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Carbon Fibre neck rods - tips needed

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Martin Beer, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. I'm about to build a new bolt-on neck for my home-built five string bass, to replace the OLP MM5 neck which it has currently. I have decent AA plain maple blanks for the neck and fingerboard, a double action truss rod and two 6mm square carbon fibre rods to add some stiffness.
    While I have built a neck once before, I have never worked with CF rods, and would like to hear how other people do things.
    Which adhesives work with CF - does it have to be epoxy? And should I use the same adhesive to attach the fingerboard to the neck, given that some of the surface it needs to bond to is the face of the CF rods? I would usually use Titebond for this, but I have a feeling it may not bond well with the carbon fibre.
    Should I make my slots using a 1/4" (6.35mm) router cutter, allowing for a glue line? Or should I use a 6mm cutter for tight fitting slots which might suffer from glue squeeze-out when the rods are inserted?
  2. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK
    Epoxy is the best thing to use.

    If you have a 6mm bit, I'd use that. If you only have a 1/4" bit, I'd use that. If you use a good epoxy, it will fill the gaps and be very strong.

    I have used titebond to attach the fingerboard to all the necks I've done, including those with carbon fiber rods. There shouldn't be any adhesion problems.
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  4. Cool, thanks for that. I'm planning on borrowing a router from a friend, but picking up my own bits so that I can be sure of having a new, sharp cutter. I'll go with the 6mm.
    It'll be interesting to hear what difference the stiffer neck makes on this bass, given that I'm using the same woods and scale length as the existing neck.
  5. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    If you need to cut your CF rods, don't use a power tool, and be careful of any pieces/splinters that break off. They can be real sharp
  6. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK
    Yeah, a hacksaw and dust mask are the best things to use for cutting CF rods to length.
  7. Flump


    Feb 20, 2012
    I'll just add to this eye protection. A CF or fiberglass splinter in the eye is just about the worst thing ever. Oddly enough it happened with one of my old hockey goalie sticks.
  8. Yes, cutting the rods to length is the bit I'm not looking forward to. I think I'll try clamping a vacuum cleaner hose directly below where I'm hacksawing!

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