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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Rosewood Guitars


Fibi Figallily

is a silly name.....
Apr 23rd, 2017 11:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

I really dig the look of rosewood in a Tele, in any type of guitar style actually.. How do rosewood guitars compare weight wise to alder? I know some pieces of the same woods can vary in weight regardless of the bodies being the same shape.

Guitar weight is a real issue for me these days and I really have gas to build a rosey guitar. Any of you guys have rosewood guitar builds you want to talk about? Here is a ebay seller I have been watching.

Brazilian guitar store

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 23rd, 2017 12:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Rosewood is quite a bit heavier than alder. If you like the look of rosewood, go with a sandwich, e.g., mahogany body with a rosewood laminate top).

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Apr 23rd, 2017 02:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

"...If you like the look of rosewood, go with a sandwich..."

Yes, that or chamber the heck out of it. Density of rosewood on average is about 1.5 times that of alder.

Contributing Member


Apr 23rd, 2017 02:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

I found a homemade rosewood Tele in a shop years ago. It had to weigh 15 lbs.

Guitar Fool
Contributing Member

Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Apr 23rd, 2017 03:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hey Frog....

I found a Fender body.... Rosewood over I believe Alder, and mated it with a Fender 90's neck..

it came out really nice...weighs about 8.5 lbs.

as others have mentioned, rosewood is heavy!..

I found mine on ebay...under 300 bills if I recall

Warmoth guitars is a good place to start among others...you can get one chambered or veneered over something else...

Rosewood Tele

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 23rd, 2017 03:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you're handy with a router and want to "build" your own, here's a really simple way to do it:

Buy a pre-made, unfinished Tele body, along with two book-matched pieces of rosewood for the top.

Make a tracing of the face of the body to locate all the routs (bridge pickup, neck pickup, control cavity, neck pocket, and wire channel--if a vintage rout).

Based on the thickness of your rosewood overlay (must be 1/8" minimum if your Tele body has a stock radius around the top), use the router or a planer to remove that thickness from the face of the body.

Glue the book-matched pieces to the top. Mind the center line of the body to match the glue join of the rosewood overlay.

Use a 1/4" bottom-bearing pattern bit to trim the rosewood flush with the body edges (remember the output jack hole!).

Next, lay your tracing over the rosewood and mark to drill a 5/16" hole in the center of each rout.

Use the 1/4" pattern bit through drilled holes to remove the rosewood from the routs.

Flip the body over and use a 1/8" drill to re-drill the string holes to the bridge.

Last step is to apply a 1/8" roundover all the way around the top.

Done! You've got Les Paul construction in a Tele :o)

Wear a dust mask when working rosewood. It can be dangerous to some people (allergies, etc.).

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 06:33 PM, Apr 23rd, 2017)


Fibi Figallily

is a silly name.....
Apr 23rd, 2017 06:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

GF, thats what I am talking about..exactly!

Peegoo, sheesh... I am so unhandy with that type of thing that my self doubt would unhinge me and send me to the mental hospital, we happen to have a mental hospital in town. I will save this info you have shared with me for the future.

I bought a router a few months ago for just this sort of thing and have yet to harness enough courage to use it.

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 23rd, 2017 10:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

Routers are a cinch. Just make sure the work is clamped (or use a rub er router pad) to the bench. Practice a bunch on scrap wood. The vast majority of router motors run clockwise, so the important things to remember:

1. Always wear safety goggles and have bright lighting.

2. Rout outsides of shapes in a counter-clockwise direction.

3. Rout internal shapes in a clockwise direction.

4. Feed speed (how fast you move the router) is important. Too fast and the bit will tear or rip the wood. Too slow and the bit will burn the wood.

Practice makes perfect!



Apr 24th, 2017 12:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

My opinion is that solid rosewood guitars are invariably incredibly underwhelming.

If you like dense, inert guitars that have few dynamics but a fair amount of sustain (think back breaker LPs from the 70s) then it may hold SOME appeal, but otherwise they're conversation pieces more than anything.

I'd also consider a veneer. A nice chambered Tele may pair nicely with some different pickup choices... wide range HBs, regular HBs, p-90s, etc. Cream/ivoroid pickups and knobs with a Rosewood board and top? Mmmmm....

Ditto on the dust. It is quite oily, and the harder the wood, the finer the dust, so it gets up in the air quite a bit. You can often rig up the hose of a shop vac in such a way that it is a makeshift dust collector and get at least 50% of the dust from going in the air. That will also help with visibility, since dust piles can make it hard to see what you're doing. A mask is highly recommended as well.

Ebony is the one that really will get my sinuses crying for help. And shell materials (abalone, pearl, etc.) can border on dangerous.

Contributing Member

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Apr 24th, 2017 01:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

I get flu like symptoms for a day or two after working with rosewood.

Mahogany is my choice for mojo.


Fibi Figallily

is a silly name.....
Apr 24th, 2017 05:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Speaking of pickups and chambered bodies, I just bought a parts tele with body made of paulonia (new to me)Allen Eden (never heard of them) has hot rails... I stuck a micro switch in and split the coils and I am really happy with the single coil sound these rails have and pretty happy with the HB sound too. This is what has steered me away from strats (at least for a while).

Haven't put the guitar down since I got it other than to eat and poop.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Rosewood Guitars

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