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Ash, Swamp

The term "Swamp Ash" does not refer to any particular species of ash (Fraxinus genus), but is generally used by luthiers to describe lightweight wood yielded from ash trees which are usually found in wet or swampy areas.  The most common use is for electric guitar bodies.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Distribution

Southern United States

Scientific Name

Fraxinus SP

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.55

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.67

Janka Hardness

1320

Colour/Appearance

The heartwood is a light to medium brown colour. Sapwood can be very wide, and tends to be a beige or light brown; not always clearly or sharply demarcated from heartwood.  Wide growth typically translates into bold grain appearance.

Grain/Texture

Wide growth typically translates into bold grain appearance.

Rot Resistance

Heartwood is rated as perishable, or only slightly durable in regard to decay. Ash is also not resistant to insect attack.

Workability

Produces good results with hand or machine tools. Responds well to steam bending. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor

Often has a sweet odor.

Allergies/Toxicity

Ash in the Fraxinus genus has been reported to cause skin irritation, and a decrease in lung function. 

Pricing/Availability

Prices are in the mid range for a domestic hardwood. Widths over 12" that are uitable for one-piece electric guitar bodies are more valuable and sought after.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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