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Discussion Starter #1
Halooooooooo!!!!!
Whilst working at my Grandpa's house today, i came across some a really really nice plank of gorgeous walnut. It was wide enough to make a 2 or 3-piece bookmatch body, and thick enough for a body, so i made the commment that a person could make a great guitar body with that plank. Later on, he told me that if i ever want to build a guitar, i could have that wood and the use of all of his professional woodworking tools to make me a guitar body!
So, my question is, what would a solid walnut 7-string sound like? Nobody ever really discusses walnut guitars, you just never really see them. It's a tight-grained wood, like mahagony, so i suppose i may be similar. Weight-wise, it seemed pretty heavy.
I'd just buy a neck, of course. I'm not even going to THiNK about trying to make one of those yet!
So, any opinions???
Thanks!
Ben
 

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Warmoth has a wood section that discusses the tone of walnut.. I have seen guitars made out of it, but I couldn't tell you anything other than what Warmoth has on its site. It must be a nice wood, cause to get it usually means a nice upcharge!
 

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Walnut is used quite extensively by high-end boutique bass builders, if that tells you anything. I'm puzzled as to why it hasn't caught on very much with guitarists.

I built a guitar with a solid American black walnut body back when i was 17, and it has fantastic tone. It's almost as dense as maple, but not quite as bright. It has a bit of the warmth of mahogany, but without the midrangey quality. It's a really nice wood, and it looks gorgeous, especially if it has some figuring in it.

Because it's a hard wood, it does take a bit of effort to carve (all my body contours were done by hand with a spoke shave), but it's delightful to work with. It also takes a tung oil finish quite nicely.

I'd love to make a JS/Radius-style body out of a nice piece of figured walnut... good luck with your project!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys! :D
From what it sounds like, it seems that walnut would be a great choice for a 7-string, with its mahagony-like chunk and maple brightness to keep to the lows well-defined. Although it will probably be a while before i get to do it, i'm getting excited about it already!
What are the hardest parts about doing a custom body? I imagine it would be the neck pocket, and finding where to put the bridge. About the bridge.... okay, scale length is the distance from the nut to the bridge, right? So, in theory, instead of making the neck longer to increase scale-length, could i not just move the bridge back an inch or two? Or would that throw the intonation out of whack? Just a silly question...
Oh, and Darren... making guitars when you were 17??? D^mn!
Thanks guys!
Ben
 

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Putting the bridge further back would indeed ka-boink your intonation. The 12th fret needs to be at the center of the string. Umm.. but I'm sure many people here are more qualified than me to answer questions like this :wink:
 

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well you'll have some intonation adjustment on the bridge, so it doesnt have to be placed accurate to a hundreth of a mil.. You should get it in the right place as long as you take your time and do lots of measurements and calculations...

A solid walnut guitar would be really cool, i've been pondering about it for my next project (;))... altho £80 for a piece of figured walnut is a bit steep, compared to £28 for lovely stripey zebrano...
 
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