Fraxinus spp

Ash wood is a hard tonewood that produces warm bass. Swamp ashes are trees that originate from very humid locations. Their moist wood is lighter and sounds more balanced than dry ash wood and is therefore used for the body.



Luthiers primarily use ash for electric guitar bodies, but the same bending qualities that the other trades admire make this wood wonderful for instrument sets. Ash is harder and stiffer than mahogany, sort of an open-grain maple. The pore structure is similar to oak; the pores are numerous and deep. It's about the color of cream when freshly cut, aging rapidly to light tan. Ash stains well and a contrasting pore filler added interest. Ash is pretty boring unless you are fond of Fender electrics, which mostly exhibit a sunburst or pickled finish when used with this wood. A rare sample of ash might have the most astonishing combination of swirls, curls, and flame. Finding quartered ash is just a matter of luck.

John Calkin: The Heretic's Guide to Alternative Lutherie Woods