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Flame/curly Maple Suited For Necks?


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How suited is flame/curly maple for necks? Some years ago I built a neck out of a nice quatersawn curly maple piece laminated with two 10mm stripes of Bubinga. To this day it is not really a stable neck. If the weather/humidty changes I have to readjust the bow of the neck alot....especially between winter/summer.

I never found out if the curly piece was bigleaf or rock maple(the seller didn't know), so it could very well be soft maple.

I am thinking about building another neck out of curly maple and bubinga stripes.

My question: Is curly ROCK maple suited for building necks? Or do I have to expect the same problems again? And how can I determine if a certain piece is bigleaf or rock maple myself without having to trust the seller's claims....

P.s.: I guess there is a reason that most guitar companies only offer birdseye or plain maple necks? I never saw a really curly/flamed maple neck on a production guitar.

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Go look at this recent topic, it basically relates to the same subject-link

There is a huge difference between sugar maple and bigleaf. Weight and hardness are unmistakable in sugar maple. I suppose the next closest maple would be red maple, but I don't find it hard to tell the difference. Silver is sometimes confused for bigleaf, but they are both significantly different than sugar maple(texture, weight, hardness). Another thing that can make it trick to tell is if the softer variety is not as dry as the sugar maple. If you are unsure what sugar maple should feel like and weigh, grab a piece of Birdsey(that will be sugar maple). Then compair its feel to the maples you are trying to confirm are hard/rock/sugar maple. Sugar maple is significantly stiffer than bigleaf or silver(red can be a closer match, but us still generally not as stiff). Hope that helps.

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Yes it will - but you need to be able to tell the difference between a peice of maple that is suitable for a neck and one that isnt, it all comes down to looking at the grain and being able to read the characteristics of that peice of wood - or buying it from someone you really trust.

Laminating with other woods and cf reinforcement always helps if in doubt

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i built the neck on my les paul out of soft curly maple. no problems whatsoever. after the frets were leveled, i diddnt even have to adjust the truss rod after it was strung up. dead straight. but i live in new mexico, which is like arizona. not much humidity to change the wood. but it rained a ton yesterday and left it on a table on the porch, and it diddnt change a bit.

curly maple neck:

finallyfinishedlespaulguitar008.jpg

http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb262/k...ulguitar007.jpg

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Thanks for your answers. What I get from your answers: It seems you have to be trained as a luthier or at least have more expirience than what I have from building a couple of guitars a year to correctly "read the wood".

I'll try to get a sugar maple blank from a seller that I can trust and compare it to a piece of birdseye to make sure it is what I bought.

If I build the neck out of curly sugar maple, laminated with bubinga stripes I guess most pieces will be suiltable. If not what do I have to look for?

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if you are laminating it with bubinga then you have a lot more leeway with the maple and you could use bits considered unsuitable on there own.

there is no reason a newb to guitar building could not use figured woods for there neck - but it does help if you read up on wood selection criteria a bit first

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Thanks for your answers. What I get from your answers: It seems you have to be trained as a luthier or at least have more expirience than what I have from building a couple of guitars a year to correctly "read the wood".

I'll try to get a sugar maple blank from a seller that I can trust and compare it to a piece of birdseye to make sure it is what I bought.

If I build the neck out of curly sugar maple, laminated with bubinga stripes I guess most pieces will be suiltable. If not what do I have to look for?

Sugar Maple is going to generally be much stronger than it need to be for a guitar. Like I mentioned with the figured Bubinga in the other topic, figure(or the loss of strength due to the runnout that gives the wood that look) is not likely to be enough loss to make the wood too weak to use as a neck wood(there is a good chance it will still be even stronger than other clear woods that are used for necks). You should still evaluate any piece of wood you use for a neck.

Both of the woods you are talking about using are extreamly strong generally. So I doubt you will have anything to worry about. If you can get good clean vertical grain Curly(has the best look also) and nice straight grain bubinga. You should do great.

The absolute best thing you can do with any wood you want to use for a neck is let it set for a good long time to be sure it is fully stable and dry. I have bought a lot of wood that I have had on my shelves for years. Many people think it is hording, but I now have enough very well seasoned wood to fill my needs without taking a chance on it not being ready to work.

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