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wenge neck screw holes - to tap or not to tap?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by yooloo, May 12, 2006.

  1. yooloo


    Nov 30, 2005
    Paris, France
    hi all,
    i've got myself an fretless warwick three piece wenge neck, and am a bit worried about getting into the wood with just the pilot holes drilled, wenge being tough and brittle kind of wood...
    any advice would be more than welcome,
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Relax. There are lots of necks with wnege, but without threaded insterts.
    You can use inserts if something bad happens.
  3. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I didn't use inserts on my last wenge neck, and it worked out fine. Still, I see where you're coming from...I just didn't have the patience to teach myself how to set the inserts correctly.
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Use the right pilot bit and put the screws in slowly. If the screws start getting warm use a little bees wax on the threads......t
  5. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    remember that the pilot bit should be equal to or just slightly larger than the screw core(the treads of a screw protrude from the core) you will get less pressure expansion from the screw threading, and much less chance of a crack or a split. IMHO
  6. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    If you are nervous about the hole size, test your screw in several different sized pilot holes in a piece of scrap Wenge. Also, have a few new screws laying around. After you get the screws set, you'll notice that the phillips head slots get a bit damaged or "mushroomed" from the torque necessary to set them. I usually replace the "setting" screw with a new one so there are no flared edges.... Just something that I do for a cleaner look.
  7. yooloo


    Nov 30, 2005
    Paris, France
    thanks guys, it's done!
    wasn't thinking about threaded inserts, and never would on a new neck. i was just a bit worried this being my first wenge neck... maple - i never had problems with.
    wax, "setting" screw... did all, and it looks and sounds right.
    thanks again for your time,
  8. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    So, where are the pics of the instrument this neck is going on, eh?
  9. yooloo


    Nov 30, 2005
    Paris, France
    soon, Trevorus, soon... still waiting for some hardware - i went for satin chrome, and finding knobs and tuners is a nightmare!
    will post a pic or two when it's all there.
    expect no surprise, it's an old Warwick Streamer LX that has been maltreated first, and then left in a dump place for god knows how long. the sunburst finish has started flaking and bubbling at places, and the thing looked just plain ugly... now it looks like this:


  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Wenge is a hard and dense wood. It is one of the woods I would consider tapping, i.e. to drill and tap a hole in the neck as if it was metal. It has been done, and works nicely.

    My honest opinion, based on lots of bad experience, is that
    when wood screws can be avoided, they should;
    when machine screws can be used, they should;
    when joints can be accomplished without screws, don't screw.


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