Jump to content

Help Me Choose Neck Wood And Construction.

Recommended Posts

I'm already working in defining a future build, but I'm undecided about the neck.

The guitar is a LP-ish design similar to my Paula (see sig below), honduras mahogany back and a thick, carved flame maple top. It's going to be heavily chambered or even hollow.

The fingerboard will be brazilian RW, could have a flame maple binding or rosewood binding with a maple accent, depending on the neck wood. 25" scale, 22 frets, twin humbuckers. So far reasonably traditional.

Now for the neck, I could make a one piece neck out of any of the following:

Honduras mahogany

Indian rosewood

Flame maple





...or, of course, a laminated neck out of two or more of those.

I already have experience in carving the first four, the rest are new to me.

Originally it was going to be one-piece Indian RW, but now I'm more inclined to make it 3-piece: Indian RW sides and flame maple center.

But there are so many possibilities...

So tell me, what would you choose and why ??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is just my 2 cents, but I would either go with the mahogany or Indian rosewood.

Indian rosewood makes for a beautiful neck, but I don't think it'll look great with a mahogany back. Honduran mahogany is always a great bet for a neck.

If you use the IR, I would do a laminate with the mahogany. That way you'll keep some consistency. The resulting sound should be great too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say DON'T do a body of mahogany/flamed maple. Why? Because it's been done to death. Seriously - how often do you see one? You can't turn around here or in a shop without seeing ten of them.

Looking at the woods you have listed, I'd suggest a limba/korina (same thing) back with a carved clairo walnut top. Use the white limba, not the black/streaky variety. You don't want the black limba to compete with the walnut, either in color or figure. The white limba has a pretty plain grain, and is a light color. The dark figured walnut would really pop against the white limba.

Also, we know that walnut and limba are both excellent tone woods, so the guitar is likely to sound great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course, you were asking about the NECK......

So going with my body recommendations, I'd use a walnut (not clairo) neck with a rosewood fretboard. You could go maverick on us... do a walnut neck with white limba fretboard and reverse the color scheme from the body. The FB would have to be finished, but that's nothing uncommon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would definitely use a mahogany neck on any kind of chambered body to help thicken back up the tone...

And yes,I think you should stick with the body woods you chose...because those are tried and true complimentary woods on an LP...and I think if anyone can make it special enough to stand out,it would be you.your Paula is the entire reason I fell back in love with the LP itself and the reason why I am building a Limba/birdseye maple LP right now...as well as planning on a radius bubinga LP and a neck through Black LP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, thanks for playing !!

Though some of the "rules" were not that clear apparently. The body wood choices are pretty much non-negotiable. As of now the back and the top have already been cut. The purpose of the brainstorming was to put a neck on that guitar as it is.

When I mentioned the woods I had I meant that I have pieces suitable for necks, not necessarily for bodies, anyway.

Then, unless there's a compelling reason to go out and buy something else, I would also prefer to stick with the woods I have: Those listed. I've seen that build by rdiquattro and I agree that a cocobolo neck looks amazing. And those are also the kind of guitars I tend to build. But I do not have cocobolo at this time. I don't have any claro or figured walnut either. The piece I have is nice and quartered but simple looking walnut. Same thing with the padauk.

Indian rosewood makes for a beautiful neck, but I don't think it'll look great with a mahogany back.

It works quite well actually. I have a PRS with that combo and built Cassandra like that too. The neck has just some Danish oil on it, the body is lacquered.

Thank you Wes and José Luis for the kind words, I'm blushing... :D I had plans for some (semi-)hollow LP already, but Paula ended up so nice that I have to build me one like that now. It's likely to have the same color, definitely the same carve. Let's say I'll build Paula's sister.

I just noticed there's another thread on neck wood combos...

From that thread:

Best sounding neck I ever made was Mahogany outers with a maple center and a pau ferro fretboard.

What do you mean by best sounding ?? What was the rest of the guitar like ??

Since some of you say mahogany, let me play too: I have some flamed honduras that's about 20mm thick. Not good for a one-piece neck, but would make great outer pieces with a flame maple center. Maybe even add a couple of padauk accents like Rick500's neck in the mentioned thread ??

While I have some options for the fretboard, like some very stripy pauferro, plain pauferro or ebony, I'm pretty set on the idea of using brazilian RW. I bought some and I'm dying to put it to use, it looks terrific.

Thanks again and please, keep it coming !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you mean by best sounding ?? What was the rest of the guitar like ??

The tonality of the guitar was sweet...It "sings"...very thick tone with just the right amount of bite..

The guitar was a 7 string V neck through with Alder wings...but the Alder wings only made up about 30% of the entire guitar.I believe the majority of the tone came from the neck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think anytthing other than mahogany on an LP neck is asking for trouble because of balance issues...

I thought I was going to run into trouble with the IRW neck I used on the second build, being quite long and heavy. But it's not that bad after all.

I think on a LP, where it's inserted further into the body and the body itself is potentially heavier, t shouldn't be much of a problem after all.

In any case I decided to give a try to the mahogany with maple center combo, mostly for tonal balance reasons. I'll be using padauk accents lie Rick500 did. I'm preparing the laminate now.

In the end I didn't use the flamed honduras mahogany I have because the pieces would have been flat sawn. I don't know how bad this could be for a neck, so far I've always taken care that the blanks I used were as perfectly quarter sawn as possible.

I could have reversed one of the pieces, and the maple center and padauk accents are quartered, so maybe for a laminate like this is not much of an issue...

But since I had some quartered honduras mahogany too, I decided to use that instead. With all the work involved in these things I wouldn't like to run unnecessary risks...

After looking at WesV's pictures in this thread, I think my days of one-piece necks may be counted...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i still like doing one peice necks a lot!!

i am doing a one peice mac ebony tele neck at the moment - it is heavy but i dont think you generally run into balance issues on strats, tele's and LP's unless you start removing weight from the body. anyway it will be worth it as it looks and feels amazing - the sound should be interesting too

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.

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.

  • Create New...