Birdseye maple issue - is warp 'usual'

ARandall

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I bought a birdseye maple fretboard just recently......quite thick, maybe 8mm or so.

In the process of making a Tele neck (2 piece) it was glued to the QLD maple fret blank using fish glue before any shaping of the neck or the radius sanding had taken place. The fretboard had a sealer on it which I sanded off just prior to the gluing action.
The fretboard went onto the blank and was clamped in the same way I generally do with all fretboards and was flush on the edge all the way around.

However by the time I looked at it next day to unclamp I saw the sides had all lifted......the blank had actually warped a bit.
Luckily the action of cutting the wide blank to dimension meant the edge had no gap at all - but this is the first time I've seen such a thick blank warp so much after glue/clamping.
 

pshupe

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How long did you have it in your possession from the time you got it to the time you planed it and glued it on? You should let the wood season a bit in your climate. I usually let it sit a couple of weeks then plane all sides and let it sit again, before taking it to the final dimensions. If the wood was a bit moist there is a bigger chance this can happen. But to be honest every piece of wood is different and especially figured wood has lots of internal stresses. I hope it's still useable. Good luck.

Cheers Peter.
 

ARandall

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I think it was with me 4 weeks.
I simply sanded the sealer off the day I started working on it, and did no planer type dimensioning for the simple fact I didn't want to induce any possible movement.

But I'm wondering if the water in the Fish Glue was the culprit (or the 'straw'), as it spent a fair bit of time unwarped during slotting and prepping.
 

moreles

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I've loved birdseye ever since my banjo days, and am shocked and surprised by what you report. I do think that birdseye has a tendency to misbehave in the presence of moisture, which I attribute to its chaotic grain, but I've never seen it act up like that. Music Man is big into maple necks that often include significant birdeye, and those are stable as all get out. I'm guessing you had a perfect storm of wood readjusting to your shop (and who knows when it was cut down to the dimensions you rec'd; it might have ben releasing some pent-up twist as well) and a freakishly bad reaction to the moisture in the glue. In other words, a bad-luck act of the gods. Glad it got cut away.
 

Bill Hicklin

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Birdseye tends to require more seasoning than most woods, and routine kiln-drying often isn't enough-- not to mention that drying and seasoning aren't quite the same things. A mere month of acclimatization + water-based glue = contortions.
 

sondich

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Birdseye maple tends to move around more than non-figured or curly maple in my experience. Often movement tends to increase in proportion to the density of the eye. My theory is that the areas with eye do not dry at the same rate as the non-figured areas.

At times, we've had insanely figured boards of birdseye maple that would not stay flat regardless of how long they sat or how many times we joined it flat. When it's roasted it tends to stay put.

More than a few large manufacturers have either limited or no warranty on their necks when unroasted birdseye maple is the option. It's beautiful but can be an expensive wild-card.
 

ARandall

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Thanks all for the additional info.

Luckily in this case I glued the fretboard on way oversized. If I ever do birdseye again I'll know to place a solid beam on the wood to give even pressure.


Some parts were perfect.....seamless join:


Others show a slight witness line:
 

Ripthorn

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I did a bound birdseye board a couple years ago and didn't notice anything strange about it. Then again, each board is it's own thing.
 




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