Hi all. So far, I've been using red oak on my builds, neck and fret board. However, I would like to shake things up a bit. What kind of neck / fret combos do you like to use? Sound is most important to me, but something aesthetically pleasing too. Also, I'm still relatively new to woodworking so I'm looking for something not too difficult to work with. Thanks in advance for tips and suggestions. David

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Hi David,

I used what I could get for necks - and what was cheap. My non-profound personal impressions were that

- maple gave a bright, straight tone

- birch was easy to carve, but gave kinda numb tone

- oak is to hard for me, it seems to resist my tools and the groove

- I was satisisfied using the wood of fruit trees, be it plumb or cherry (yum!)

- and finally... normal SPRUCE ROCKS!

 

Spruce is very weak though but it seems to interact with the string vibration in a rocking good way. In order to make the neck more resistent to the bending forces especially for 6-stringers, I slot them at the back with a hand mill and insert a truss rod, which basically is a common threaded rod of 4mm thickness. It might not win the beauty price but I even like the smell of it.

 

I've used several types myself.  I started out with red oak, but soon got hooked on hard maple.  Its tough to beat the way it finishes and as Elmar has stated, I had a hard time with my fret grooves.  I don't use "off-the-shelf" lumber though.  I like to get the rough-cut stuff and plane it down to the correct dimensions.  If you look hard, you can find some maple with some terrific figuring.  Some examples are on my CBN page or at my website:  www.biglerguitars.com.
We use red oak  for the necks because its easy to get, and its not very expensive, but You can use hickory, maple,mahogany to get a good tone out of a neck, fretboards I like to use are ebony, rosewood, maple, al of which will give You a good tone, Indian rosewood is the easiest to work with . You can use just about anything You want, but just remember to add a truss rod to Your neck to keep it from bowing. If You have limited tools or skills You can glue side pieces of wood to Your red oak necks to give them some flash, I'm working on 2 reso guitars right now where I've glued sycamore to the sides and bottom of the boxes and I think it work real well and its less work than cutting truss rod groves in the neck. Look through some acoustic guitar sites and see what their using and I know the wood Their using will work great on Our CBG.
Nice builds Wayne. Hopefully my builds will progress to look as clean and neat as yours. Thanks for the suggestions.

Wayne Bigler said:
I've used several types myself.  I started out with red oak, but soon got hooked on hard maple.  Its tough to beat the way it finishes and as Elmar has stated, I had a hard time with my fret grooves.  I don't use "off-the-shelf" lumber though.  I like to get the rough-cut stuff and plane it down to the correct dimensions.  If you look hard, you can find some maple with some terrific figuring.  Some examples are on my CBN page or at my website:  www.biglerguitars.com.
Thanks, Bill. I think I'll try to round some of these up. Thanks for the advice! David

Bill Alvey said:
We use red oak  for the necks because its easy to get, and its not very expensive, but You can use hickory, maple,mahogany to get a good tone out of a neck, fretboards I like to use are ebony, rosewood, maple, al of which will give You a good tone, Indian rosewood is the easiest to work with . You can use just about anything You want, but just remember to add a truss rod to Your neck to keep it from bowing. If You have limited tools or skills You can glue side pieces of wood to Your red oak necks to give them some flash, I'm working on 2 reso guitars right now where I've glued sycamore to the sides and bottom of the boxes and I think it work real well and its less work than cutting truss rod groves in the neck. Look through some acoustic guitar sites and see what their using and I know the wood Their using will work great on Our CBG.


G'day Wayne.

Just looked through your website.

Very nice guitars!

I'm just wondering what the width of your necks are....they seem to suit the boxes really well....nicely proportioned.

I think the necks on my guitars are a little thin, and on the last build I increased the neck width, but I find it's not as playable for me as the thinner necks.

Is there an accepted "standard" out there?

Hi Bruce,

I make my necks 1 20/32 inches wide.  I then set the two outer strings 4/32 from the edge.  The thickness of my necks start out at 28/32 before I start rounding them out to give them a "comfortable" profile.  I don't think there's an actual standard out there, but since a lot of folks use off-the-shelf 1x2 for their necks, that's probably common.  I use rough sawn lumber and rip/plane it down to size in order to achieve a larger neck. 

Bruce Trappes said:


G'day Wayne.

Just looked through your website.

Very nice guitars!

I'm just wondering what the width of your necks are....they seem to suit the boxes really well....nicely proportioned.

I think the necks on my guitars are a little thin, and on the last build I increased the neck width, but I find it's not as playable for me as the thinner necks.

Is there an accepted "standard" out there?

Many thanks for the information Wayne.

Much appreciated.

There seems to be quite a bit of information on 4 strings available, but not so much on 3 strings, which I find quite strange seeing that 3 string cbg's are more traditional.

I've been using poplar 1X2"s from the DIY store and then putting a walnut fretboard on it. I've been building 3 strings and haven't noticed any bowing yet with that combination. It's not as heavy as the oak neck so it balances a bit better than my first couple of builds and I'm not losing any strength. I'd like to get some maple but haven't found any locally to try.

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