Jump to content

Grain Orientation (growth Rings) In Neck


Recommended Posts

I'm about to get started on building my first neck from scratch. I've got a nice piece of straight grained flatsawn maple that I'm planning on using. I have a question for something I've never seen mentioned in any of the guitar building books I've read, and searching on here didnt really produce anything that addressed this question, so here it goes.

Which way should the edge to edge grain from the annual rings arch when making a neck from flatsawn timber? Should the fingerboard be on the convex or concave side of the annual growth rings? or does it matter? Is there an industry standard?

I know that lumber tends to distort so that the annual growth rings attempt to straigthen, causing cupping on the convex side and bowing on the concave side. This piece of lumber I have was purchased kiln dried and has been sitting indoors for over a year, and it hasnt distorted at all from when i purchased it. So, I'm not worried about warping and distortion, at least not too much. But I am wondering if the orientation will have any stability effects on the neck, or if one orientation or the other is stronger or more durable.

Thanks for any assistance on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which way should the edge to edge grain from the annual rings arch when making a neck from flatsawn timber? Should the fingerboard be on the convex or concave side of the annual growth rings? or does it matter?

If the wood is dry enough I don't think it matters.

and if its not, you're not supposed to be using it for guitar building :D

Edited by Hector
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone had a choice they would use quarter saw wood for building. Decide if you want your neck to bow up or down then pick the rings for that direction of bow. I guess I would pick up since the frets would least likely pop out in the worst case senario. But dont quote me I would never use flat saw boards .

IF it were me I would cut the piece in half and glue the two concave surfaces together giving you a two piece quarter sawn neck that will be stable.

My 2 1/2 cents worth of advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly, there are millions upon millions of fenders out there with flatsawn maple necks, mandolins are made with flatsawn maple necks by default, so the whole 'quartersawn' thing needs to be put into perspective. Yes, quartered is more stable, but flatsawn is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

I'd glue to with the convex side of the fingerboard (ie, to the outside of the tree, if you will), since if it moves, it'll do so by putting more pressure on the edges, not less (wood cups outwards as it dries. If that makes any sense). But frankly, since we're assuming stable neck wood, and you don't want to rip and laminate, just do whatever you want, doubt it matters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm playing a bass right now, one of the first instruments I built, I'm surprised it hasn't exploded, But yeah, it was a flatsawn mahogany neck, without much heel and with a fairly high neck joint. It requires a little tweak of the rod to get things things perfectly straight as the seasons change, but the humidity changes so much here that's almost a given with any instrument. But yeah, it's held up fine for a few years now with pretty heavy strings on it at standard pitch. So I'm just saying, you could do worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if it matters at all, you should always glue on the "outside". if you cut a slice of a burl, you will see that it cracks in time.

That is because of "wood-loss" (that's the danish word for it, don't know the exact english term)

imagine a whole burl split down to quarters down the middle, squared off and glued together. looking at the end, you should see a concave diamond-shape in the rings leaving the center of the original burl at the corners. that should prevent the damn thing from cracking. so if you ask me you should place the "inner side" outwards/upwards that will also prevent the grain forming "mirrors" (another danish term) ((pardon my french heh hehhhhh))

the vikings split their wood in two made two blanks and nailed them to each side of the ship, inside out. that made the ships hull flexible and gave equal tension on both sides of the ship. Don't know if your guitar may face rough wether-conditions in the north sea, but if you can draw a parrallell between equal tension on a vikingship and on a guitar, you might understand what i'm talking about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...