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What to do about a neck twist


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Building my 5th or 6th guitar, and I have the truss slot cut on my neck ready to glue on the fret board. I happened to put the neck board down on my tablesaw and noticed that there is a twist. One corner of the wood is lifted by about 1/4"-3/8".

I don't have a very good planer, so should I:

A. Ignore the twist. It's small enough that it won't matter.

B. Try to twist it straight (I clamped it to the flat table overnight while I think about options).

C. Plane it straight with my router sled setup. Not sure how accurate this will be.

D. Trash it, cut my losses, and get a straight piece of wood.

FYI, it's a bolt on neck so I could recover later, but I don't want to invest time fretting and shaping the neck if it's going to be worthless. Thanks in advance for the advice.

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The question is whether it is done twisting. I'd plane or sand it flat and set it aside to see if moves some more. Clamping it flat won't fix it permanently. Without some mechanical force holding it straight it will twist again at some point. The fretboard will provide some influence depending on where the twist is. Your safest best bet is to get another straight piece of wood for this one and use that one for your next build if it doesn't move any more after you've flattened out.

SR

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That's exactly it. A piece of wood that has twisted after being rough more than likely still has unfavourable internal tensions, they might well be in equilibrium right now but once you start removing more wood for neck shaping, you can't tell how these balanced tensions will continue to play out.

If it were a blank or rough lumber, you could feasibly rip it for laminates and see how they move. Resquare them, reglue with some additional laminates and you're more likely to end up with a usable piece. In all honesty, twisting is a warning sign that you should consider as being a potential write-off. It could easily cause you to make an unserviceable neck which has chewed up a bunch of time and money you can't recover. Best make that call sooner rather than later.

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