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Ash As A Neck Wood?


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Out of curiousity, has anyone ever heard of, or used Ash as a neck wood?

All my research has shown that it's more for bodies.

Reason I ask is that I have a chunk of Ash and Mahogany and I'm tossing around the idea of what to use for which.

Thanks all!

how about using the ash for the body and the mahogany for the neck? lol :D

btw, I've never seen anyone use ash as a neck wood.

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as i think its a baaad idea;

Furlanetto and spicer from fbass told me quartersawn northern ash is perfectly fine for necks;

i dont recall if they got into any specific instrument or lengths; but this was a point they made that really bugged me for a long time;

i just think its grain is too inconsistant with reaqlly deep pores; but padauk pores are really wide too;

so i dont know what to beleive ; but....... i wouldnt do it!

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It's a good question. I've got a good bit of white ash lying around that i'm going to use for furniture, and some guitar building. The stuff is pretty hard and seems like it would work out well, but I've heard (not sure of it) that it is flexible and might bow quite a bit under string tension. It does absorb shock pretty well, hence it's use in baseball bats, but I'm not sure if that necessarily translates into it being flexible. Another concern with it is that it has a pretty coarse texture, so it's probably not too easy to carve into the curve of a neck, and it would need to be grainfilled for a smooth finish.

Right now, I've got enough hard maple for my neck building purposes, but might try ash down the road. If I do, I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Wife's Rickenbacker bass seems to have an ash neck (through body). I assume it's the heavy ash, not the swamp stuff. Quite different. Maybe they should have completely different names, because we are all too dumb for two different things having the same name.

speak for yourself; hard N.ash is like 3 times the weight of swamp; if you cant tell the difference between 2 boards of ash.... theyre prolly the same type!

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Photo1006.jpg

Here my Ash neck on the Strat I made. It was two pieces laminated along its length, if you look closely you can see the change in grain where they are joined, I have had no problems with it at all

The piece in the middle has a nice tight grain to it so I thought it would be stronger and more stable that the other Piece, which has more of an open wider looking grain which looks nice when profiled.

On my next project I have laminated a piece of Ash and Mahogany together which I think will look good when profiled. This neck is also laminated horizontally

Edited by jaycee
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Wife's Rickenbacker bass seems to have an ash neck (through body). I assume it's the heavy ash, not the swamp stuff. Quite different. Maybe they should have completely different names, because we are all too dumb for two different things having the same name.

Ricks are maple, not ash.

An ash neck should be fine. MTD (Tobias) makes a bass with an ash neck.

Swamp ash can be any spices of ash, but it's graded by weight. "Real" swap ash was submerged under water. For a neck I'd use hard ash.

Do yourself a favor and laminate some carbon/graphite in the neck. We make necks from stuff like poplar and limba, and they work fine. You really don't need a hard wood for a neck, but you want the neck to be rigid.

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Out of curiousity, has anyone ever heard of, or used Ash as a neck wood?

All my research has shown that it's more for bodies.

Reason I ask is that I have a chunk of Ash and Mahogany and I'm tossing around the idea of what to use for which.

Thanks all!

My advise is to use a wood that you choose to use, don't use a wood just because. Go to your local wood dealer. You can pick up a piece of hard maple or cherry, Walnut, Sapele for $10 or less, Mahogany(Genuine), Limba, Padauk, Bubinga for maybe $15 or less. Birdsey, Curly Hard Maple,Pau Ferro, Cocobolo, EIR all can be had in the $30 or less range. Neck wood is cheap in comparison to most every other aspect of a build. Choose the wood you WANT to use.

If Ash is your first choice, use it.

Peace,Rich

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Out of curiousity, has anyone ever heard of, or used Ash as a neck wood?

All my research has shown that it's more for bodies.

Reason I ask is that I have a chunk of Ash and Mahogany and I'm tossing around the idea of what to use for which.

Thanks all!

My advise is to use a wood that you choose to use, don't use a wood just because. Go to your local wood dealer. You can pick up a piece of hard maple or cherry, Walnut, Sapele for $10 or less, Mahogany(Genuine), Limba, Padauk, Bubinga for maybe $15 or less. Birdsey, Curly Hard Maple,Pau Ferro, Cocobolo, EIR all can be had in the $30 or less range. Neck wood is cheap in comparison to most every other aspect of a build. Choose the wood you WANT to use.

If Ash is your first choice, use it.

Peace,Rich

i completely agree with that. ive nearly finished a bass (its being played, but i will finish the sanding, level the frets and put the neck pup in +additional wiring, then oil it). the bass is a neckthrough with a one piece neck design (has the truss rod put in from behind, using the neck woods for a fretboard). the body is a new guinea rosewood (cheap wood, but some local acoustic builders have been using it for necks with great results). i also used the ng rosewood for the outside laminates on the neck. i used a 24mm piece of zebrano for the centre of the neck with 10mm pieces of wenge either side of that. even though they were expensive woods, the build was cheaper than all the rest, but because the neck woods are so central to the design it looks great (their on the front and back). granted this design displays the neck woods more thank most, but it shows that the neck woods are cheap compared to the body. besides, the neck wood gives more of the tone to the instrument than the body.

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i visited a NZ luthier a few years ago, and he had one of the sexiest neck thru jazz basses ive ever seen. It was FLAMED maple. and oh so nice. and the neck was also flamed maple. It was the heaviest bass ive ever played, but it had a really nice tone to it. his name was peter steven. check him out. im not sure of the url... peace

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