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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:37 pm 
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I asked about this in the Facebook group a while back but didn't get any definitive response. Can anyone tell from the exposed wood if this 1985 Pacer Imperial body is alder or basswood? The seller told me he thought it was basswood, while Vintage Kramer says basswood wasn't used on the American series guitars. It's light enough to be either of those woods, but I'm leaning towards basswood because someone mentioned that basswood has a unique smell. I'm not sure how to describe it, sort of a pine-like scent, but less pleasant. It's been years since I've had a piece of unfinished basswood, can anyone say for sure what this is? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:51 pm 
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The alder I've seen is reddish maybe more so than this (maybe this one looks reddish in person?) Poplar cannot be ruled out IMHO. If find I'D ing wood species a rather tenuous prospect. Poplar is widely available in Lowes or Home Depot so maybe you could get a whiff next time your in the lumber section. :bong :bananahead

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:08 am 
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Man, I would trust what you read that no USA bodies were made of basswood. I've never heard of basswood USA Kramers. Also I do not believe that the smell of that wood is going to tell you much about it after all these years. My artist friend Jake has been getting into pyrography (wood burning art), and he works most often on basswood because it takes the burn really well. I've been around a bunch of pieces while he was working on them, and I can tell you that after it's been dried, basswood doesn't smell any different than any other wood. I've actually got a piece of it right here in front of me as we are experimenting with different types of clear coat to look best with the pyrography.

Here is his instagram, you should check out his shit for a minute; pretty awesome talent he has. He's only been doing pyrography a very short while and he is getting his technique dialed in better and better with each new piece; I can't wait to see where he takes it in the future!

https://www.instagram.com/robbed_of_reason/?hl=en

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:16 am 
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...and here is an unfinished basswood body that we are messing with.
It doesn't smell like anything distinctive either.

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SO many projects, so little time!

Classic II red Tele
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81 Pioneer Bass
various Foci
various pieces parts...
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Ed Sheeran Sig Martin LX1E, 1st ed.
Billie Joe Armstrong Gibson LP Jr, 1st year


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:40 am 
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Looks like maple to me, as it should be.

I never saw or heard of any basswood used in american Kramer models. There were some alder ones, but this one is not alder - wrong grain and color.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:53 am 
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Deffo not alder. That would have a reddish tint like already mentioned. It should be maple. How heavy is it?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:52 am 
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Alder can range in color. It can also be very light. Basswood can be dense too. Poplar would have a greenish tinge. It's definitely not maple, as the sanding mesh would not imprint on maple that way.

Some basswood could look like alder, and it's not out the realm of possibility. I once owned an '87 NOS flip-flop white Baretta I that was as light as Styrofoam (and sounded great!). But trying to identify wood from two small exposed areas over the internet can be futile.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:16 am 
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louieatienza wrote:
as the sanding mesh would not imprint on maple that way.


Bodies are made of soft maple, not rock maple. Easy to leave imprints in that, it's a very soft wood. That's why you often see them with badly bent neckplates pressed deep into the body.

Alder is not always red, Fender uses yellow alder for example. But the grain is way different and it's a darker yellow.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:31 am 
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Most likely maple on a 85 Imp and that's what it looks like.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:44 am 
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Lots of great responses, thanks for all your input. I really don't think it is maple because of the weight. I don't have a scale handy, but this is one of the lighter bodies I've had. I've built a few parts guitars with Strat-style bodies, I'd estimate that it weighs somewhere around 4 pounds. It feels similar to the alder and basswood bodies I've had, and is much lighter than the mahogany body I used on my last build. I don't know if it is possible for a maple body to be that light.

I'll post another picture later tonight of the unfinished wood in the tremolo routing, maybe that will help.


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