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PurpleHeart vs Iron wood for neck laminate

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by PasdaBeer, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    any huge diffrences between using these types of wood as neck laminates?

    was planning on doin a 5 peice neck for a 6 string bass, maple/iron-purpe/maple/iron-purple/maple

    think it would be to neck heavy? or make the body ( bubinga ) sound to bright?
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Iron wood is a common name for many species of wood. Purpleheart makes a fine neck laminate, and the "iron wood" probably does too, but unless you can get a trade name -- or better yet, a latin name -- it's hard to say much about it except it's probably pretty hard and heavy.

    Neck stringers are probably going to be a relatively small contribution in terms of overall weight on a six string, especially when you are planning on using bubinga for the body. If you want to work on weight (recommended) then you should consider a 3/8" bubinga top over something a little more lightweight.
  3. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    ill grab the latin name next time im down at the lumber yard ( sad...they have it at a lumbe yard but not at a hardwood shop ), i know its considered to be *the* hardest wood available.

    weight really isnt much of an issue, i like my stuff heavy as a rock, and i really like the warwick esque sound from the bubinga bodys.
  4. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    couldnt help it..got the iron wood. luckily a old friend was workin the counter today, and scored it for the price of 1x6 pine : )
  5. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    I've always liked the combination of maple and purpleheart. The woods expand and contract very similarly, and so if you're working with decently aged and cured stock, you won't get much if any differential shrinking and swelling over the years. This is why I chose that combination for Alembic necks over 30 years ago.

    Also, laminated necks seem to have a lower "Q" than non laminated necks, and that helps damp the dead spot problem. I make nearly all my Lindsey Buckingham model guitars with maple and purpleheart, and they sound fine.
  6. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    common name is "ipe"

    talked to a cpl people that have used it, said it works fine, and good against twisting, just its not exactly......exciting looking.
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Although many types of hardwoods are nicknamed Ironwood for it's hardness, the most common one in USA is Morado/Pau-ferro aka several other names. See here; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/woodpages/morado.html

    Morado and Purpleheart (also call morado in some countries) are very similar. I have used both but prefer Morado/Pau-ferro for its' stiffness. Purpleheart Trees grow huge and the wood can be from any section of the log. Machaerium (Morado) is a smaller tree and the wood does not bend as easily over time. Morado can be 2-3 times the cost of purpleheart matching grade and volume or lumber.