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Red Oak For A Neck?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SurferJoe46, May 22, 2012.


  1. I just got gifted to me some red oak planks that are over 40 years old as cut so they should be stable.

    Some are 3" x 4" x 12'. Others are 4" x 4" x 10'.

    Wondering if anyone has made a neck out of this wood yet?
     
    WorktheWood likes this.
  2. PJMiDi

    PJMiDi

    Feb 27, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    from wikipedia

    "Red oak wood grain is so open that smoke can be blown through it from end-grain to end-grain on a flat-sawn board. For this reason, it is subject to moisture infiltration and is unsuitable for outdoor uses such as boatbuilding or exterior trim."

    leads me to believe it wouldn't hold up so well to humidity, but I am no lutheir so I really couldn't tell you.
     
  3. Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrggh

    Looks like I'll finally make those shelves and wall brackets my wife wants.

    On the day it rains soup --- I'll only have a fork.
     
  4. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've read a lot of statements that oak isn't suitable for bass necks. But I do remember seeing some oak Warmoth pieces.

    I don't have any real knowledge or experience here, but I think a quartersawn oak neck with a ton of ray flecks in it would look killer!
     
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I haven't tried it as a neck, but oak is pretty dense wood, it may work fine. As long as the wood is sealed with a good finish I dont think moisture will be an issue
     
  6. I was thinking of a heavy polyester resin over the whole thing - I like shiny. That may help I hope.

    Also - I have had an idea of laminating a few different boards in a multi-ply neck and headstock.

    There's some color differences that might be a nice reveal. I intend to keep the Fender-esque profile as it's a favorite of mine.

    Just thinking out loud here. Most of this wood is finish milled and is very pretty.
     
  7. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
  8. Try it! I think the only reason people don't use oak is that it is hard to shape with hand tools, and looks like furniture when you're done. I recently did a red oak (from Lowes) fingerboard on my CNC router, I like the look so I plan to try some oak necks when my current projects are done. If you use any sealing finish, I suspect its porosity is a non-issue. I'm a tone wood agnostic so I don't think that is an issue either.
     
  9. gigslut

    gigslut

    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    Being a dense wood would neck dive be an issue?
     
  10. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    I used red oak as practice stock when I was determining how I was going to carve neck profiles.

    That experience was enough to ensure that I will never use red oak for an actual neck.
     
  11. azfryguy

    azfryguy

    Feb 2, 2010
    Queen Creek AZ
    keep this in mind, i am just a n00b. However i've heard if you put a Tung oil finish on with a one thousand grit sandpaper it fills the grain with wood dust and Tung oil.
     
  12. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I've used it for cigar box guitar necks for years with no truss rod because it is harder and more stable than poplar, which is also widely available. Poplar was used in Dano necks - with steel rods for support - so I would think that if you used a truss rod or graphite/steel support rods, then oak should be fine.
     
  13. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
  14. don't forget the pinquinto beans ;)
     
  15. Jandrew

    Jandrew

    Nov 15, 2010
    Framingham, Ma
    Fodera has used oak in some necks. No idea if it was red or white or whichever.
     
  16. Now I'm intrigued. Spring's well in the wind here and my creative juices are also flowing.

    I might consider the lamination of red oak and another wood much like the Ibanez SR necks to see how it turns out.

    I think it's time to create a nice natural finish bass this time.

    Lessee ---> if I use red oak for the HIGHS and lam in some pine for the LOWS and use a little hemlock for the MIDS, I can get the bass to resonate from 6.2 Hz up to 8.6GHz.

    THAT should cover all the range I want I think.
     
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Your over thinking it, skip the hemlock and the pine and oak will meet somewhere in the middle :D
     
  18. I agree with your thought - I like the tung oil, but right now I'm in 'Sparkly Mode' and although my SR500 is a matte finish somewhat like what you mentioned, I'll go super glossy this time again.
     
  19. I actually have an ulterior motive in that red oak - or any oak really - is kinda heavy. I just thought I could cut the weight a little with lesser-dense woods, that's all.

    The frequency responses of the variety woods is for the bene of the 'wood counts' set.
     

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