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so laminated necks and veneer... would you...


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use tulipwood in a neck lam?  I know folks freq use black dyed veneer as accent on lam necks but everywhere I find it it seems to be tulipwood or poplar and while we are probably only talking about 1/42" of that type of wood... it would be the thing holding on to the wood on either side of it so... kind of gives me pause. 

so my q: if you do lam necks... what would you use for a nice black accent line?

sources for dyed veneer specificaly for lam necks?

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Just exactly which of the about twenty "tulipwoods" you're talking about?

As the Wiki article says about the species you most likely mean, " The wood is very light, around 490 kg per cubic meter,[1] but very strong and is used in many applications, including furniture, joinery and moldings. It can also be stained very easily "

Assuming veneers that thin are lathed rather than sawn makes any wood species have some structural weakness due to the "unrolling" of the procedure. However, knowing how strong modern glues are and supposing that the thin veneer will more or less be saturated with the glue any wood likely will become the strongest part of a neck.

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thanks for the reply biz.  I had considered glue saturation too and I def think you are on to something there... yet in a little research on this and other forums (see above thread) I'm finding some less and positive remarks.  (not the part about fibre, but later the part about using any store bought veneer in a neck.  Ideally I'd really like to use wood that matches the quality of wood of the rest of the neck but for black - problematic ie spensive.

So... this leads me to my next guess... what if you take some raw wood veneer - say ash, that has grain direction right... and you dye it black.  i'm assuming being so thin the black would be soaked completely thru the wood... and it thus would retain the black after cutting?

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The issue of dying veneers by yourself has been addressed by Ben Crowe at Crimson Guitars. In his studies it appeared that you can't get the veneer thoroughly soaked without a bath inside a vacuum chamber. Not worth the effort.

In the build videos he's been using coloured veneers quite a lot and since we're talking about a Master Luthier those builds are pretty expensive so the quality can't be compromised. For what I've learned (I had a spy inside for quite a while) they get some of their wood from Madinter in Spain who sell 0.6 mm sycamore veneer in various colours. I recall Ben mentioning some other vendor as well as pondering about whether the veneers he used were sycamore or some other pale wood.

I've used 0.55 mm natural birch without any issues and so have several others in the class.

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Some more food for thought: If the double sticking combination of masking tape and super glue is strong enough for routers, planer thicknessers and other power tools despite being so easy to deattach, shouldn't a piece of veneer soaked in solid drying wood glue be much stronger? Masking tape can be ripped by bare hands any direction, 0.5 mm veneer splits easily only length wise. Sanwiched between thicker blanks most anything will add to stability more than the strength of the veneer. Even a piece of cloth soaked in glue would do that, just think about fiberglass!

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17 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

Some more food for thought: If the double sticking combination of masking tape and super glue is strong enough for routers, planer thicknessers and other power tools despite being so easy to deattach, shouldn't a piece of veneer soaked in solid drying wood glue be much stronger? Masking tape can be ripped by bare hands any direction, 0.5 mm veneer splits easily only length wise. Sanwiched between thicker blanks most anything will add to stability more than the strength of the veneer. Even a piece of cloth soaked in glue would do that, just think about fiberglass!

good to know afa dying.  I was aware that most are pressure dyed... but thought perhaps it might work ok given the thin nature of veneer.

welp... to be sure I have no doubts that it isn't going to blow up in your hands... but more concerns that it would be less strong/rigid/stable as a result of adding something that is purely cosmetic.  Not losing sleep over the idea... but just want to make an informed choice. 

I see that woodtoworks and b and b rare woods have dyed tulipwood/poplar... and I spose I could use that... and I'm sure it would be fine... but then perhaps I should spring the $45 to get a couple strips of actual ebony.

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40 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

dyed tulipwood/poplar... and I spose I could use that... and I'm sure it would be fine... but then perhaps I should spring the $45 to get a couple strips of actual ebony.

As I said, the sandwich construction is significantly stronger than the sum of the blanks and veneers used. A two part neck is more stabile than a single blank because there's opposite tensions. Adding a single 0.5 mm veneer of any type also adds two extra layers of glue which is harder than wood. More brittle but stiffer. If you're worried about disintegration, just think about how wood splits: You can bend and crack to the thinnest direction of it, both length and width wise, both prevented by the thicker parts of the sandwich. No wood will split into bookmatched halves just by pulling apart! You'd need a blade of sorts for that, be it a knife, a chisel or a saw. Another example: Take a plastic coated playing card, glue handles on both sides. There's no way you could separate the plastic from the paper/cardboard just by pulling, you'd have to twist it the best you can and still struggle. And any veneer is stronger than paper or cardboard which actually are just thin veneers of fibreboard.

Oh, and I lied about splitting wood into halves along the length! My uncle taught me how to split a burned match: Burn the match up to the very end by grabbing the burned end and letting the other end burn as well. Lick your palms wet and place the match on one, then press the other against it. The match now burned into coal will disintegrate into two equal looking stripes on your palms!

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I posted this on instagram a couple of days ago. I laminated 3 flamed maple offcuts with bog oak veneer for accent strips. It's black naturally so no dye needed. I don't know what sourcing it on your side of the pond will be like, but it was pretty cheap for me to get off ebay, something like £20 for a long sheet. I've also used it between the top and body on the Billy Bongo bass.
 

 

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41 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

As I said, the sandwich construction is significantly stronger than the sum of the blanks and veneers used. A two part neck is more stabile than a single blank because there's opposite tensions. Adding a single 0.5 mm veneer of any type also adds two extra layers of glue which is harder than wood. More brittle but stiffer. If you're worried about disintegration, just think about how wood splits: You can bend and crack to the thinnest direction of it, both length and width wise, both prevented by the thicker parts of the sandwich. No wood will split into bookmatched halves just by pulling apart! You'd need a blade of sorts for that, be it a knife, a chisel or a saw. Another example: Take a plastic coated playing card, glue handles on both sides. There's no way you could separate the plastic from the paper/cardboard just by pulling, you'd have to twist it the best you can and still struggle. And any veneer is stronger than paper or cardboard which actually are just thin veneers of fibreboard.

Oh, and I lied about splitting wood into halves along the length! My uncle taught me how to split a burned match: Burn the match up to the very end by grabbing the burned end and letting the other end burn as well. Lick your palms wet and place the match on one, then press the other against it. The match now burned into coal will disintegrate into two equal looking stripes on your palms!

right I'm aware of that... but I would wonder why not just use bulsa wood then?  you did say "any type" hehe.  I admit I'm getting hung up on a detail that probably isn't going to amount to a big dif.  sounds like tulip and/or poplar are fine.

you have a very strange uncle to have figured that out!  lol

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17 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

you have a very strange uncle to have figured that out!

Had. WW2 snipers wounded twice rarely live past 90... That trick must've been some trench warfare pastime activities, or even a kids' joke from the time when allowing matches to underaged people was still legal!

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49 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

Had. WW2 snipers wounded twice rarely live past 90... That trick must've been some trench warfare pastime activities, or even a kids' joke from the time when allowing matches to underaged people was still legal!

oh, I bet the stories he had were awesome.  my grandfather was in ww2... he's passed now.  I wish I'd asked more when I had the chance.

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7 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I posted this on instagram a couple of days ago. I laminated 3 flamed maple offcuts with bog oak veneer for accent strips. It's black naturally so no dye needed. I don't know what sourcing it on your side of the pond will be like, but it was pretty cheap for me to get off ebay, something like £20 for a long sheet. I've also used it between the top and body on the Billy Bongo bass.
 

 

missed your post before.  Right on.  I actually was looking at some 'fumed' oak that is supposed to look like actual bog oak... as I understand bog oak itself is uber spensive.  I guess they just take oak and put it in a sealed container with vinegar and the tannin in it turns it all black.  Pretty much the sm process as ebonizing.  I saw over at 'certainly wood' they have some rather reasonable and long rolls of it so... will likely go with that too.

oak strikes me as a LOT like wenge.  very brittle, very ridgid, very prone to blowouts.  a bit heavier in general and a lot harder on the knives.  I like it a lot for guitar wood altho I don't think I'd want to see a whole neck made of it (zero spring)or body for that matter(heavy).  it seems like it would be ideal for reinforcement in the sm capacity as wenge.  given it's readily available and cheap here... I might have to try turning some of it black to see how that works.

thanks for the suggestion.

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9 hours ago, mistermikev said:

missed your post before.  Right on.  I actually was looking at some 'fumed' oak that is supposed to look like actual bog oak... as I understand bog oak itself is uber spensive.  I guess they just take oak and put it in a sealed container with vinegar and the tannin in it turns it all black.  Pretty much the sm process as ebonizing.  I saw over at 'certainly wood' they have some rather reasonable and long rolls of it so... will likely go with that too.

oak strikes me as a LOT like wenge.  very brittle, very ridgid, very prone to blowouts.  a bit heavier in general and a lot harder on the knives.  I like it a lot for guitar wood altho I don't think I'd want to see a whole neck made of it (zero spring)or body for that matter(heavy).  it seems like it would be ideal for reinforcement in the sm capacity as wenge.  given it's readily available and cheap here... I might have to try turning some of it black to see how that works.

thanks for the suggestion.

I don't really pay much attention to the properties of something I'm only using as a veneer. I'm sure there is a valid argument for a veneer between laminates providing strength, but I expect it is probably negligible, in fact it is probably the extra glue that provides said strength, the veneer is .5mm thick so I can't see it has a real impact, I just use it for the visual aspect - 3 pieces of maple stuck together looks like a "cheap" neck, but 3 pieces of maple with something contrasting between looks cool while only adding about £2 to the material cost.

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19 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

I don't really pay much attention to the properties of something I'm only using as a veneer. I'm sure there is a valid argument for a veneer between laminates providing strength, but I expect it is probably negligible, in fact it is probably the extra glue that provides said strength, the veneer is .5mm thick so I can't see it has a real impact, I just use it for the visual aspect - 3 pieces of maple stuck together looks like a "cheap" neck, but 3 pieces of maple with something contrasting between looks cool while only adding about £2 to the material cost.

I wasn't saying the oak as a veneer would add strength... but more considering it's use as say a 1/4" strip - in place of wenge - to add rigidity.  I agree the most one can hope for from a veneer is to not take away any strength but yeah... it's really just decoration.

interesting that you think a multi piece neck looks cheap... I wonder if that's a commonly held thought (not necc disagreeing) never occurred to me.  the spector basses are all done this way.  4 pieces of flamed maple w o any accent.  my hamer steve stevens and a few others.  veneer does look nice tho.

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20 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

interesting that you think a multi piece neck looks cheap... I wonder if that's a commonly held thought

A friend who's a trained luthier and has worked for a while in a bespoke guitar factory had learned the same during his studies. Just stacking similar woods without an idea doesn't require creativity, it's just plain carpentry. Strong, yes. Interesting looking? Not so much. Bookmatching is an example of a planned seam without accentuation, so is making the seam invisible by choosing a similar grain pattern.

One reason for it looking cheap is the widely used inexpensive boards made out of slats. Suffice to say "IKEA"...

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3 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

A friend who's a trained luthier and has worked for a while in a bespoke guitar factory had learned the same during his studies. Just stacking similar woods without an idea doesn't require creativity, it's just plain carpentry. Strong, yes. Interesting looking? Not so much. Bookmatching is an example of a planned seam without accentuation, so is making the seam invisible by choosing a similar grain pattern.

One reason for it looking cheap is the widely used inexpensive boards made out of slats. Suffice to say "IKEA"...

how dare thee speak ill of the great ikea.  you just don't "GET" fine cabinetry.

cheap - I could see that... but then again... I look at the early slip matched les pauls and think whao... spendy.  I don't really agree with the historical accurate crazy-ness like some of the maniacs over at mylespaul... but have to admit... there is something to that whole not bookmatched thing that looks great on a les paul. 

I spose we all have to choose our own line between what is generally accepted as 'hi faluten luthery' and 'simple beauty'.  I love the look of my hamer's neck, but had a dean bass with veneer strips that looked cheap to me... guess I'm doing it wrong!  admittedly this whole conversation has its origin in my plans to build a spector like bass... and I fully intend to put some veneer between the 4 strips of maple ns4 be damned!  Guess I'll have to admit that I'm doing it because it looks, well... fancier?

 

I just received some brazillian rosewood strips from b and b rare woods.  not black but I think 'close nuff'.  also got some beautiful flamed ash... be a shame to use it for accent but only 5 or 6" wide so... think that'll be it's fate on the other bass I'm planning.

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17 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

how dare thee speak ill of the great ikea.  you just don't "GET" fine cabinetry.

Don't get me wrong, for everyday furniture I appreciate the ikea philosophy a lot. For our kitchen table the finger jointed slat top is perfect. It's mostly hidden under the tablecloth and unlike a veneered or laminated top it can be sanded and relacquered in case it wears out. And it saves a LOT of wood which I like! But I wouldn't build a natural finish guitar out of it under normal circumstances.

Then again, IKEA guitars made of finger joined bits and pieces might be the next green craze! Now what's their phone number and should I call directly their headquarters in Sweden? My Swedish isn't that rusty, guess I could negotiate a percentage for the idea if they buy it...

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I personally like the look and feel of one piece necks the best. But I've made two and three piece necks as well. For me it's about the wood choice I've made first, and the size I can get it in next. Then I use as many pieces as it takes to fit my neck profile.

SR

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For the record, I am not saying that I think multi lam maple necks are cheap, I really like them (esp with go faster stripes)  but I am saying that a lot of cheaper guitar necks are made that way. I'm thinking about the hondo bass I refretted last year and maple PRS SEs etc. So the persona of cheapness is probably there for a lot of players. In a lot of cases it has nothing to do with appearance or stability, but that 3x 1" maple boards are much cheaper than 1x 3" maple boards in material terms.

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57 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

Don't get me wrong, for everyday furniture I appreciate the ikea philosophy a lot. For our kitchen table the finger jointed slat top is perfect. It's mostly hidden under the tablecloth and unlike a veneered or laminated top it can be sanded and relacquered in case it wears out. And it saves a LOT of wood which I like! But I wouldn't build a natural finish guitar out of it under normal circumstances.

Then again, IKEA guitars made of finger joined bits and pieces might be the next green craze! Now what's their phone number and should I call directly their headquarters in Sweden? My Swedish isn't that rusty, guess I could negotiate a percentage for the idea if they buy it...

funny, was just involved in a thread on facebook regarding a finger jointed headstock.  I said it looks cheap because it reminds me a lot of two things: flooring and moudings.  I also think it just doesn't seem like it would be that stable due to the short grain... but what do I know.  I guess they did this on taylors for a while... wonder why they stopped because according to the expert on facebook it was a super strong joint and the only reason luthiers don't use it is because it's difficult to do. 

IKEA... hmmm... wonder where our resident fine furniture expert is?  @Prostheta what say ye?  IKEA =  good or bad?

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36 minutes ago, ScottR said:

I personally like the look and feel of one piece necks the best. But I've made two and three piece necks as well. For me it's about the wood choice I've made first, and the size I can get it in next. Then I use as many pieces as it takes to fit my neck profile.

SR

right on.  I love one piece (well two piece w a fretboard right) but for some things multi-lam just seems "more righter", like some of the high end ken smith and warwick basses.

def does not look right to me on a strat or tele.

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38 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

For the record, I am not saying that I think multi lam maple necks are cheap, I really like them (esp with go faster stripes)  but I am saying that a lot of cheaper guitar necks are made that way. I'm thinking about the hondo bass I refretted last year and maple PRS SEs etc. So the persona of cheapness is probably there for a lot of players. In a lot of cases it has nothing to do with appearance or stability, but that 3x 1" maple boards are much cheaper than 1x 3" maple boards in material terms.

no, I didn't take it that way.  it is just your impression of the style - nothing wrong or right about that... just is.  wait, did you just say you think hondo is cheap?  I am offensiveded.

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On 3/5/2020 at 6:31 PM, norm barrows said:

sometimes you have to break  a few eggs to make a REAL mayonnaise.

Are you making Hellman's , or something less ?

look at it from a percentage of total build cost point of view.

spend a few % more, and you get real ebony.    is that % more worth it?      often it is,

 

Real ebony is not a few % more, ebony is the most expensive wood there is

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yeah, even 1/4 x 1.5" x 3' ebony is going to be somewhere around $60 a strip and lam is probably still $30+ I would guess.  Just wouldn't use it unless a build really wouldn't look right w/o it esp since as a veneer strip - you wouldn't be able to distinguish it from dyed walnut. 

surely not building entire necks out of it like @komodo (I hear he's related to the rockafellers)!  jk K... envious.

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If you buy straight up lumber, it's not that bad. The Black Queen used two pieces from Ebay. $78 and $87 for 1" x 3.5" x 36" And, those were choice pieces. I was communicating with the lumber place and telling them what I was looking for and they pulled some killer ones. Also, I got my full neck with headstock, the body center 'spine, and extra for the tremolo cover and more.

I did splurge on the quilt top because I wanted a killer one (figure and color), one that was thick enough for a deep carve (without compromising depth), and I had to snipe an auction and beat others. If I had a good lumberyard where I could set up a relationship and be a regular buyer, I imagine the deals would get way better.

If you saw the metal tele I built before my current build, it had a solid Pau Ferro neck. As much as I love the ebony, the Pau Ferro is spectacular for necks and considerably less expensive. It smokes like hell when you route it, but it carves great and is the best guitar neck I've ever had. It polishes up nicely. This could all be thrown out the window when the current build is finished.

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