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Neck Blank Handleing For The Novice

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Hello all,

I ordered my parts and they will be here this weekend. I am going to wait to order my neck blank and fret board for the very end because I am very scared of one thing......warping! I have two options:

(note; I do not own a planer or jointer and I live in Southwest Louisiana)

1. I can order the neck blank already planed to thickness and jointed on one side. When it (and the fretboard) gets here at roughly the same time I can start the woodworking and make the neck to the point where I can get it shaped, frets in, and sealer on it to minimize it turing into a question mark on me. Again this is Louisiana and it is about 85-100% humid all the time. My shop is my garage so no humidity control. This blank is dry but will come from up north so it will probably start sucking water the second I unwrap it.

2. I can order the blank rough sawn and let it equilize with my shop/area. Wait for about a week, contact a cabinet maker and get him to plane\joint it to my specs. Order the fretboard and then get to making a neck.

Which one do you all recomend?.....or do you have any other suggestions? I want to be safe because this is my first one and do not want to break my confidence with a warped neck to start with. I do not want to deal with warped wood right out the gate with not having tools to do so. By the way the blank is quater sawn plane maple.

I have this planned down to the number of steps I am going to take for everything but am scared to start because of this one issue!

Any advice is wanted!


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The best situation for you would be to buy the wood from a local dealer(wood that has stabalized to your normal seasonal humidity). Keep this in mind... Even if you seal the wood it will eventually pull enough moisture in to stabalize (no finish stops the process, just slows it). Buy well quartersawn/ straight grained wood and the danger of warp/cup/twist is going to be very slight. Do not rush to use the wood when you recieve it. Seal the end grain and allow it time to aclimate(be sure to allow even air flow to all sides(blocking air flow to one side will create an uneven acceptance of moisture). If the wood comes from up north/east or west coast it is probably going to be closer to 8-10% and will want to get closer to 12% in your area(thats not too bad). If you recieve it from dryer parts of the country it would be closer to 6%(that would be more drastic). It is always going to be best to buy wood in the ruff, season and age it, then machine it when you are ready. Maybe picking up a few nice pieces from your local wood dealers, and setting it in your shop to age for your next project would make this easier in the future.


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