where to get timber for a neck?


I'm in the process of acquiring bits for my first build and am struggling to find local suppliers of PSE hardwood timber for a neck.

pine is plentiful and cheap, but I dont know if I trust it.

a local yard can supply a length of Brazilian Redwood, but I would then need to get it planed down to size and its £20 before I do that, although I reckon I'd get three necks out of it. was just hoping for something that I could buy off the shelf though to be honest.

what do you all do?



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  • Bit late to the party, but here goes...

    I have some left-over maple flooring from when I did our lounge floor in recycled maple from a school gym floor that was being replaced.  It isn't bad at all for cbg necks, although most pieces have staples that have to be removed, leaving holes that need to be filled but never quite disappear from the finished article. Lot of planing though and I found it almost impossible to work by hand.

    It might be worth checking out flooring contractors to see if they do similar work.

    P.S. I wouldn't do a floor like that again - too much varnish and polish to clean off every board before it can be reused.

  • Im lucky in that my old trade as a boatbuilder produced plenty of decent timber, i find it everywhere, on the marshes, in skips you name it. All the timber i use for guitars is secondhand or recycled.

    If you are down south & finding it hard to source timber Jennor timber in enfield are a useful place to look. Recently at the school where i work we bought a pack of mixed hardwood offcuts from them & there was oak, maple, beech, sapele, utile, poplar & some luan. Most over 3ft long There must have been enough to build 30 guitar necks & then some. The whole lot was £50 so good value!

  • B&Q now have oak  board for their rustic shelving.

    1 piece which enough to get 10 or 11 pieces  for £21.

    if they don't have it in stock they will order it for you.

    ebay is a good source for hard wood  I got all mine from there inc black walnut.

    bought some rough cut very cheap  £12 inc shipping.

    I got about 30 fret boards out of them.


  • Yes, we poor Brits don't have the luxury of Lumber yards that stock every wood known to man.

    That said I have found White oak (2x1") in Ridgeons as well as Eucalyptus (Grandis) in Ridgeons and Travis Perkins. Also, Wickes do stair rail parts in Hemlock. I made a nice diddley from a hemlock 32mm sq spindle. http://www.wickes.co.uk/Products/Decorating+Interiors/Stairparts/Sp...

    You can also use the 12mm thick "dark hardwood" strip that Homebase sell. Its actually sapele and is made by Richard Burbidge. Too thin as it stands but is great when laminated or used as a fretboard on some other wood.

    As others have said - keep an eye out for reclaimed wood. A good mate of mine has just given me several planks of mahogany 3/4" thick. His church was doing a refurb and this was the old lectern.

    Good hunting

  • well, I havent had time to get to the tip yet, probably wont till friday.

    as a back up plan, I've found a local timber yard (rembrandts) that sells 2.1m lengths of American White Oak for 8 quid. Its DAR (dressed all round, I had to google it lol) and 20mm x 45mm, so I might go and have a look at that too. its got to be worth a look if I can make two necks out of it :-) 

    • Jim, that oak sounds like a fair deal..it makes up into a decent neck (I've got 2 oak necks on the go at the moment) but it is damned hard stuff to work, especially with hand tools, so your tools need to be kept razor sharp. By the way, a decent woodyard will cut and plane the stuff to size for you - my local place does it for free, even on small orders...just try asking.

  • I would consider two table legs glued together along their length. Get to the local recycling centre and they will have various hard woods in their skip. They just look like table legs and furniture pieces. Plane them yourself by hand, it's does not take long.

  • I was looking forward to visiting John Boddy's in Boroughbridge when I was in Yorkshire recently only to find it's closed and the land's been sold for housing. That was an Aladdin's cave for timber of all kinds, but.....

    I found out that a lot of their staff had gone toDuffield Timber near Ripon, so visited them. It's a very upmarket company, but they do have offcuts. I bought a really nice piece of Maple - easily enough for 4 necks for a tenner, and 2 pieces of oak 120 * 6 * 1800mm for £2 each - gotta be great for fingerboards.

    That bit of the business is run by a guy called Arti, who couldn't have been more helpful. It's a couple of hours drive for me, but it's now No. 1 on my list.


  • When I first started making CBGs I recycled an old oak fire place surround. worked really well.

    When that ran out I paniced a little, none of the DIY stores had anything but pine - avoid and stick with hard wood IMO.

    Since I have used a local branch of Arnold Lavey for end of line runs, however these tend to be on the thin side, approx 18mm which is the thinnest I can really work with for a neck, and then only really for piezos as a pickup will require a recess that cuts the neck down too thin.

    My best source has been to find a local friendly saw mill, the wood generally comes planked at 1 inch which easily accommodates the recess for a pickup, and is a lot cheaper than DIY stores.

    As mentioned, recycled furniture is a really good source.


  • Hi Jim

    I can provide you all your timber needs

    I can machine the wood to the required thickness and lengths

    I have in stock

    Mahogany , Brazilian mahogany, Oak , Wenge , Cherry , Walnut , Maple and beech . plus all availiable in

    Fingerboard lengths .

    I have a massive stock of all the above

    Please let me know your requirements and I can give you prices .

    My building website is www.justplaytheblues.co.uk



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