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Bloodwood For A Neck?


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I'm building a 34" scale length ,6 string bass. I'm going to go neck-through and was going to use a solid bloodwood neck blank.

Any reasons to not to??

Should I lam up a purpleheart and bloodwood neck instead?

also for the FB - Purpleheart or rosewood ?

Please state your reasons for your opinions if you post ! Thanks....

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I'm building a 34" scale length ,6 string bass. I'm going to go neck-through and was going to use a solid bloodwood neck blank.

Any reasons to not to??

Should I lam up a purpleheart and bloodwood neck instead?

also for the FB - Purpleheart or rosewood ?

Please state your reasons for your opinions if you post ! Thanks....

That will be one heavy neck. Purpleheart will not help with the weight nor does Bloodwood need anything to make it stiffer. Bloodwood and Purpleheart are very close in density and weight.

Bloodwood and Purpleheart are very strong so the neck would be solid like an ebony neck only more stable.

I personally love bloodwood but its weight causes me to use it creatively.

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not really any issues doing it - i tend to prefer laminated necks, but if i had a peice of bloodwood that size with suitable grain i would certainly be tempted.

but you will have to consider the practicalities concerning weight and tone. Is it going to end up too heavy or too bright? would the wood be better used for set/bolt on necks where this would be less of an issue?

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HE11 YES!!!!! Bloodwood feels & looks fantastic once it's polished up and oiled/finished.

Honestly, I don't think it'd be worse than maple for brightness. We all know maple is about as bright as it gets, and nobody would bat an eye (tonally) were you to want to use it. Just make sure the wings are a really warm wood. White limba would be a great match, both tonally and visually. GREAT contrast in color.

As for the weight & balance, I suppose it would be offset a but by being a neck-through. That'd be a heavy core to help counterbalance the neck. I suppose the most important design factor would be making sure the bass horn is far enough forward so that the balance point is really out there.

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Awesome. Thanks for the replies thus far !

I'm liking the thought of a bloodwood neck..... It's getting a Sapele back,but the top is PH w/ BW neck-thru. I'm going to chamber it a bit for weight reduction and give it a good long upper horn to help balance it.

I've actually been given the honor of joining "the Octomen" as their Bassist for a spell, so I'm making one to play shows with. I have a P-bass for now, and its good enough, but I want to try and build another bass anyway. I've only done one and a half........ the half...... My brother still hasn't ponied up any dough for his bass so it sits on the shelf until he springs some $$ or I just feel that generous. :D

I scored a 6 string bass bridge on th' bay, just need pups and my 2 truss rods..........

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my experiences of sapelle are quite the opposite of super dark, some has been shockingly bright with absolutely none of the mahogany warmth - so judge the peices you have rather than rely on internet talk

been meaning to make a bloodwood neck for a while - but it looks like my next exotic neck will be bocote with yellowheart board - for a blue ibanez so it will probably get blue dots too

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The only thing I don't like about bloodwood is working with it. Maybe its how I sharpen my handplanes, but bloodwood always seems to want to tear, chip and catch, no matter which direction I go in. And if i find a good direction, it changes 1/4 the way down the length of the blank. Doesn't happen to me with most other woods (maple, birch, mahogany, bubinga, purple heart, etc.)

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sorry guys, you are going to hate me... :D

but...............

my experiences of sapelle are quite the opposite of super dark, some has been shockingly bright with absolutely none of the mahogany warmth - so judge the peices you have rather than rely on internet talk

Exactly, most varieties of mahogany actually tap tone bright because of their higher stiffeness to weight ratio.

This romantic myth / poetry / legend that the blind mass thinks about when talking about tonewood on electric guitars is sometimes absurd because they always refer to generic terms which dont mean anything.

Also considering that inside the same blank you can have various densities and stiffeness to weight ratio...

Like you pointed out, he must judge the board his got and not make up an opinion on what he reads in forums because quite frankly it's not even a guide...

Also ''mahogany'' does not mean anything already, its a generic term....

However sapeli is a varietie of the ''mahogany'' specie, I wrote this article a couple weeks ago after having enough cup of teas receiving mails from people asking me what sound produces ''mahogany'' and ''walnut'', now I just link them up :D

Sound and Species

Sapele is SUPER dark - darker than mahogany.

You are comparing a variete of a specie, in this case mahogany (sapele) and a generic term (mahogany) which does not mean anything..........

"Mahogany" may refer to the largest group of all Meliaceae, the fifteen related species of Swietenia, Khaya and Entandrophragma.

I'm building a 34" scale length ,6 string bass. I'm going to go neck-through and was going to use a solid bloodwood neck blank.

Any reasons to not to??

Should I lam up a purpleheart and bloodwood neck instead?

also for the FB - Purpleheart or rosewood ?

Please state your reasons for your opinions if you post ! Thanks....

I have been using bloodwood extensively,

For a neck it could work great, however be carefull its very dens and heavy.... (about as dense as the harder rosewoods such as Honduran and Brazilian)

The advantage of bloodwood when compared physically to purplheart is that it has the advantage of not oxidizing to a warmer color over time.

Purplheart on the other side will change to a darker colour over time because it will oxidize unless you use lacquer and not an oil finish to protect your instrument.

Also bloodwood is extremely stable, good choice if you want to use it for laminates for exemple...

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Well , I don't hate you. :D

I know for a fact that wood varies in tone from piece to piece . I'm not shooting for a 'specific' tone with the bloodwood. With some good pups and electronics, coupled with a good bass amp... that will give me a good tone even if I build it out of plywood. I was just asking about bloodwood because I've never used it. I was more interested in its stiffness quality , and was just as happy to use purpleheart. I think the BW will look sweet tho.

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... and here we are. The neck-thru blank was pretty hefty. Still uncarved it had a nice ring to it and nice straight grain. it was just heavy. so, I thought out a solution and cut it short enough to do a bolt-on version instead. With that completed I now needed a new construction method for the body , which caused me to evaluate what wood I have ready and go from there.

So - my current thoughts are :

Neck - BW

Body - Padouk wings surrounding a laminate strip of purple heart / BW / Sapele / BW / purpleheart

The body will be chambered heavily , which will be fun since it aint gettin a top. :D

Should weigh a lot less now than it was going to , but we'll see I guess.......

for fretboard wood I have Ebony ( coffee-bean colored stuff ) Rosewood ( orange-ish ? ) and purple heart.

Any favorites out of those?

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I thoroughly and wholeheartedly advise AGAINST using a darker-colored wood for the body unless the plan is to paint it. If you DO choose to use a darker hue, don't use purpleheart anywhere. It will compete visually with the bloodwood too much.

Darker hues will blend in too much with the bloodwood. There won't be enough contrast for it to be visually interesting. To balance tonally with the BW, I'd suggest white limba.

The purpleheart is an eye-grabber, so the attention is drawn to it. Visually, purple and red don't compliment each other very well, so it's not a good match there either.

For the fretboard, ebony is always a great choice. An orange-ish rosewood would probably darken over time, and a rosewood fretboard is almost a visual neutral when viewed on a guitar, so that would be fine too.

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The PH is just going to be two accent stripes in the body to seperate the BW stripes and the padouk.

I'm doind a side-rout chamber-job... attempting to chamber the body without putting on a top. Right now I have two wings, and a center section made of 5 strips laminated. I'll leave the bridge area untouched, but want to hollow out the body to take some weight off.......

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  • 4 weeks later...

and take some weight off i did !

I ended up with 1.8 POUNDS ( about 816 grams ) of sawdust in a bag and I'm sure I left the other .2 lbs on the floor - I didn't chase every crumb, just swept up the big stuff. That was just from the chambering of the body.

As for the neck, I did a double truss rod rout which lightened it up a tad, until I installed two rods and the fretboard. :D I'm going to radius the board today and shape the back once I fret it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Started trying - trying - to carve the back of the neck.

Somebody could've told me this stuff is hard as diamonds. :D

My rasp was laughed at. My saws hate me. The neck is turning out great, but WHEW!!! this stuff doesn't shape too easily !

For a neck it could work great, however be carefull its very dens and heavy.... (about as dense as the harder rosewoods such as Honduran and Brazilian)

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Started trying - trying - to carve the back of the neck.

Somebody could've told me this stuff is hard as diamonds. :D

My rasp was laughed at. My saws hate me. The neck is turning out great, but WHEW!!! this stuff doesn't shape too easily !

For a neck it could work great, however be carefull its very dens and heavy.... (about as dense as the harder rosewoods such as Honduran and Brazilian)

:DB)B)

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