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Not A Knot!


dpm99
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Well, today I did the final shaping of my neck only to reveal a knot just right around the seventh fret. Grr! Here's a picture:

noname.jpg

So what can I do? How big a problem is it? The neck has two 0.25 X 0.25 carbon fiber rods, and a dual-action truss rod from StewMac. I didn't see the knot in the truss rod slot, so it apparently doesn't go all the way through. The following ideas have occurred to me so far:

1. Dowse it with epoxy to fill the hole in the middle of the knot and sand back the excess.

2. Do the same thing with Titebond and sawdust.

3. Do the same thing with Titebond and no sawdust.

4. Fill it with wood putty (which is pretty much glue and sawdust anyway from what I understand, so I suppose that idea is redundant).

5. Cut out the knot entirely, glue in another piece of wood, and sand flush.

6. Throw the neck in the fireplace and head to the lumber store.

7. Cry.

8. Sell the neck on Ebay with a "grain feature." (Ok, kidding on that one.)

HELP!!!

Oh, and thanks.

-Dave

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I would scrap it. I don't like flaws in neck wood, even wacky grain much less a pitch pocket or knot. I would cut those carbon fiber rods back out of the wood and re-use them(HUGE CF rods you have there, 1/4" x 1/4"-Beefy and spendy). Wood is dirt cheap, and not worth risking neck issues. If you really are in love with that neck wood, you could cut in a back strip or split the neck and laminate a center strip(both of which are more time consuming than just making a fresh neck).

Just my 2 cents

Rich

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Thanks for your reply, Rich. What would you think about cutting out the knot and putting in a contrasting piece of wood, sort of like this:

MaybeFix.jpg

I could do it with matching wood too I guess. I'd wonder about expansion, and maybe it's just a bad idea anyway. I'd hate to scrap the first neck I ever made, and a month's worth of work. But I trust your advice.

Edited by dpm99
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Maybe I'm grasping at straws here, but as I look at that first pic, it looks pretty horrendous. As I kept taking away wood, it got better. Here it is after (almost) final shaping.

BetterPic.jpg

Honest opinion?

Edited by dpm99
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well, its not the prettiest thing ive ever seen, but you made it out to be much worse in the first photo!

i honestly think that a little filler and some sanding could take care of your worries, but i wouldnt be able to promise anything stability wise, if possible i like no imperfections in my neck wood,

just my thoughts

Kenny

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Is this a guitar neck or bass? I would fill it with epoxy and sand it back and use it. Heck it has plenty of reinforcement with the carbon fibre rods so I dont think strength would be an issue.

It's for an electric guitar. 25.5 scale, bolt on.

Yeah Kenny, with that first pic I was really trying to capture the horror of it. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do at this point. I'm leaning away from the epoxy idea at this point. I could probably run a stripe down the back of the neck and be ok. I'm also trying to think of some way to turn that obstacle into a really neat feature, but that idea hasn't hit me yet. Also, Rich is a really smart guy when it comes to wood, and as emotionally attached as I am to this neck (being the first one I've ever made), I'm sure I could build a second one much more quickly than the first. What a shame that it came out right at the end! It would be finished otherwise.

I probably should have identified a tell-tale sign of that knot from the first anyway. Beginner's mistake.

Edited by dpm99
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I can't see the pics I'm afraid, but I had this exact same problem. Got the neck to a nice shape with only finishing touches to go, went to shape the headstock and found a very dodgy bit of wood hiding in there. Tried to cut it out but just found more :D

Ended up burnig it a couple of months ago when I ran out of wood for the fire. Zebrano smells nice when it's burnt :D

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I think doing another one is the best choice, however out of interest , experience etc you could:

What type of heastock is it? Straight like a fender or angled like a Gibson.

If it is straight you could plane the whole neck down until the fault dissapears,

glue on a contrasting piece of wood, shape and profile.

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Scrap it is.

Thanks guys. I would have never been able to make that call on my own. Hopefully I'll be able to pop off the fretboard without too much trouble, and the second one ought to be much quicker than the first, especially now that I've learned how to use a spokeshave.

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Removing a fingerboard is not hard... use warm water and a knife and take your time. It'll pop off. Save the truss rod, CF, etc. Save the fingerboard if you can and sand off the glue.

After you build a few necks, it's not a big deal to scrap one.

You shall learn, grasshopper. :D Don't worry, your second neck will be a lot better than your first and you'll be glad you replaced it.

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I mentioned to Dave he might wanna skip the water in this neck because he used epoxy for the fingerboard attachment. If anything I guess acetone might help out, but I think I'd prefer just heat. I've removed a couple small things glued with epoxy just using my trusty heat gun and something thin like starting with a razor blade. Wez, have you had any problems burning the fretboard wood with the iron. I think the his fretboard is already pretty much at it final shape, any heavy burns might be a problem. The clamping it flat is a great idea I can imagine they want to go curly cue on ya after removal. J

Edited by jmrentis
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Thin the back of the neck, it is probably around 5/8" thick at the thickest section just take it down a bit more. When you apply heat from behind you can soften the glue holding the fretboard without having to drive up the heat in the fretboard. It should be pretty easy.

I think you will find your going to solve this faster than you think starting fresh, and in the end you are going to feel much better knowing the neck does not have that flaw. :D

Rich

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Thanks again everyone. I'll use Rich's method to remove the fretboard and post progress in my build thread when it's done.

To bring a hopeful note to this thread, I picked up a great piece of wood for the replacement neck. You'll see in the bottom picture that there's sawdust all over my front seat. I couldn't wait to find out how close to quartersawn the wood was, so I stopped at Home Depot and sanded it before going to band practice. Looks like I did pretty good. I was very careful this time to pick one without knots, wormholes, or pitch pockets, but I guess I won't know for sure until I cut into it.

I'm sure jaws will drop at this, but I actually picked up this piece of 4/4 Granadillo (36" long) for $11.85. (Yes, that's USD!) Did I do good?

Neck3WoodPictures.jpg

Edited by dpm99
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Thanks again everyone. I'll use Rich's method to remove the fretboard and post progress in my build thread when it's done.

To bring a hopeful note to this thread, I picked up a great piece of wood for the replacement neck. You'll see in the bottom picture that there's sawdust all over my front seat. I couldn't wait to find out how close to quartersawn the wood was, so I stopped at Home Depot and sanded it before going to band practice. Looks like I did pretty good. I was very careful this time to pick one without knots, wormholes, or pitch pockets, but I guess I won't know for sure until I cut into it.

I'm sure jaws will drop at this, but I actually picked up this piece of 4/4 Granadillo (36" long) for $11.85. (Yes, that's USD!) Did I do good?

%7Boption%7Dhttp://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e30/iamdavidmorris/Neck3WoodPictures.jpg[/img

Grandillo ought to make for a nice stiff neck(makes a nice durable fretboard too). I have never really carved that type of wood. Keep us posted on how you like its workability. The price sounds about right for 1 bd. ft.(you did good :D ). You really did good selecting a nice cut of wood for your neck, that is what it is all about clear, straight grain, orientation you prefer(quarter or flat). Good wood is all in the selection.

Rich

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Why can't you do a skunk stripe down the entire length with, as previously suggested, a contrasting piece? Would you be able to cut out the bad grain then without weakening the neck? If not; I agree: scrap it or cut a couple of narrow strips from it for future use and save the carbon fiber.

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Why can't you do a skunk stripe down the entire length with, as previously suggested, a contrasting piece? Would you be able to cut out the bad grain then without weakening the neck? If not; I agree: scrap it or cut a couple of narrow strips from it for future use and save the carbon fiber.

Because I'm close enough to the truss rod that it would be problematic.

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