Neck Laminates

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by iareplaythebass, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Hey,
    Which neck laminates make for the most stability and tone? Also, when making a neck, what is the process of putting in laminates? Thanks!
  2. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley

    tone? what KIND of tone?
    what is tone?

    dont you just cut 'em square and glue 'em together?

    best laminates for tone............hmmmmmmmmm
  3. ambiguity...

    as far as glueing them all up- i personally use JP's original method of horizontal laminates. i purchase 4 thin pieces of the wood to be used, generally a thick bottom slab (let's say wenge), a thin piece of a different sort of wood (maple), then 1 or 2 more layers of thin wenge. i cut these to the sizes needed, the bottom piece being the longest as the headstock is part of it, then the rest of the laminates are the same length as the fretboard to be used.
    i made a jig that basically sandwiches the laminates together between 2 larger thick boards, and several bolts to squeeze them together. after the glue is dried, you can cut the taper and the headstock (i use a flat headstock).
    then when you carve the back you end up having a nice accent strip running up the sides and a very stable neck.

    that is my method, "borrowed" from JP :ninja:
  4. Skg, just so I understand, when you say horizontal laminates, are you referring to the laminates being parrallel to the fingerboard, or perpendicular? Perpenicular would be a standerd three piece neck like fodera while parrallel would be like the Parker fly bass, which is like 30 odd pieces of wood glued together one on top of the other. I know this is a little unclear on my part, but I am having a hard time wording this.
  5. kboyd


    Jul 6, 2002
    While I think the vertical laminates are just fine for a bass, I also prefer the horizontal lams for ultimate strength. Wenge and purpleheart together are the shiznit:)
  6. This is what I expect my neck's layout to be, is this a good combination for tone and sustain? How about stability? Thanks
    (maple, ebony, purpleheart)
  7. Groove Center- I make my laminates parallel to the fretboard

    iareplaythebass- tone and sustain are both subjective terms...everyone perceives these differently and thus would have different advice or configurations that they would choose. as far as stability, the combination you have there is pretty much standard for bass necks and is well tested to be reliable.
    the usual method for glueing laminates together in that style would be to have them all cut to size and clamp them together in the configuration you want, like carey nordstrand has done here:

    (hope carey doesn't mind me using him as an example)
  8. Thats SK, that was exactly what I needed to hear. Besides the look aspect, that method sounds very cool. Do you or JP have any pictures of a neck constructed that way? Progess pics especially, as a picture would accomplish the job of about 999 words. I understand what you mean, but the picture would be a nice touch, especially since I've never seen a neck constructed that way, and the wood being visible from the sides as opposed to the back seems like a great visual effect.
  9. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE

  10. I know how wide each piece should be, but deep should they be to have the 13 degree headstock and all that? How do you do that anyway? Pictures would be appreciated! Thanks
  11. Thanks JP, that single cut Paduok topped 5 stringer has always been a personal favorite. Do you always go maple/wenge when using laminates? If so, for what reason. (Looks, feel, stability, randomness, customer preference.)
  12. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I don't use this method anymore. It was a nice concept and worked well but the flat headtsock and its transition to the neck fet a bit weird to some people. Although it was very stiff and stable, I aslo found that with a great would selection I didn't nedd those laminates to achive what I was after. When the simplest thing work, why bother? I'm back to basic now with one piece necks and scarf joint headstock.

    To answer your question, wood selcection was based on my personal preference. you can use whatever you want though it would be clever to use stiffest woods for fingerboard and back laminates and use a lighter wood in the middle. this to achieve a lighter and stiffer neck.

  13. Yeah, thanks for the responses JP. I had hear you talking about the pros of a one piece neck using a nicely selected piece of stable wood, which was why I wondered about this. Take care.