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Hey all! Im working on my first guitar neck and have a few questions. I used the search but didnt find much about this stuff.

I have a hotrod trussrod, stewmac says to glue it in with caulking at the two doublenuts. Is this to keep the rod stationary so the adjustment forces act directly on the neckwood not just the pressure of the rods pushing up or down against the channel/fingerboard?

I read that titebond adds moisture to the wood that would bend the neck when gluing the fretboard, should I use epoxy?

Im using oak and im getting the overall shape down but there are variations in the thickness because of the grain. The grain looks like this on the back, with the headstock to the left [=]>>>>>>>. the hardness difference of the two stages of wood makes it feel lumpy or wavy and I cant seem to get it nice and smooth. Can grainfiller or bondo be used to fix this? (so far I plan on a painted neck) otherwise what would you recommend?

I know its alot but ive done the rest all by myself so far :D

Thanks, TJ

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1. caulking can be used to keep the truss rod in place, and prevent it from rattling inside the neck during play; a problem that my Carvin necks have.

2. Titebond is fine for attaching fretboards. So is epoxy.

3. spokeshave, & calipers... however I have no experience with this so I would recommend anyone else's advice.

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Im using oak and im getting the overall shape down but there are variations in the thickness because of the grain. The grain looks like this on the back, with the headstock to the left [=]>>>>>>>. the hardness difference of the two stages of wood makes it feel lumpy or wavy and I cant seem to get it nice and smooth. Can grainfiller or bondo be used to fix this? (so far I plan on a painted neck) otherwise what would you recommend?

Thanks, TJ

I wouldn't recommend filler TJ, you really should get that surface nice and flat. A nice flat block and fresh sandpaper will flatten that out. When you first put the sandpaper to the wood you can feel it really cut, and after a few strokes it will start to slide more and cut less and that's when you need to get fresh paper on there. Use up a lot of sandpaper, the end result and effort saved are worth the expense.

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I have done several oak necks. Some advices here are correct and some conclusions wrong. Oak makes excellent necks in regards of tone and structural strength and stability. So it really have its place in guitar building if you know how to use it and know what extra steps you need to take to be able to use it.

However, like Killemall says, this is how oak is! You will never be able to sand it smooth. The resistance to sanding is so great between the hard and the soft grain that a smooth curve or surface isn't going to happen. My advise is to use an as hard sanding block as possible to minimize this phenomenon. A rubber/cork block will allow the paper to really dig in at the softer parts and make your problem worse. Try to get hold of a foot length of thick plastic pluming pipe (4" diameter or similar), cut a 2" wide strip of that and you will probably have a sanding block that will work for the back of your neck (using the inside of the pipe against the neck to conform a bit to the roundnes... yeah you get it). And when you are done sanding I would recommend spaying one or a few layers of dyed sanding sealer, add bondo, grain filler or whatever you have at hand/feel comfortable with (I don't really know whats available for you were you are located...) and fill the voids. Carefully sand to a smooth surface and complete the finish on top of this surface.

Before anyone starts a flame war: Like I said, I have done several oak necks... :D

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I have used oak on a couple of my guitar builds. I bought an oak table top some time ago, 1 3/4 inches thick, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long. I only paid £3 for it.

It is actually made with oak planks 6 inches wide glued together, and the grain is nice and straight. I've used pieces of this as laminating strips in necks and bodies. I've also made fretboards out of it.

I've never built a complete neck or body out of it, although, as I have so much of it, I may build a complete oak guitar one day just to check out the weight and tone :D

It is great stuff for making sanding blocks, radius blocks, wedges, and other useful things like that :D

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Oak has a soft and a hard grain and depending on the cut will be impossible to sand flush except with a drum sander. A random prbit and a pad sander will both cut the softer darker areas faster. Also hand sanding isnt any better unless you use a long board that spans the soft grain. Scrapers are the only hand method I know of which can avoid this problem.

It may have been a cheap choice for a wood body but not really the best guitar wood. Also getting a board that was quartersawn eliminates this problem for the most part.

Find a long flat board and glue the sandpaper down like 8" long at the least. Glue it or the paper ill sink into the softer wood.

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I have done several oak necks. Some advices here are correct and some conclusions wrong. Oak makes excellent necks in regards of tone and structural strength and stability. So it really have its place in guitar building if you know how to use it and know what extra steps you need to take to be able to use it.

However, like Killemall says, this is how oak is! You will never be able to sand it smooth. The resistance to sanding is so great between the hard and the soft grain that a smooth curve or surface isn't going to happen. My advise is to use an as hard sanding block as possible to minimize this phenomenon. A rubber/cork block will allow the paper to really dig in at the softer parts and make your problem worse. Try to get hold of a foot length of thick plastic pluming pipe (4" diameter or similar), cut a 2" wide strip of that and you will probably have a sanding block that will work for the back of your neck (using the inside of the pipe against the neck to conform a bit to the roundnes... yeah you get it). And when you are done sanding I would recommend spaying one or a few layers of dyed sanding sealer, add bondo, grain filler or whatever you have at hand/feel comfortable with (I don't really know whats available for you were you are located...) and fill the voids. Carefully sand to a smooth surface and complete the finish on top of this surface.

Before anyone starts a flame war: Like I said, I have done several oak necks... :D

I thought I was the only one!! I actually stacked four pieces with opposing grain to add directional stability and it just so happened the grain went the undesirable way as i sanded in deeper. Ill get to it guys thanks for all the help!!

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