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Flatsawn Maple

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So I just read that flat sawn maple is inappropriate for neck wood.

I have 2 pieces of flat sawn maple (with the dreaded 45 degree grain) that I just recived for my bass neck blank. if I am laminating them with a 1/2" piece of walnut between


, and I plan to have 2 hot rod's and 3 carbon fiber stiffening rods ( 1 between the truss rods, and 1 on either side of the neck)


would this be enough support to not have to worry about warping?

If it's not good enough, what if I were to split each piece of maple and add an additional piece of laminate between them and flip two of the maple boards?


I read on Warmoth's website just a minute ago that they use flatsawn maple on all of their bass necks unless you pay extra for the quarter sawn.

Any help would be appreciated since I was planning on getting started on the glue up soon :oP


-Dean II

Edited by Dean Reeves
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If you have 45 degree end grain that is RIFT sawn, not flat sawn. The end grain lines of a flat sawn peice of wood would all be horizontal.

Flat sawn is fine for necks its what Fender has used for god knows how long.

To glue up two peices of rift sawn wood for a neck make it so the grain lines mirror image each other and you will be fine.

Like so... (the grain lines of the maple are in red)


3 carbon fibre rods is a bit extreme, how will you get one between the truss rod? If you glue it up properly you will only need a truss rod (for a 6 string guitar), and may be one rod either side for a bass.

Edited by Neil Beith
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my first project was a 7 string neck through 2 piece rock maple neck made of 2 opposite rift-sawn pieces with no carbon fiber reinforcement. the neck was 17 mm at the 1st and 19 mm at around the 20th fret, and it is a very stiff neck.

you should take into account the weight of 2 truss rods, 3 carbon fiber reinforcements and 6 bass tuning machines. the neck might dive like a rock if you don't plan the body ro counterweight it.

considering how stiff rock maple is, I would easily use either 1 truss rod and 2 reinforcements or 2 truss rods and one reinforcement (either hardwood lamination or carbon fiber insert).


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I wouldn't use two truss rods. You'd probably only be encouraging warping with that because it would be hard to make sure you had both truss rods at the same tension.

I vote for what you have in the first picture with 1 truss rod and 2 carbon fiber rods. As long as the grain is a mirror image it shouldn't warp.

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I would vote for the 7-piece lamination setup you drew, with the 2 truss rods and 3 carbon fiber strips.

You can NEVER be too cautious.

....I'm gonna run away before I get smacked. Don't know what's got into me today!

I'm going with Keegan. The extra 1/2" lamination should help, not to mention that when you carve the neck out, there will be less maple to worry about, right?

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Don't loose any sleep over this... :o) Maple is a very strong wood. Having at least one glue joint and opposing grain will virtually eliminate any warping that one might anticipate. Just basic woodworking skills applied... life's good. Now, you're adding at least one alternate wood to the mix. Nice! This will only help your cause. Adding the other two looks better in my opinion, and of course it would also add stability.

Any time you reduce the thickness or width of a single piece of wood then glue it back to itself turning the stress to your advantage, the end result will be a more resilient single piece.

Be careful with all the CF rods. You might negate the use of your truss rod. CF is surprisingly hard to bend!

2 truss rods or one? If your nut is at least 2" and last fret width 2-3/4" then I'd say so.


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CF bars or rods stiffen the neck not so much by their reluctance to bend, but by their reluctance to stretch when placed near the edges (cross section view) of the neck. By that reasoning, the two bars under the outside edges of the FB stiffen the neck laterally, but to support the neck from flexing in the normal direction, the third bar should be down near the bottom of the 'C'. I do this by carving a slot and covering it with a 'skunk stripe' similar to a Fender but smaller.

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I think I'll go with a 2 truss 2 CF setup with the original lamination (M-W-M). I appreciate all of your input, but as much as I would like to do the M-W-M-W-M-W-M Lam, I really don't have the tools to make it work without taking MONTHS longer on the build. As it stands I'm already going to have to find someone with a planer that can help me out pre-glue up.

I went into this thinking that I still had a 12" planer at my disposal, but "suprise!": I don't.

Anyhow, after reading many of your guys posts I re-read what I saw earlier and realized that they were talking about a One Piece neck. Rift sawn on a 1 piece is not doable (obviously) I think I should be ok.

As for the weight, I don't know what I can do to make it lighter. The carbon fiber should be lighter than Maple OR Walnut (as far as I understand) so routing wood out, and adding the CF should actually make it lighter. I want to use schaller locking mini-bass tuners (which I've read are the lightest) but as of yet I've only been able to find 2 to a side (4 piece) sets, and the idea of buying another set and having 2 extra tuners is unappealing. Not to mention that all the sites I've found that deal those tuners are on back-order.

Also, The neck is going to be pretty thin for a 6-string. I'm mapping everything out in Adobe Illustrator so I can make custom templates, and the neck should be 7/8" thick at the nut and 1 1/8" at the body. I might even make the back of the neck a bit flat to lose some more wood. Not enough to make it uncomfortable, but enough to make it weigh less.

Anyway, this is my first build, as long as it's tunable & playable I will measure it as a success. I'm aiming for perfection, but have no delusions that I will attain it :D

Thanks again for all of your responses and help!!!

-Dean II

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