Is this a decent piece of mahogany for a neck through guitar?

efstop

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I've had this chunk of wood for many years, thinking I might do something that is guitar related with it.

It's 44 1/2" x 3 5/8" x 2 1/16"





I want a Steinberger Spirit copy but with P-90s and a wraptail, and either banjo tuners or Steinberger tuners behind the bridge (installed upside down through a thinned portion of the body, with tubes & ferrules to guide the strings.)
 

fatdaddypreacher

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not a pro, but i'll throw something out there. I would not have bought that with a neck in mind, however, being that you have it, it appears to be a nice piece of timber, as timber goes. That is to say it appears to be defect free, striaight grain, and of even color. A desirable piece by those standards in the world of wood. As far as this specific use, it is clearly and decisively a flat sawn piece, which is least sought after for necks, quarter sawn being the most. That does not say you will regret using it for a neck, it's simply more prone to bowing up or down than as is quarter sawn. It may never move, and then again it may never move so much that a truss rod would not be able to compensate, but off all the guitars to build, a neck through is more time consuming and you might consider the above mentioned before investing a bunch of time in it. That's not to say i wouldn't use it, though. I know that probably didn't help much, but now I can go pee and take my nap.
 

larryguitar

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" I know that probably didn't help much, but now I can go pee and take my nap. "

The man we know and love!! :)


Larry
 

efstop

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not a pro, but i'll throw something out there. I would not have bought that with a neck in mind, however, being that you have it, it appears to be a nice piece of timber, as timber goes. That is to say it appears to be defect free, striaight grain, and of even color. A desirable piece by those standards in the world of wood. As far as this specific use, it is clearly and decisively a flat sawn piece, which is least sought after for necks, quarter sawn being the most. That does not say you will regret using it for a neck, it's simply more prone to bowing up or down than as is quarter sawn. It may never move, and then again it may never move so much that a truss rod would not be able to compensate, but off all the guitars to build, a neck through is more time consuming and you might consider the above mentioned before investing a bunch of time in it. That's not to say i wouldn't use it, though. I know that probably didn't help much, but now I can go pee and take my nap.
I wasn't going to build it myself but have someone else with the tools and experience do so ;) If it was cut up and used for a body, that's OK too.
 

pshupe

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It would have to be a scarf jointed neck as it is too thin for a one piece. As fatdaddy mentions it's the opposite of what you want for grain direction. You could re-saw it and rotate 90 degrees and make a multi-laminate. Add a couple other laminates and you would have a very strong neck. It would be almost perfectly quartersawn in that case.

Regards Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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You might have to add a little material for your headstock depending on your headstock design. My design is physically pretty small with an 11 degree tilt angle and I think I could make that work without adding material.

I'd use it. Flatsawn can make a good neck. Yes, quartersawn makes for a stiffer neck but lots of good necks are made of flatsawn stock. If it concerns you, lay in a carbon fiber stiffener rod or two.
 

efstop

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You might have to add a little material for your headstock depending on your headstock design. My design is physically pretty small with an 11 degree tilt angle and I think I could make that work without adding material.

I'd use it. Flatsawn can make a good neck. Yes, quartersawn makes for a stiffer neck but lots of good necks are made of flatsawn stock. If it concerns you, lay in a carbon fiber stiffener rod or two.
I would rip it down the middle and laminate it use a scarf joint for the headstock.
It was meant for a headless guitar i.e. Steinberger copy, so there would be no headstock.
 

ARandall

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I'd echo the calls to try and get it to being QS. A neck through is the last place you want to chance instability. Especially as there is so much grain length for it to happen with.

Just be aware that the neckthru is tricky for most bridge types if the fretboard just sits on top of the body plane. They tend to need to be recessed to work.

You'll also need to check the body thickness too. Especially if you plan to use any sort of whammy bridge.
 

efstop

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I'd echo the calls to try and get it to being QS. A neck through is the last place you want to chance instability. Especially as there is so much grain length for it to happen with.

Just be aware that the neckthru is tricky for most bridge types if the fretboard just sits on top of the body plane. They tend to need to be recessed to work.

You'll also need to check the body thickness too. Especially if you plan to use any sort of whammy bridge.
I understand all of that and designed around those issues. However, I don't have a shop or tools and wanted to commission it. It would make more sense to just buy a new piece of wood. I can make a bunch of percussion toys with the old one :hmm:
 

DaveSG

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I've built a neck through and a set-through which is similar. I like seeing at least 2.5" to account for an angled headstock (works well on thinner bodies guitars), but if you did something that approximated a Fender-esq build, with minimal neck angle or headstock angle, what you have is probably fine. However, I have not used a one piece neck blank for a neck-through, as the risk for me is too high for possible warpage issues. The fact that you've had that piece of wood for multiple years is great, though, as it sounds like it has had time to settle.

If this were my build, I'd split it in half, flip the second piece around to equalize any possible hidden stresses, and add in a middle channel of maple or purple heart or any other flavor of hardwood. That way you'll get a more stable neck and have some nice quartersawn grain direction.
 

redking

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It would have to be a scarf jointed neck as it is too thin for a one piece. As fatdaddy mentions it's the opposite of what you want for grain direction. You could re-saw it and rotate 90 degrees and make a multi-laminate. Add a couple other laminates and you would have a very strong neck. It would be almost perfectly quartersawn in that case.

Regards Peter.
When I see a picture like that, I always have a hard time discerning between the sawmarks and the grain.
 

DaveR

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When I see a picture like that, I always have a hard time discerning between the sawmarks and the grain.
Very very good point. I looked at this on my phone yesterday and said, "definitely flatsawn". I'm looking at it on my iMac right now and it's hard to say. Are those flatsawn growth rings actually saw marks? Is there some trace of vertical looking lines between them which would in fact make that board quarter sawn? I think we need a better photo angle.
 

cmjohnson

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I'm looking at it on a 40" monitor. I'd bet all my tools it's flatsawn. I have no doubt about it. If the dimensions work out, ripping it down the middle and making it a bookmatched quartersawn piece would indeed be a fine idea. With well balnced internal stresses that would likely make for a very stable neck.
 


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