building a neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by steve-o, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    alright...i plan on building the neck for my bass..i want to do horizontal laminates...
    now im doing this by hand so...but im up for it..i love using my hands..

    what wood should i use? its going to be a bolt on..and ill buy a fretboard already raduised and slottled..maple or ebony...don't know yet..

    any suggestions or tips..?before i buy some wood..


  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Birch, oak and/or black walnut.
    Or one slice of each, with the birch on the back. Not the prettiest solution, but the best.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Oak? Oak is awfully porous. Why do you think this is the best combination? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just curious.

    My preference woiuld be hard maple and jatoba. It's going to depend a little on what's easy to get in your area.
  4. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Porous? Yeah, simlilar in structure to wenge, also a little prone to splinter... But it does give a very nice tone, looks great and feels great. Finally, it has rather even properties between planks; all your oak necks will be similar. Which is not the case with maple, due to its many varieties, that look the same, but has very different properties.
    Oak necks are known as neck material since looong times gone. However, when mahogany became available in Europe, fasionable luthiers chose that instead, for exclusivity and looks. While ordinary smalltimers stayed with oak until last century - when almost everybody closed due to industrial competition...

    Yes, slowgrown oak is a great neck material.
  6. JP Basses does horizontal laminates, he posts here all the time. Linc Luthier ( has a patent on that method. You could email him for advice. He uses Zebra and maple, and I'm sure others. I'm planning a 5 piece maple/wenge/maple/wenge/maple neck with mahogany laminate under the fingerboard. Iguess that makes mine horizontal/vertical laminate?

    Maybe we should really call them parallel and perpendicular - referenced to the fretboard. Cuz really it depends on how you hold your bass if it's horizontal or vertical. :cool:

    Stay low,

  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Linc's patent is not on horisontal/parallel lamination, because that is ancient knowledge, thus not patentable (even though US and Japan pat offices are known to know nothing about tech history...). His patent is thus, on how the pieces are put together. IIRC, also the very exceptional neck profile is in that patent.

    I think parallel/ortogonal is a good suggestion for terminology. Just has to settled...
  8. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I've been building parralel laminated necks for some time.
    However, for the next batch of basses, I'm going back to basics and use one piece neck with scarf jointed headstock.

    I was using parralel lam for ease of construction as a first reason. Now I have more tools to make it easier to scarf joint.

    Parralel lams are great. They add stability and stiffness to the neck but the real questions i, how much of that do we need? IME, with a good wood selection (mechanical properties, quality of the blank, grain orientation), a one piece neck can completly do the job even on six strings. There are a lot of examples to proove that (MTD, Sadowsky, Brubaker, etc..)!

    As suburban said, Linc Hoke's (link luthier) patent is not on the parralel lam but on the whole neck construction...

    If you're going to build with parralel lams, you should build a glueing press before, it'll be easier for glueing the wide neck blank lams than clamps.

    For the J-neck (my name for the parralel laminated neck) I've had good results with wenge of course, maple, ebony and padauk. Once tried Zebrano but have not been convinced with it.

    Hope that helps!

    Peace, JP