Starting a new build - Pine body, mahogany neck, black palm fingerboard

DJLockjaw

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Posts
32
Age
37
Location
Pittsburgh
I wanted to start a build thread for my third build, and first neck from scratch. I learned some from my first one (https://www.tdpri.com/threads/my-first-scratch-body-build-hh-hardtail.1098438/#post-11533012) but I can still improve. Plus I came across a gorgeous piece of black palm that I think I can get at least 2 fretboards out of.

Haven't done much so far, just put the scarf joint in the neck. The pictures (after the first one) show my process. Basically, I cut the joint on a bandsaw, and then cleaned up with my rough sharpening boards (sandpaper glued to MDF). Then locator pins, and glue and clamp.

The first picture is similar to what my end result will be. The body shape is pretty well locked down, and I really like how the shou sugi ban (wood scorching) has come out in the past. The example here I tried a top coat with white stain to increase the contrast, and it all got sucked into the darker grain, so I won't be doing that again.

Body will be 1.5 inch pine, just cheap dimensional lumber. It was stable enough on my test body (see first picture), and ended up being nice and light overall. That will be a plus, since the black palm I'm using for the fretboard is as heavy as iron! It's a real interesting material - technically not wood, so there isn't a traditional grain or rings. Plus I hear it's a bear to work with, but we'll see. Electronics will be JB/Jazz pickups, with coil split and phase reversal, and PTB wiring. Gold hardware (including EVO frets) and a top stringing bridge on their way.

 

DJLockjaw

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Posts
32
Age
37
Location
Pittsburgh
OOF, you were not kidding. I tried to re-saw the piece I got (it's 3/4" thick), and my little 9" Ryobi CANNOT handle it. I can't even get the blade up to speed, even if I back out the entire way it's stopped by the time I get an inch into the existing cut. Those weird fibers must put some crazy sideways pressure on the blade.

Back to the drawing board - I'm going to see if I can find a ready made fingerboard, or maybe just do ebony or something.

EDIT: If anyone ever comes across this thread in the future, and wants to do a black palm fretboard, just don't.
 

crazydave911

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Posts
14,299
Age
63
Location
East Tennessee
OOF, you were not kidding. I tried to re-saw the piece I got (it's 3/4" thick), and my little 9" Ryobi CANNOT handle it. I can't even get the blade up to speed, even if I back out the entire way it's stopped by the time I get an inch into the existing cut. Those weird fibers must put some crazy sideways pressure on the blade.

Back to the drawing board - I'm going to see if I can find a ready made fingerboard, or maybe just do ebony or something.

EDIT: If anyone ever comes across this thread in the future, and wants to do a black palm fretboard, just don't.
The ONLY thing I've ever seen cut palm well was a 12" carbide blade table saw with a 3hp motor IIRC 😳
 




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