Shape first, ask questions later

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Out of the three books I've been using as reference, only the Waring book mentions doing the neck as follows: shape the back of the neck first, let it sit for a few days, then check for flatness of the front (joint as necessary), then route the truss rod channel. The other two books don't make this distinction. Now, he's making a single piece flatsawn maple neck (I believe). I, on the other hand, and making a 5 piece laminate of wenge/purpleheart, and it is almost down to the correct thickness. Should I shape the back and wait for it to correct (due to release of tension in the wood as stated in the book)?

    I was thinking about routing the TR channel and the graphite strip channels first, installing, tapering the fingerboard, gluing it down, tapering the neck, and then shaping. Am I asking for trouble?
  2. As you've noted, if he's using a single piece blank, he may have to let it stand for a few days. I don't think you'll have any problem especially if you are careful to alternate the pitch of the end grain against each other to counteract these stresses.

    I just had a beautiful piece of red walnut go to hell on me. I cut the blanks and let them sit for 2 weeks or more then I bandsawed the rough shape. A week later it had twisted! :mad:
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Thanks Hambone. I was good about running grain direction against eachother in the pieces, so hopefully that (along with the reinforcement) will keep it stable. We shall the meantime, it's off to the router.
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Mr. Bone Walnut has played havoc with me too. I got a pile of it from Ken and have had a lot of trouble with it. I am still fighting though... :rolleyes: ..t