doug Fir Stair Tread Les Caster.

Post by Gilbert Fredrickson »

I really need to play more electric guitar to understand the effect of tonewood on sound. But I have this great Idea about making an electric shaped like a Les Paul but wired like a Telecaster with a P-90 in the neck position, a Tele control plate and bridge. Dude!

I have enough quartered 5/4 stair tread to glue-up a blank and enough for a 5/4 neck blank. A Maple neck would be a bit better, I suppose. How does Doug Fir sound as a electric body? Tonal characteristics? Basswood? Why not Mahogany or Swamp Ash? I doubt the merits of combining Les Paul mojo and Telecaster twang in one guitar. But I'm a traditionalist, of course. Thank you.

Jason Rodgers
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Doug Fir Stair Tread Les Caster.

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Doug Fir specific gravity is in the neighborhood of 0.5, which puts it in the range of alder, cherry, and some maples. I have some stair treads that I cut into acoustic tops, and some others that I will eventually use as a solidbody core under a maple or walnut droptop. All of this is untested, though.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

David King
Posts: 2688
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Doug Fir Stair Tread Les Caster.

Post by David King »

I've used Doug fir for bass necks and it's great for that. The density is all over the map however. Knowing what those stair treads cost per linear foot I'd be tempted to use them for stair treads.

Jason Rodgers
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Doug Fir Stair Tread Les Caster.

Post by Jason Rodgers »

The stair treads I have were pulled off my stairs when I replaced them a few years back with oak. House is late 60s. But yes, as David says, density can vary quite dramatically. Of the 13 treads I replaced, only two were light enough (and had acceptable runout) to resaw for tops. If your material has thick latewood - ie, lots of orange - then it'll be heavy and hard. Stuff with finer grain - lighter color overall - will be lighter and more flexible. I didn't weigh the light vs. heavy treads, but I bet there was a couple pounds difference between the outlying examples. You'd probably want the lighter stuff for solidbodies, to get into basswood or mahogany territory.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Paul E Buerk
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:25 pm

Re: Doug Fir Stair Tread Les Caster.

Post by Paul E Buerk »

I've built a couple basses using Doug Fir, with one just using it as the core wood for the wings on a neck through. The other was a two string with a Doug Fir Body. Both sound fine, and I like the light weight.

It can ding pretty easily, and you'll find the occasional shake in an inopportune place, but it's easy to work and holds screws well.

Gilbert Fredrickson
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:07 pm

Re: Doug Fir Stair Tread Les Caster.

Post by Gilbert Fredrickson »

I'm considering using what scraps I have for a first attempt at an archtop. I think I could use more traditional stock in the Fano SP 6 tribute. Great news about the fir, though. I may use it for a solid body. I'm on the fence on this one. The 5/4 ish thickness and VG cut is attractive.

Post Reply