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Carbon fiber rods

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by River Gambler, Apr 8, 2005.


  1. River Gambler

    River Gambler

    Feb 10, 2005
    I have been thinking about using Stew Mac's carbon fiber rods in the neck I'm going to build. Has any body used these and if so does it make that much difference. The neck will be 5 piece laminated 3/4"curly maple and 1/4" walnut. Thanks Tom
     
  2. Mark Chandler

    Mark Chandler

    Aug 25, 2004
    Houston TX
    I have two, but havent used them yet. To expand on this, has anyone laminated CF into a neck by using cloth and epoxy just as you wood any othe piece of wood? Does that little amount of CF have an effect on tools?
     
  3. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    I have built two basses with Stew Mac's carbon fiber rods: both of them, in fact, 5-piece necks with curly maple and walnut... It seems an especially good idea to use these rods on a neck with curly wood since it is generally not as strong as perfectly strait-grained wood.
    As far as how the rods work: They do their job. They are good strong rods ( I used the 1/8" x 3/8" ) and definately make a difference in the strength of the neck. LMI sells a similar rod but it does not seem as strong, and is has been my experience that LMI's rods tend to be a little oversized... which doesn't really lend itself to the routing process. Also Stew Mac's rods are cleaner overall (smoother sides & ends) and are easier to work with.
     
  4. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    do you have a specific carbon fiber + epoxy combination you are planning to use?

    IIRC, most of the carbon fiber bars you purchase are mostly made from laminated uni-directional material (i.e. carbon fiber tape) layed-up in various orientations - the majority of which run parallel the the centerline of the neck (0 degrees in the warp direction). You will need a couple of 45's, -45's and 90's to balance out the laminate ... unless these are a pulltrusion type laminated bar or utilize a cold cure type process.

    R
     
  5. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I'm laying my graphite in channels running parallel to the edge of the fingerboard, not parallel to the truss rod. I'll still get most of the advantage of the stiffness against string-pull while also gaining some modicum of anti-twist.
     
  6. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    ??? You are running the warp direction (the main fiber orientation of a carbon fiber fabric) along the length of the neck (X-axis), right? Just clarifying for myself on this.

    You will see benefit from the carbon fiber bars when the warp direction runs in the headstock - body direction, and will see benefit if the bar width is normal to the fingerboard face or parallel to the fingerboard.The key is to have the warp direction along the X-axis for the majority of the plies.

    I would question the value of adding composite material if the warp direction was in-line with the fret direction (Y-axis)

    R
     
  7. Mark Chandler

    Mark Chandler

    Aug 25, 2004
    Houston TX
    No, it may be something i look into later, i was just wondering if it had been done.
     
  8. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Exactly. Right down the neck, but parallel to the fretboard edge rather than the more common usage of running them right next to the truss rod.