Have a question about using some birds eye maple wood i have had for a very long time: the wood was cut by my grandfather in Eagle Lake Me in the 50s and he was going to make a work bench: that never happened: i traded the larger planks to a luthier friend to make guitars: i found these upstairs in my shop: would they make a good neck: i will post a few pics: the wood is 15/16" thick, length 36 'to 41'.   thanks, sk

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If they’re quartersawn, yes, or you’ll get some bowing under regular tension? I’ve seen some beautiful fretboards made with birdseye maple. Great looking specimens 

Quartersawn wood 

i will check it out: thanks: sk

Oh no! that wood will never make a good neck. The best thing to do is box it up and ship it to me. I'll make sure it is properly disposed of. I'll even pay the shipping to help you out....

I wish I could say that without my nose growing.

Fact is, that wood will make some stunning necks when shaped and polished. If you build three or four stringers with reasonable sizes strings the total tension will not be too high and you should get minimal bowing.

You may want to build one neck with a piece of this wood, play it for a while and check for bowing. If you use a hard wood fret board, it will add stiffness to the neck. If you do get bowing, then take the small extra step of installing a truss rod on the next neck build. This is not a difficult operation and adjustable truss rods are cheap.

Another option would be to cut two 1" wide strips from a piece, turn the pieces 90 degrees and then glue them together. This would get the grain running up and down instead of left and right. That adds a lot of stiffness.

Finally, you could just ship it all to me.

Good find!

Build them, they'll be beauties! And the connection to your Grandfather is priceless. As stated by Tom below, I would add a fretboard.

Thanks for the advice: i will post more when i get ready to build: sk

I think they would be fine with any grain orientation for a three stringer, folks here have used softwoods so the maple will be better. As pretty as it is I would not use a fretboard either. Having said that if you think it is too soft you could rip the piece into several fretboards.

i would like to use it as is, like a maple neck strat: i have enough wood, so i have some options: i guess i ought to get some hardware and build it and see what happens: thanks,sk

Good you got it for free, a birds eye maple Strat neck costs about $200-350 

Not one to give advise, I'll just say what I'd do. I'd build one with a longish heel. Perhaps 2.5 inches past the box. I'd also go fretless and let the wood shine through with no distractions. Happy for you that you have such priceless stock. I haven't added a truss rod to any of my necks, but given the family connection, I'd highly consider it. 

Good luck with your build!


thank you for the suggestions: since the wood is about an inch thick, can i work the neck down to achieve a one piece heel or leave it the whole thickness and add on the heel? i can make one fretless: sk

This guitar was finished Oct 2017. It's still straight. At the nut it is 1 3/8 in wide, and about and inch and a half at the butt end of the guitar. It has no truss rod. Thickness is about .800 inch. It has CBGitty;s Blues Blasters largest acoustic strings. It has not warped. Maple is harder. Not sure this will help, but it is a bit more to chew on. HOpe that helps and doesn't just muddle things.



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