Neck wood options that are smooth and don't require a finish?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by goodchicken, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. goodchicken

    goodchicken TDPRI Member

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    I'd like to try something different, and something that is smooth and requires no finish. Roasted Maple and Pau Ferro come to mind...but what else should I consider?

    Rosewood is or can be more open grained, so I guess it's out because it would require pore filling and finishing.

    Ebony...where can you find it? And how many kidneys do you have to sell to afford it?

    Maybe Canarywood?

    Purpleheart may be a bit heavy?

    Any thoughts are appreciated :D
     
  2. PC_Hater

    PC_Hater Tele-Meister

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    I only have experience with a Warmoth Roasted Maple neck with Canary fingerboard. No finish and very very nice!
     
  3. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Solid 1-inch vintage U rosewood.

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    I've been assured countless times, even my luthier that Rosewood doesnt need finish..

    I've put it on two guitars already.. I love it so much its my favorite neck, and if only Cites regulation on musical instruments will be lifted, Id buy more of these.

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  4. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Wenge. I have it on a couple of Warwick basses and it feels great. No finish, just a rub with their wax now and then. I'd love to try it on a Tele, though it might be a little heavy??

    s-l400-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  5. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Roasted maple. The best idea since the Telecaster was invented.
     
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  6. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Planning my next build around this neck that's been sitting here for a year or more.

    Allparts neck.jpg
     
  7. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Im a rosewood kind of guy, but this is something. I may do a white guard maple neck tele if I have this kind of neck!
     
  8. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    No wood requires a finish, unless it's something that's going to sit outside and needs water and insect resistance. Wood finishing is all about looks.

    If you want a neck wood that doesn't require pore filling, then maple is the common choice. readily available, time tested, and not expensive. Cherry, birch, beech, sycamore are all native hardwoods that dont need grain filling. I've made necks out of Cherry.

    Some of the tropical hardwoods don't need grain filling. Ebony, Pau Ferro, bloodwood: there might be others but they tend to get heavy and are hard to find as actual neck blanks.
     
  9. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Rosewood and Wenge are top of the list in my opinion. I haven't used commercially roasted maple, but it is probably fine as well. Any relatively oily wood will be fine, so you could go with cocobolo (a rosewood), bocote, ziricote, ebony (many varieties), Katalox, and you could probably get away with most dark tropical woods. I did a chechen (carribean rosewood, not a true rosewood) neck and it was fantastic. Appropriately sanded, even an open pored wood doesn't need pore filler. I've only ever pore filled mahogany necks that get a lacquer finish. Also, a light hit of Formby's tung oil and a coat of well-buffed paste wax leaves an almost bare feeling neck and can really help set of the amazing grain that most of these woods have.
     
  10. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    are you talking about the neck (the thing that holds the frets, and the soundboard and the tuners) or are you talking about the soundboard/fretboard - the thing that holds the frets?

    cause any neck can be left unfinished and just well sanded and it will be fine.
     
  11. goodchicken

    goodchicken TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone and ideas of a few more species I need to check into. Another wood dancing through my mind is Granadillo...

    As far as the grain, I was suspecting that a tight grained wood would feel the smoothest when left unfinished. But I've never tried taking something like mahogany and sanding it to really high grits to get a really smooth finish. And in many pics I see of say unfinished rosewood or wenge, I see the large open pores. Doesn't seem like that would play as smooth.
     
  12. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    My rosewood has very few open pores, but it feels smooth overall.. Its not like moon craters that inhibits my playing.. it actually feels great that I can feel the wood rather than a thick nitro finish on my AVRI 62.. I dont like to make it super smooth either, my luthier actually wanted to do it for free just to keep the neck looking nice and smooth but I refused as Id lose the feeling Ive grown to love, and it wont feel like wood under my palms and fingers.. its sanded to the smoothest as it is, so theres not left to do but play it.
     
  13. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I’ve been using Jarrah, a hard heavy wood from Australia, on a few projects around the home. I like working with it and I’ve never put a finish on it. It will darken with exposure to hand oils (any oils really) but so will any wood I guess. Lots of color variation and sometimes you can find some pretty good figure.
     
  14. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Warmoth has loads of options. I have owned rosewood and wenge, and I still own a canary neck. All were smooth, the wenge was the coolest and smoothest but crazy heavy. I'm very happy with the canary neck I own. 8 years, no finish, no issues. It has darkened to where it just looks pretty much like mahogany.
     
  15. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Man, it is hard to beat the feel of the roasted Maple necks. Lighter stiffer too! I like it almost as much as my rosewood neck. I had a Pao Ferro neck as well but traded that one off.

    For the money, roasted maple!!
     
  16. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Is the Pau Ferro solid neck? or maple+pau ferro board? what made you sell it? if Cites regulation on rosewood hasnt changed, im looking on Pau Ferro as a substitute but I want a whole Pau Ferro neck, not just fretboard.
     
  17. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    My bad, I forgot it was black korina with Ebony fret board. This picture is not the one I ordered, its only to show wood color.

    ABA8E948-3FF8-4131-8212-87BAC7DA6C33.jpeg

    Style: Telecaster®
    Construction: Modern Construction
    Orientation: Right Handed
    Neck Wood: Black Korina
    Fingerboard Wood: Ebony
    Nut Width: 1-11/16"
    Back Shape: Standard thin
    Fret Size: 6100
    Tuner Ream: Vintage Style (11/32")
    Radius: 10-16" Compound
    Scale: 25-1/2"
    Fret #: 22
    Mounting Holes:
    Pre-Cut Installed String Nut: No Nut Install
    Inlays: Cream Face Dots
    Finish: No Finish
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  18. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Ziricote is silky smooth :).

    Ziricote is fantastic for a fret board, but I think it would be a bit on the heavy side for a complete neck.

    That's the drawback (the weight) with using most of the tropical hardwoods. As a group, they are hard and heavy.







    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  19. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister

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    I don't know if they still offer it...Dark Roasted Birdseye from Musikraft. I think they may stop at medium now.
    After 3 years, I've never had a ten of a millimeter of fret sprout with this neck.
    One day I'm going to get a permanent body for this thing...
    Looks a lot more impressive in daylight.

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  20. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister

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    Or just go flame. I prefer maple necks...but I also don't want every one of them to look the same so for this one I went with a flame.
    I had Musikraft make this 2pc. 4A flame maple for my latest Tele build, MJT did the body. The neck staining and finish was me....that's why it's a little uneven around the tuners. Eventually sunlight should balance it out.

    98479E43-9D44-4863-B87A-B717D7BAE11F.jpeg 3A94C25B-AEE7-4730-BCC7-FD01F515A6D0.jpeg
     
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