View Full Version : Oak guitars?

03-10-2006, 10:21 PM
Anyone ever hear of a guitar being made from Oak? What about the neck? Wouldn't it make sense to use one of the strongest woods around for that? Educate me someone.

03-10-2006, 10:40 PM
Here's one for you.


Rejoice Music
03-10-2006, 10:44 PM
Can't imagine that oak would sound that great, being such open-grained wood that it is. I did see and play a Guild dreadnaught once that was made out of ash though. Looked almost like oak, but I didn't care for the tone.

03-10-2006, 11:38 PM
Just had a thread on this that I started by raising a question about "iron wood" for neck material, that modulated into a discussion about Oak as a tonewood. Had some interesting feedback, and a link to a similar discussion over at the Martin forum. Any, here's the AGF thread...

03-10-2006, 11:42 PM
I'm thinking about building one. I've always loved oak.

Simon Fay
03-11-2006, 01:01 AM
The pore structure doesn't have much to do with the sound. Brazilian rosewood has an open pore structure as does mahogany - and we all know they have excellent tonal properties.

There is no reason oak wouldn't make a fine sounding guitar - just because it is not viewed as a rare and exotic wood makes it no less viable as a tonewood. I have heard reviews of oak as a tonewood - and most of them have been very favorable.

Steve, that would be an awesome next project - an oak guitar. I would love to see you build one.

03-11-2006, 05:35 AM
Taylor's Pallet Guitar was oak B&S, with a pine top.....had a nice sound, but not much sustain

Darryl H
03-11-2006, 07:33 PM
Me too. I'm a Guild fan, but those ash bodies sounded lousy to me. Which is too bad, because they looked good (imho).

Tim McKnight
03-11-2006, 07:42 PM
A lot of the turn of the century parlor guitars were made of oak with many of them still surving and being played today. I have never built with Oak [yet] although I do have some gorgeous white oak in my wood stash ;)

I have, however, made several guitars out of Hickory and it is an excellent tonewood. Makes great ball bats too. Here are a couple of pics:






03-11-2006, 08:12 PM
I love hickory. I would love to hear it as a b/s woood. It's got to me similar to Walnut. And you all know how I feel about Walnut! Anyway, about the Ironwood...It's a great,solid,dense wood,and I don't know why it isn't used more. Except, it's a real BEAR to work with. ONE TOUGH WOOD!

03-11-2006, 08:13 PM
I think Tak had some Oak guitars at one point. I'm thinking they were most likely not solid Oak and in that case don't really count.

P.S. and Tim, very sweet looking guitar....

03-11-2006, 09:23 PM
Tim - wow!

03-11-2006, 09:32 PM
I'm thinking about building one. I've always loved oak.
OK AGF-ers. Now's YOUR chance to have a beautiful white oak guitar...and I think Steve is serious about building one. If I was in the market, I'd take him up on it! Hey...Taylor offered its Pallets at 10K--I don't think that violates the no price rule, as they are off the market, and only available as collector's items-and not fetching NEAR their original "MAP's"--so I'd say, ask Steve S. He won't likely inlay a MOP forklift, but I'd bet it would be one sweet guitar!

(OK Steve--can I at least be your P.R. guy?--I have a LOT of writing experience and talent. Really. :wink: )

03-12-2006, 08:32 AM
I would think Oak, while certainly nice looking and very strong, would be too hard and stiff, and would make the tone too trebly with not enough good low end.

Working with oak around the house, it seems to be very brittle in that it won't give at all. It will stay strong until the point where it just snaps or breaks. I'd be interested to try to actually build something as curvy as an acoustic guitar out of it though. It would definitely be a challenge, and would give you something truly unique. I'm just hoping the final result and tone would be worth all the work.

Ian Anderson
03-12-2006, 09:23 AM
Can't imagine that oak would sound that great, being such open-grained wood that it is. I did see and play a Guild dreadnaught once that was made out of ash though. Looked almost like oak, but I didn't care for the tone.
Ash has been a traditional tonewood for the solid body market for a long time. Martin in the late 80's offered a D-16 A -- Ash model. I have a friend that has one WOW what a great guitar! I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It's truly one of the best guitars I have ever heard.

Given this is the only ash acoustic I have ever played doesn't give me a feel for if this is just an oddball thatís really good, or could Ash be a worthy acoustic tonewood? I've seen a couple of posts on the Martin forum about these D-16A guitars and the consensus from that is, Ash is a great acoustic tonewood. In the end I believe it's just not a traditional tonewood in the mindset of the consumer and the guitars would comparatively sit on dealer shelves while Mahogany and Rosewood guitars move with ease.

If Martin could make another make another run of these Iíd be all over it.

Short Balding G
03-12-2006, 07:57 PM
Luthier Todd Cambio of Madison, WI is making some terrific oak guitars. I have had the pleasure of playing a couple at Spruce Tree Guitars (http://www.sprucetreemusic.com/ ). You can also check out the guitars at http://www.fraulini.com/main.html .

I do not own one yet, but am seriousely considering. I think they are terrific blues machines.