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Not Your Momma's Strat......


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All my previous necks have been one piece jatoba. This combination of padouk and mahogany certainly carves faster and easier. The up side of that is obvious. The down side is one must be careful not to go too far too fast. Mistakes can happen quickly when your carve goes easier than you are used to.

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Luckily, I noted that early and was careful. So far so good.

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One thing I noticed. On the jatoba necks, when you put your ear against the headstock and thump the tenon, it is much louder than doing the same thing with this padouk/mahogany composite. The jatoba conducts the sound waves more efficiently. I'm not at all sure what that means in terms of guitar sound, but i"m pretty sure it could be worked up into some serious voodoo, if one so desired. :D

A couple of weeks ago my son worked his last day of school and climbed on a plane that same evening and came to visit me. We went to New Orleans to enjoy Cajun food, Bourbon Street revelry and music, the French Quarter archetecture and atmoshere......and beer.

At one stop, we noted Abita seaonal Strawberry Harvest and wanted to try it. Alas, they had none and claimed it was because it was seasonal. We wondered what the season might be and went on to the next choice.

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When I got back to town, Walmart had the stuff.

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Pretty damn good too. :P

SR

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So the new volute looks much better. Still huge chunk of wood on the headstock but it has a nice flow to it now. Is the headstock side concave? I can't quiet tell from the pictures. If it is not "make it so"

Nice work as always SR. Now I need to go read all the rambling that goes with the photos.

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So the new volute looks much better. Still huge chunk of wood on the headstock but it has a nice flow to it now. Is the headstock side concave? I can't quiet tell from the pictures. If it is not "make it so"

Nice work as always SR. Now I need to go read all the rambling that goes with the photos.

I've always liked the extra mass on the headstock. I'm not quite sure what you mean by headstock side.......but I think you mean the teardrop shaped area of the volute on the back of the headstock? If so, then yes it is concave, and on its way to becoming more pronouncedly so.

SR

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So the new volute looks much better. Still huge chunk of wood on the headstock but it has a nice flow to it now. Is the headstock side concave? I can't quiet tell from the pictures. If it is not "make it so"

Nice work as always SR. Now I need to go read all the rambling that goes with the photos.

I've always liked the extra mass on the headstock. I'm not quite sure what you mean by headstock side.......but I think you mean the teardrop shaped area of the volute on the back of the headstock? If so, then yes it is concave, and on its way to becoming more pronouncedly so.

SR

Yes that is what I meant. And Excellent!

Mass on the headstock is fine if the balance works for the overall guitar.

BTW Jatoba is pallet wood... better for fires than guitars! Props to you for using it and making it work so well. <_< (j/k)

How have your tools held up working on it?

Does it really have a blunting effect like all the websites say?

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So far I have not made a body so light that the extra headstock mass has created a balance issue......but I'm trying. The red F-hole project has come closest so far and its balance is very nice.

Yeah I had to sharpen my jointer blades after a couple of jatoba necks. The blanks were very rough though and needed much jointing to square up.....because they were part of the framing for shipping granite slabs from Brazil, in other words pallets. :D

I am very impressed with its strength and stiffness and the way it transmits sound. It will be interesting to see if I can detect any difference with this padouk/mahogany neck.

SR

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Yeah, the ramp up to this one is longer and smoother. I've always admired the ramp up RAD and killemall8 get on theirs. And no, using that spot for an inlay has not crossed my mind, I'm embarrassed to say. Because it is the obvious place to go with on my guitars. Doh!

I have been less than pleased with my last two attempts at inlays though, so I'm going to have to put some practice time in before another one shows up.

SR

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Time to level and dress the frets.

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I leveled the regular way......with a one inch thick piece of acrylic with 320 glued to one side and 600 to the other. What? Doesn't everybody do it that way?

I draw the same marker lines across the top of the frets and then level them off. Then I crwon them with a StewMac diamond crowning tool. Then to polish the crowns I came up with this:

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That is a ceramic triangle hone from a Lanski knife sharpening set. The V shaped groove is for fish hooks. Going through the grits using this put more pressure on the shoulders of the frets and light pressure on the top.

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Every couple of grits I'd hit the fret tops with this hard Arkansas stone. It would show me a bright line across the tops of the frets and help keep them level at a micro level.

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SR

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Time to level the gluing surface of the top.

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I don't think I've ever used a harder, denser top than this ziricote. It rings like a bell. The limba is much softer and has a much warmer tap. The neck is bright padouk surrounding warm mahogany. The pups are bright strat single coils and the bridge isolates the strings. It ought to make for an interesting combination.

This ziricote has the most unusual growth patterns and markings I have ever seen. I think one is going to have to look pretty close to tell that this is not a one piece top.

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SR

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Looks awesome Scott. All you are going to hear from this thing is that ziricote top. We are talking Hand of Doom here.

The following rant is probably not going to matter much with that thick piece of ziricote on top.

<rant id="possible voodoo">

You know that deep tenon changes the wood under your pickups and changes your tone right?

I am done with deep tenons for a while. They counter act the body wood choice.

Not saying they suck just saying to make sure you think about the deep tenon before installation.

Just wanted to make sure we are clear.

</rant>

This thing is going to be sweet!

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How does the Hand of Doom sound anyway? I was always under the impression it sounded pretty damn good, but have never actually heard it of course.

As for the voodoo......ah who knows? Deep tenons probably create their own voodoo which is surely different from short tenon set neck voodoo and bolt on voodoo, and neck through voodoo and Paulie's one piece Lotus voodoo. I make long tenons because in my mind, it is a tremendously solid, stable construction. It gives me peace of mind so to speak.

In terms of a target sound, the target is fairly general and large too. Dirty blues. There are a ton of constructions and pup combinations that have pulled that sound off successfully. And if it can sound good as blues it can sound good for most genres.....stopping short of full blown metal perhaps. Which I ain't gonna be playin' anyway.......scares my dogs.

I mostly go into a build with a combination of woods in mind and a pick up set in mind and a question: I wonder how this lot will sound when it's all put together? So far it's always sounded really good to my ears.......and I have no idea what subtle changes in sound I may have gotten with a different thickness of top or length of tenon or density of body wood. I just know that the choices I did make sounded good to me.

Something Orgmorg said when discussing his barn wood and domestic wood builds has always stuck with me. "How do they sound? They sound like guitars."

I'm glad they don't all sound exactly the same.......that would get pretty boring.

SR

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The Hand of Doom in the correct hands sounds like Volume 4 Black Sabbath. It has a deep tenon as well. But the tenon is mostly Sapele.

You can create the opening notes of Black Sabbath Black Sabbath almost exact.... it is eerie.

I have no doubt OrgMorg is dead on. It will sound like a guitar. And you are kidding yourself if think you can predict the final sound/tone of it.

I was just trying to provoke a flame war about neck joints and tone... and you ruined my fun :P

This thing is going to be great.

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I was just trying to provoke a flame war about neck joints and tone... and you ruined my fun :P

Yikes, that wasn't my intention. I love a good flame war about joints and construction, and tone woods and wood tones, pick ups and hardware, string through and bolt on bridges, and whether a butterfly farting in the rain forest will cause a tornado in Ohio......or a flood in North Carolina. I thought I may have done a few things or possilby made a comment that might provoke a debate or two.....but perhaps not.

I had totally forgotten that HoD had a long tenon.....if I ever knew in the first place. I only remembered you doing that with that pointy one.....Marilyn wasn't it? And you felt like that changed the tone of your pickups? Was the tenon long enough for the bridge to screw into it?

SR

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