Set Neck - Suitable Neck Wood

schoeftinger

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Hi folks,

all the set-neck builds around here (including mine) use the same wood for body and neck (e.g. Mahogany, Korina, and such).
What's the pros and cons of using a different wood in the neck?

Here's what I mean:
Body made from
+ mahogany,
+ spanish cedar, or
+ kahya
combined with a neck made of:
+ maple,
+ ash,
+ maple/ash (laminated), or
+ maple/cherry (laminated).

I've seen such combinations, but most of them were bolt-on necks.
:hmm:

Being the wood-worm that I've become, I'm up to a new build...

Thanks for your help!
-Tom
 

gator payne

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Hi folks,

all the set-neck builds around here (including mine) use the same wood for body and neck (e.g. Mahogany, Korina, and such).
What's the pros and cons of using a different wood in the neck?

Here's what I mean:
Body made from
+ mahogany,
+ spanish cedar, or
+ kahya
combined with a neck made of:
+ maple,
+ ash,
+ maple/ash (laminated), or
+ maple/cherry (laminated).

I've seen such combinations, but most of them were bolt-on necks.
:hmm:

Being the wood-worm that I've become, I'm up to a new build...

Thanks for your help!
-Tom

I don't know that I would classify any issue. There is always the difference in tonal trasmision from one species to the next. Then you comlicate it even more when you start taling multi piece laminations. Among the woods you mentioned I see no issues they aare all good woods for necks. though I am not fond of ash simply because it hard to find quartersawn in my area.
 

TKOjams

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Hi folks,

all the set-neck builds around here (including mine) use the same wood for body and neck (e.g. Mahogany, Korina, and such).

:wave: I'm guessing you haven't seen any of my builds?:hmm:

1st build- Poplar body, Maple cap, 3pc maple neck.
2nd build- Redwood body, Maple cap, 3pc Maple neck.
3rd build- Black Walnut body, Maple cap, 5pc Walnut and Maple neck.
 

Reverend D

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+1 I've seen them and appreciate every dog gone one of them! Especially the use of maple lam's for the necks, thats something a little more affordable and easy to find for us little to no budget kinda guys (who I promise will someday have a build once the tools are in place).. :) Thanks for sharing!

Regards,

Don
 

Barnaby

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All nice woods. I think any of them would be fine. Personally, I'd like to see a maple/cherry laminated neck with a thin purfling of black between each layer and a Spanish cedar body.

:thumb:
 

fatdaddypreacher

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yeh, mr s. i agree , even in my vast inexperience with guitar building, that from what i have learned from these many threads i have drooled over, that none of the woods/combinations you list should be issues. the common denominator is the working of them. laminations need to be good tight flat glue ups to insure a more 'one-pc' performance. joinery of neck to body needs to be snug allowing no air pockets. this helps transmission and strength.

my first build is a lp style with 3 pc alder back , 2 pc maple cap and 3 pc maple neck with 1/16" veneer between the maple(techinically a 5-pc neck i suppose) i believe if you put an axe head on the end of it you could chop firewood with it). i'm still learning an experimenting, so i just started four smaller builds from the same pattern. different wood for bodies and differeent woods for necks. am curious to see how they compare.

good luck. continue to study build threads. these guys were and are as important to my builds as any tool i have. the combined experience they offer is indescribable.
 

schoeftinger

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Well thanks for the feedback... and the encouragement.

I've studied pretty much every build thread around here from the last 2 years.
I guess the neck-body wood combination has just not been on my radar. :)

I consider building a batch of carved top SGs for some friends of mine.
Pretty much similar to my earlier builds (Diablo and Lill' Lucy).
One of those friends cut down a cherry tree a couple of years ago and I've been storing a nice 13' board of that cherry ever since. :naughty:

I like the idea of using layers of veneer in between, but don't you think that this will weaken the neck structure?

BTW, I'm also thinking about a scarf join at the headstock.
Juha Ruokangas' approach to scarf joins seems interesting and may save me some wood...
Although I'm not yet sure how to route for the splines to be glued in...
Here's what I'm talking about: Ruokangas Custom Guitars » Unicorn Episode 6 – Neck Building


cheers,
-Tom
 

schoeftinger

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Yeah, but I'm worried the veneer itself may impair stability.
After all it's only 1/32"-1/16" thick...
 

fatdaddypreacher

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i build custom furniture for a living, and my boss hasd over 25 yrs experience in high end constuction. when we have a longer, more slender table leg or the like that we have to make, when we can we always laminate with a pc of 1/16" veneer in between. we run the veneer grain 90* to the grain direction of the solid stock and it makes a much more stable and stronger pc than if it was just one pc solid wood. i do believe i could take my laminated neck and stand on it and it wouldn't break---not because i built it, but that's just the mechanics of lamination.

gator is in a much better position to comment on what the trade of would be, but i can only assume the harmonics flow is a bit interrupted/altered because of the different directions of the different grain, but i would be willing to bet it woould take a keener ear than i have to notice a big enough difference to offset the strength and stability gained. i can't imagine any application where a properly executed lamination would be inferior to solid stock when it comes to strength and stability.
 

schoeftinger

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Well, thanks for the hints. :)
I'll also take the veneer and its grain orientation into account.

Not yet sure where to get ebony veneer around here, but we'll see...
 

fatdaddypreacher

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well, now...ebony veneer may be harder to come by, especially in thicker sizes. if i remember correctlyl, most furnniture/multi-purpose veneers are real thin, like 1/64 or 1/32" . we use 1/16" when we laminate for strenght purposes. i believe you were on to something when you didn't see the value in using veneer before, thinking it was that superthin cut we are all most familiar with.

in thin pcs like 1/8 to 1/16 with due diligence and sharp equipment you can make some up with walnut or another dark wood. you may even be aable to dye (not stain) a dark word black. experiement and see what happens.

keep up posted.

thanks.
 

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