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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Time between cuts

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by GotTheSilver, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver TDPRI Member

    20
    Jan 4, 2015
    Houston, TX
    Hi,

    I have a pretty basic question. How long should you wait between cutting your neck shape out of the neck blank and glueing on the fingerboard?

    I ask because I have been told different things. One person told me you should cut out the neck and glue it to the fingerboard the same day, so that if things move they move together. Someone else told me that you should wait at least a few days after cutting the neck before gluing the fingerboard to it, as this allows the neck to move and you can refine it before glueing on the fretboard, resulting in lower internal tension.

    Is there a right or wrong answer to this?

    Thanks,
    John
     

  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    What happens if they move together in the wrong direction? I think it is wise to cut the wood a bit oversize and and let it move, then make the neck to its final dimensions. That's what I do. I've done it other ways and was sorry for it once in a while.
     
    I_build_my_own, Dunkerhook and nosmo like this.

  3. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I never make the first cut the final cut. I like to leave some time for internal stresses to work their way out and to make sure everything is acclimated. Just make sure you leave some extra material on...

    EDIT: If you are hand planing before gluing, it's good to glue shortly after the last planing passes, since modern glues bond at a small scale level. Then again, I've done it other ways and the joints still hold, but give them a few more decades and I can give you more input :)
     

  4. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver TDPRI Member

    20
    Jan 4, 2015
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for the responses. This confirms what I was thinking.

    The guy that told me to cut the neck and glue on the fingerboard in the same day attended one of the well known schools of lutherie, which is why I wanted to consider this approach. In the end, giving the wood time to move before doing final cuts and gluing makes a lot of sense to me.
     
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  5. eallen

    eallen Tele-Meister

    289
    Jul 30, 2013
    Greenwood, Indiana
    I don't even pay attention to time really. I do check moisture content before I start. The more moisture the more movement you will get. If I have time I glue the same day. Sometimes a week later or I cut a blank and glue it a month later. With dual action truss rod I have never had an issue either way.
     

  6. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I've done it both ways and never found movement after a cut to be much of an issue.
     

  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Usually takes me months to get anything done, so it's never been an issue...
     

  8. mudimba

    mudimba Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    320
    May 19, 2015
    California
    Yeah, that is my approach. Make a cut, get distracted and start a new build, then come back a month or two later!
     
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  9. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

    Mar 9, 2012
    New York
    IMG_5568.JPG After having a one piece neck turn into a banana decades ago, I only do 3 or 5 piece necks (plus fretboard). I cut out the individual stripes weeks if not months ahead of time- being a weekend warrior. And since wood cannot be trusted at all, I glue them up and then do the relieve cuts you can see in the pic above, even before I route the truss rod channel which also follows some good amount of time later. Just random cuts - no science. No banana anymore with this overzealous approach.
     

  10. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    I'm kind of like Jup but I also often intentionally walk away from a project after various amounts of wood removal because living Massachusetts, New England in general, the humidity goes up and down kind of like the sun. I've found that even with my humidifier and dehumidifier movement still happens with stuff like highly figured maple so the cuts and time help minimize how much I worry about the final product turning into a knot.
     

  11. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver TDPRI Member

    20
    Jan 4, 2015
    Houston, TX
    Thanks. How do you check moisture content in the wood? And what is a good range versus a not so good range?
     

  12. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver TDPRI Member

    20
    Jan 4, 2015
    Houston, TX
    :p
     

  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
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  14. eallen

    eallen Tele-Meister

    289
    Jul 30, 2013
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Moisture meter. I like 6-10%. You can find a decent inexpensive one for $30 or so. Pro ones go for big money.
     

  15. Bugeater281

    Bugeater281 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    173
    Nov 30, 2016
    Omaha
    So I keep hearing 6-10% humidity on this site. Does this very depending were you live? Around here we avarage 15-20% humidity. Even if you were able to get it to 6% humidity wouldn't it slowly rise back to the humidity it's exposed too?
     

  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Last edited: May 4, 2017

  17. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    43
    372
    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    I think any lumber in Arizona air dried longer than a year is like BONE dry. drrryyyyyyyyyy. i love az.
     

  18. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    Yes, you want it to acclimate to where it will live. Though even if it lives in 15-20% that may not be what it settles on as that seems high. If you have some boards that have been laying around a few years and measure those that should be what you want to shoot for.

    It will come back up if you over dry it. That's why the myth of wood continuing drying for decades doesn't make sense. The moisture goes both ways.

    I use to always glue fingerboards before cutting the neck but I would let that glue joint set as long as I could before cutting out a neck being more concerned with the moisture from the yellow glue than the difference between the kiln drying and Los Angeles.
     

  19. Bugeater281

    Bugeater281 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    173
    Nov 30, 2016
    Omaha
    I live in Nebraska, it gets really humid out here. I also do all my work in my garage which isn't air conditioned. I have an 11 month old so the only time I have to work on stuff is after he goes to bed. And the tools are way too load to use inside.
     

  20. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    Colorado
    Ambient humidity and wood moisture content aren't the same thing, although it's common to confuse the two. The only real reliable way to check the moisture content is to use a good moisture meter. The pin-type meters are the most accurate, but they leave little holes and most wood sellers probably aren't going to be too thrilled if you start poking holes all over nice lumber. The pinless ones are fine for DIY use (the only real downside being that they can't always measure as deep into the wood as a pin type can, which may give slightly inaccurate readings.) Here's a good article on moisture meters if you're interested.

    Moisture content kinda depends on the project. For things like furniture and construction, 10%-12% is common. For instruments, the 5%-8% range is much more common and preferable, especially with necks; I think 10% MC on a guitar neck is at the high end and I'd probably let it dry out a little more before making something with it. This is very species-dependent though, since some woods tend to be pretty stable all the time, while others can warp and twist quite a bit until they're stabilized.

    As far as letting the wood "rest", I know that Suhr goes something like 4-6 weeks between cuts, at least on their necks. IIRC PRS lets them sit 2 weeks. Both of them talk about it in some of the factory tour videos, so you might want to poke around YT and see if you can find them (I know the Suhr one was hosted by a guy from Italy, if that helps.) I can certainly see the benefit, since some pieces of wood can have tension built up due to the grain, although I think 4-6 weeks is probably overkill for a home DIY'er; a week or two seems much more reasonable, especially if the wood has already been sitting around and acclimating for a few months or whatever. I think built-up tension tends to be more common with kiln-dried wood, since it sort of "bakes in" those stresses in a short period of time; long, slow air-drying would probably allow the wood to sort of relax and do its thing as its drying (although that generally takes 1 year per inch of thickness, so it's slooow even under the best of conditions!)
     

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