Laminated neck questions

Down and Outman

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IMHO, laminated necks are stronger and don't move like a one piece neck will. The headstock will be stronger as well, plus look cool. Another trick is if you have flatsawn wood, turn it on it's side and now it's quartersawn. Enjoy!
 

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pshupe

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That’s a good point, there certainly are still walnut-bodied versions, the W models - but again they just describe the neck as “maple” (& they have maple fretboards).


“Eastern hardrock Maple is our wood of choice for necks and bodies, while other woods such as walnut, vermilion and shedua are used for decorative details” - still doesn’t identify the dark neck laminations as walnut… unless they mean that they are just decorative…
So you need some sort of proof to contradict the one statement that "walnut are used for decorative details"? Would you consider the neck laminate a decorative detail? I assume they are saying that the use of walnut specifically was not a structural consideration, just an aesthetic one. They mention a "rosewood" fret board as well. Does that mean they did not use Padauk (Vermillion) or Bubinga as fret boards? I think it's all about steering clear from saying the woods they "used to use" are somehow better than the current woods they use. Just like Brazilian Rosewood for fret boards. The sought after Gibson guitars of the 50's and 60's use Brazilian Rosewood fret boards but that wood is pretty much extinct now. Gibson will go to great lengths to say BR is not any different than the rosewood they use now. This is mostly marketing speak. I'm not saying any of these woods are better just that clearly they were used. If they are not used now it is probably due to cost and availability or some other cost saving measure.

Cheers Peter.
 

AAT65

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So you need some sort of proof to contradict the one statement that "walnut are used for decorative details"? Would you consider the neck laminate a decorative detail? I assume they are saying that the use of walnut specifically was not a structural consideration, just an aesthetic one. They mention a "rosewood" fret board as well. Does that mean they did not use Padauk (Vermillion) or Bubinga as fret boards? I think it's all about steering clear from saying the woods they "used to use" are somehow better than the current woods they use. Just like Brazilian Rosewood for fret boards. The sought after Gibson guitars of the 50's and 60's use Brazilian Rosewood fret boards but that wood is pretty much extinct now. Gibson will go to great lengths to say BR is not any different than the rosewood they use now. This is mostly marketing speak. I'm not saying any of these woods are better just that clearly they were used. If they are not used now it is probably due to cost and availability or some other cost saving measure.

Cheers Peter.
I don’t need “proof” of anything… to not be ranted at would be nice though. I think you may have misread what I posted.
 

pshupe

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I don’t need “proof” of anything… to not be ranted at would be nice though. I think you may have misread what I posted.
Sorry - wasn't ranting at all. Just giving an opinion as to why a company would leave out details regarding the wood they did or did not use. There are lots of Rickenbacker forums, if you would like to look into it further? Rick resource is a good one and so is Beat Gear Tavern. I actually posted a question there regarding neck woods and the history of the different woods. I have built a few Rickenbacker style guitars over the years and both of those forums are filled with knowledgeable and helpful people.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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I dont think Rickenbacker use walnut anymore (if they ever did..?): the darker laminations are dyed maple.
Their spec page just says "Neck wood: Maple".
It does look fantastic either way!
Couldn't add this to the above for some reason? You were questioning whether Rickenbacker "ever did" use walnut, yes? That is to what I was referring.
 

AAT65

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No, that's the misunderstanding I think... I was just questioning whether Rickenbacker's dark neck stripes are always / currently walnut or darkened maple (dyed?). I do know they use walnut, at least for the W guitars, and I would not be at all surprised to hear they used it more in the past.
I did not mean to claim any certain knowledge, the "it's not walnut" theory is based on (a) other internet comments and (b) the Rickenbacker website's descriptions of the necks as "maple": it's possible neither of those sources is 100% accurate!
Anyway no worries, I think we both like the look of the light /dark / light laminated necks and your neck-building skills are surely way ahead of mine! Good to have your knowledgeable input on this forum 👍
 

crazydave911

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Rickenbacker HAS been known to lie guys, as bad Gibson if not worse

This Rickenbacker officially doesn't exist

Semi officially, an internal prototype. YES walnut, YES a 12 string with a sensibly wide neck, and YES unofficially escaped the coop and destruction. Has passed through the hands of certain collectors and most recently sold for 13k by a collector who made out like a bandit. Ask Rickenbacker about it, it still doesn't exist lol. Just saying
 

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Greplington

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I'm torn now... I was all set to do maple and walnut, but I just picked up some spalted Phillipino mahogany which I'm thinking of using instead of the walnut, because I'll be using it for the back of the body (top will be Australian Red Cedar). Maybe I should do 5 strips - maple, (thin) walnut, mahogany, (thin) walnut, maple...

The mahogany is long enough that I could incorporate that strip right through the body, and make what I guess could be considered a "semi" neck-through? Should make for a very strong neck joint... Although incredibly painful to make and shape... hmmm...
 

Greplington

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Glued the neck blank up on the weekend. Spalted Philippine Mahogany centre strip with black walnut and rock maple. Extra maple added for the headstock width. I ended up making the black deep enough that I can cut the headstock angle without a scarf joint. Body blank next to it is the same spalted Philippine mahogany, and it will have a body cap and headstock veneer in Australian red cedar. IMG_20220421_142413.jpg
 

Si G X

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IMHO, laminated necks are stronger and don't move like a one piece neck will. The headstock will be stronger as well, plus look cool. Another trick is if you have flatsawn wood, turn it on it's side and now it's quartersawn. Enjoy!

I'm glad you called it a 'trick' because to call it 'quartersawn' would be completely dishonest, especially if one was charging a premium for quartersawn wood.

I do wonder how many 'quartersawn' necks are just selected pieces of flatsawn with vertical grain.
 

Greplington

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I'm glad you called it a 'trick' because to call it 'quartersawn' would be completely dishonest, especially if one was charging a premium for quartersawn wood.

I do wonder how many 'quartersawn' necks are just selected pieces of flatsawn with vertical grain.
Is you want to get technical, there will be at least one or two boards from a flatsawn log which will be quartersawn. The boards taken as slices through the centre of the log will have exactly the same orientation as quarter sawn timber. So the "selected pieces of flatsawn with vertical grain" ARE quartersawn. Flat Sawn Rift Sawn Quarter Sawn Lumber Illustrations.jpg
 

Si G X

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Is you want to get technical, there will be at least one or two boards from a flatsawn log which will be quartersawn. The boards taken as slices through the centre of the log will have exactly the same orientation as quarter sawn timber. So the "selected pieces of flatsawn with vertical grain" ARE quartersawn. View attachment 978500

Sure, we can get technical.

The selected pieces of flatsawn with vertical grain are NOT quatersawn, they are flatsawn boards with vertical grain. If you bought all those planks on the left you would be charged for flatsawn for the whole lot. How the grain is on any given piece of wood does NOT change how the log was sawn.

'Quartersawn' (and rift and flat) only refers to how the log was sawn (as you've shown above) It does not refer to the grain orientation of any single piece of wood. Flat sawing yields the least vertical grain, but it will always have some and it will still always be flat sawn wood.

If you buy the log on the left at flat sawn price and cut neck blanks from it, then all those necks came from flatsawn wood.

If you sort through those blanks and pull out the ones with vertical grain and sell them for twice the price as 'quatersawn' then that is dishonest because you didn't not pay the additional cost of having the wood quatersawn but you are suggesting you did and that's why those blanks are a higher cost.

You could sell them as 'selected blanks with vertical grain' and charge a premium for that but they are not and never have been 'quatersawn'.

You might argue that is doesn't matter and once a neck blank has been cut there isn't actually any way of knowing how the wood was sawn and what price was paid for that log to have it sawn in a particular manner, and that is true. But if that is the case then why use those terms at all?

... and that really is the point. When Fender custom shop charges a premium for guitars that have a 'rift sawn neck' we have no way of knowing if part of the cost of that guitar comes from the expensive and wasteful rift sawing process that yields the most vertical grain wood or that neck is just a nice piece of vertical grain flat sawn wood that did not cost a premium, we have to take them at their word that the cost involved in sawing the wood are part of the price of that guitar.

... and because we have to take them at their word it IS important that it's factually correct.

and because as I've already started 'Quartersawn' only refers to how the log was sawn' rotating lanimations in a neck to make a neck with vertical grain from horizontal grained wood does not make it 'quartersawn'

To say "there will be at least one or two boards from a flatsawn log which will be quartersawn." is just wrong and misleading, the graphic you posted clearly shows the processes in sawing a log, all the boards that are flat sawn are flat sawn. There will be some boards with vertical grain, however they have NOT been quatersawn are NOT quatersawn boards.

These terms refer to the process in which lumber is cut, when you say a neck blank is flatsawn or quatersawn you are saying that this neck blank came from wood that was cut by that process. As you can see in the graphic you shared, there is no way of knowing what kind of grain orientation you might get from a neck blank that comes from wood that is flatsawn, it is a mix of all possible orientations but it is all flatsawn wood.
 

Greplington

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Sure, we can get technical.

The selected pieces of flatsawn with vertical grain are NOT quatersawn, they are flatsawn boards with vertical grain. If you bought all those planks on the left you would be charged for flatsawn for the whole lot. How the grain is on any given piece of wood does NOT change how the log was sawn.

'Quartersawn' (and rift and flat) only refers to how the log was sawn (as you've shown above) It does not refer to the grain orientation of any single piece of wood. Flat sawing yields the least vertical grain, but it will always have some and it will still always be flat sawn wood.

If you buy the log on the left at flat sawn price and cut neck blanks from it, then all those necks came from flatsawn wood.

If you sort through those blanks and pull out the ones with vertical grain and sell them for twice the price as 'quatersawn' then that is dishonest because you didn't not pay the additional cost of having the wood quatersawn but you are suggesting you did and that's why those blanks are a higher cost.

You could sell them as 'selected blanks with vertical grain' and charge a premium for that but they are not and never have been 'quatersawn'.

You might argue that is doesn't matter and once a neck blank has been cut there isn't actually any way of knowing how the wood was sawn and what price was paid for that log to have it sawn in a particular manner, and that is true. But if that is the case then why use those terms at all?

... and that really is the point. When Fender custom shop charges a premium for guitars that have a 'rift sawn neck' we have no way of knowing if part of the cost of that guitar comes from the expensive and wasteful rift sawing process that yields the most vertical grain wood or that neck is just a nice piece of vertical grain flat sawn wood that did not cost a premium, we have to take them at their word that the cost involved in sawing the wood are part of the price of that guitar.

... and because we have to take them at their word it IS important that it's factually correct.

and because as I've already started 'Quartersawn' only refers to how the log was sawn' rotating lanimations in a neck to make a neck with vertical grain from horizontal grained wood does not make it 'quartersawn'

To say "there will be at least one or two boards from a flatsawn log which will be quartersawn." is just wrong and misleading, the graphic you posted clearly shows the processes in sawing a log, all the boards that are flat sawn are flat sawn. There will be some boards with vertical grain, however they have NOT been quatersawn are NOT quatersawn boards.

These terms refer to the process in which lumber is cut, when you say a neck blank is flatsawn or quatersawn you are saying that this neck blank came from wood that was cut by that process. As you can see in the graphic you shared, there is no way of knowing what kind of grain orientation you might get from a neck blank that comes from wood that is flatsawn, it is a mix of all possible orientations but it is all flatsawn wood.
The point I'm making is that the grain orientation in the centre slices of a flat sawn log is identical to quarter-sawn timber (or rift sawn, for that matter). Most DIY guitar builders aren't buying whole trees, or even big stacks of lumber. They are buying single boards for builds, so talking about buying "the whole stack of boards" isn't relevant - nor is it what I am talking about.

The reason quartersawn timber and riftsawn timber is more expensive is because there is more work involved in cutting entire logs that way, and in the case of rift sawn in particular - MUCH more wastage. That being said, The reason quartersawn timber is desirable is due to the grain orientation. The diagram I shared above is potentially somewhat misleading in that the quartersawn sections have the boards sitting at a 45 degree angle, but if you look at the centre board in each of those stacks, and look at the centre board in the flatsawn stack, the grain in each of those boards is IDENTICAL, and the cuts are IDENTICAL. It is that very specific centre board I am talking about when I say that you will get SOME quartersawn boards from a flatsawn log.

If you were to take a piece of timber cut from the centre slice of a flatsawn log, a piece of timber cut from a quartersawn board, and a piece of timber from a riftsawn board, there would be literally no way at all to differentiate between them. Many timber sellers buy in small quantities of boards in specific dimensions and species from sawmills or lumber yards, and would have no idea from looking at individual boards what cutting method was used. They can easily see what the grain orientation is though. If you have a board with completely vertical grain, then it is likely it will be marked as quartersawn (if it is marked at all beyond the species) and going beyond that, the timber buyers who look at the board on the shelf will see a board that has pure vertical growth and see "quartersawn" timber.

You are technically correct to say that the name comes from the cutting method used to process the timber, but I think the end result is the most important to most buyers, and the grain orientation is the real point.
 

crazydave911

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The point I'm making is that the grain orientation in the centre slices of a flat sawn log is identical to quarter-sawn timber (or rift sawn, for that matter). Most DIY guitar builders aren't buying whole trees, or even big stacks of lumber. They are buying single boards for builds, so talking about buying "the whole stack of boards" isn't relevant - nor is it what I am talking about.

The reason quartersawn timber and riftsawn timber is more expensive is because there is more work involved in cutting entire logs that way, and in the case of rift sawn in particular - MUCH more wastage. That being said, The reason quartersawn timber is desirable is due to the grain orientation. The diagram I shared above is potentially somewhat misleading in that the quartersawn sections have the boards sitting at a 45 degree angle, but if you look at the centre board in each of those stacks, and look at the centre board in the flatsawn stack, the grain in each of those boards is IDENTICAL, and the cuts are IDENTICAL. It is that very specific centre board I am talking about when I say that you will get SOME quartersawn boards from a flatsawn log.

If you were to take a piece of timber cut from the centre slice of a flatsawn log, a piece of timber cut from a quartersawn board, and a piece of timber from a riftsawn board, there would be literally no way at all to differentiate between them. Many timber sellers buy in small quantities of boards in specific dimensions and species from sawmills or lumber yards, and would have no idea from looking at individual boards what cutting method was used. They can easily see what the grain orientation is though. If you have a board with completely vertical grain, then it is likely it will be marked as quartersawn (if it is marked at all beyond the species) and going beyond that, the timber buyers who look at the board on the shelf will see a board that has pure vertical growth and see "quartersawn" timber.

You are technically correct to say that the name comes from the cutting method used to process the timber, but I think the end result is the most important to most buyers, and the grain orientation is the real point.
The reason you don't mud wrestle a pig is because at some point you'll see, he enjoys it. I wouldn't respond to his comments anymore (and wouldn't have the first time) 😉
 




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