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The Feasability Of Burl Woods In Lam. Necks


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So I thought I'd run this by, and I'll tell you why in a second, but what is the feasability of using burled woods in laminate style guitar necks. I'm not talking as a major factor, but what's to stop someone from making the center laminate of a neck something like say... 3/16" or less amboyna burl? I mean, in the grand scheme of things 3/16" or less bound on either side by stable woods like mahogany, rosewood, etc. is not that much. And I understand why you can't use large amounts of burl woods in necks because they have unstable forces, but I think this could be a way to implement these beauties in necks. Also, if you build the neck ala Scott French style where he only does a laminate up to the scarf point and then uses a solid wood for the headstock scarf, then the burl doesn't even reach the weakest point (where the nut is). Chime in with your comments, ideas, suggestions, hesitations, etc. guys.

As for why I say this, I got some figured pink ivory to use for JUST this purpose, however one section of it had a knot where there is some gap/inclussion that as far as conventional lamination goes would deem it unstable (thank god it's only in a small area and would only affect 1/6-1/3 of the lams I'm going to get out of these pieces) but in the cases described above, whats to say even these sections couldn't be used?

And one last thing to think about, a little trick I got from going to Jeffrey Yong's custom shop in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, when he makes his necks, he makes it so that the center laminate is the exact same width as his truss rod, and thus uses less tall wood, and when he glues up the laminate he 1- doesn't have to use as much of whatever wood the center lam. is made of, and 2- doesn't have to route for his truss rod, because the shortness of the center lam. of the same width has already left his channel.

Chris

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And one last thing to think about, a little trick I got from going to Jeffrey Yong's custom shop in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, when he makes his necks, he makes it so that the center laminate is the exact same width as his truss rod, and thus uses less tall wood, and when he glues up the laminate he 1- doesn't have to use as much of whatever wood the center lam. is made of, and 2- doesn't have to route for his truss rod, because the shortness of the center lam. of the same width has already left his channel.

Chris

I dont know about the burl thing, but Thats pure genius.......Or in the case of a neck through you could just notch out that laminate to where the truss stops. Im gonna try it I hate routing truss channels!

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I don't know about general neck stability, but I wouldn't put something too weak behind a double acting truss rod. The way a two way truss rod works, it puts stress on the bottom of the slot at the rod's beginning and end when adding back bow. With a weak wood(although you could always have gallery hardwoods or someone else stabalize some wood for you?), I'd be worried about having my truss rod come out the back of the neck upon tightening the truss rod. With a single action rod, this argument would have no grounds.

peace,

russ

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I agree with Rich (and that scares me :D:D ). Why even chance it...burl has no grain, no inherant strength, actually, it would be more likely to cause trouble than not, you never know which way it will want to move on you.

Great for tops, keep it at that...

...Unless you want to experiment, which is fine, but as they say, don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Don't build it unless you can live with the fact you may wind up throwing it away, in which case, go for it. B)

I do all kinds of wacky experiments, but I'm never scared to toss it without hesitation if it doesn't work out, can you do that? Sometimes the payoff is huge, sometimes it's W.O.D., that's the inherant risk that comes with experimenting. I have spent a lot of time on a project simply to toss it in the end because it didn't work out the way I had planned, the experiment didn't work, and that equals trash.

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+1 on the strength issues.

Burl is beautiful yeah, but when you use it in a laminated neck, you're only getting to show 1/8" or 3/16" of that beauty, while most of it's surface is covered with glue and hidden in the sandwich. Not a good use of beautiful wood if you ask me.

Re: the truss rod cut-away, you'll still have to clean up the channel because glue will squeeze out, the lams will shift a up/down little, and you run the risk of the outer lams tilting in toward the channel when you clamp up the sandwich. Also, you may find that you want to tweek the rod position slightly toward the bridge or nut as the build progresses.

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I think using burl in anything less than 1/4" thick would be wasteful - the figure would be virtually indistiguishable from flamed or curly wood, and might just look blotchy and wierd, quite apart from the structural issues.

You could inlay burled veneer over a centre section of less fancy wood.

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If you do it the above way where the lams only go until the scarf, and the scarf is one solid piece (how scott french does it, go take a peak at his site) you can get away with using pieces only 22" long.

Chris

Chris,

The same question still comes to mind though. Even if the neck holds together across the length of the neck or only in the area after the scarf. Why use wood that is not going to transmit vibration well(and you know I totally dig Pink Ivory, no slight to the choice of wood-just the knot). This is being done for asthetics. By using thinner inlay you will get more pieces from the wood you have, and you can dig in with that creative inlay style and really make it look cool.

Peace,Rich

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