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View Full Version : Screwy neck blank: trash or tolerable?



Dan Gleibitz
09-05-2016, 04:05 PM
Hi brains trust,

One of my neck blanks (acacia) arrived a bit cupped, a bit warped and a bit twisted. It's got plenty of surplus wood on it, so I could just plane and sand it back to square before I use it. But I'm wondering if it's likely to cause issues in the future, and if there's any way to tell if it's done twisting or only part way there?

I'm thinking I'll just plane/sand it, shape it, then let it sit for a few weeks and see what it does. Or do you think that would be a waste of effort?

spongeuke
09-05-2016, 04:24 PM
Saw it in half length wise flip one side end for end and glue the cut faces back together. It should not go anywhere and you will have a convenient center seam for reference. The grain may not match well so think about it.

Dan Gleibitz
09-05-2016, 04:36 PM
Neat. As long as I'm at it I might as well laminate a contrasting colour strip down the centre too, just for looks. Thanks spongeuke!

Kekani
09-05-2016, 06:38 PM
Neat. As long as I'm at it I might as well laminate a contrasting colour strip down the centre too, just for looks. Thanks spongeuke!

Actually, in your case, that wouldn't be just for looks. Choose the right wood for function, not just form.

Dan Gleibitz
09-05-2016, 06:52 PM
Good point. Hard and straight grained? I'll see what I can find.

Mutantmoose
09-06-2016, 06:14 PM
I'm not sure if this will help, but if you go WAY down this forum page on the BanjoHangout forum, there is a discussion of grain orientation to obtain as much figure as possible. Pretty heady stuff, but very informative.

http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/235918

Dan Gleibitz
09-30-2016, 03:12 AM
Update: in typical noob style, I ignored the good advice above (which is appreciated, thanks!) and just planed and sanded it flat then cut and glued it.

I think it's going to be fine, this particular piece is dry and hard as heck. I thought Acacia dealbata would be soft, but this is tough as nails. And it's got a lovely tight curl to it, so I cut six nice bridge blanks from the surplus. I made a test today and will machine the rest up tomorrow.

HTTPS://i.imgur.com/cvXJeyW.jpg

Pete Howlett
09-30-2016, 06:47 AM
Curly figure for necks? Well, you really deserve everything you get for ignoring the advice :)

Dan Gleibitz
09-30-2016, 01:18 PM
Curly figure for necks? Well, you really deserve everything you get for ignoring the advice :)

Heh, yes, I take both your points. And full responsibility. :)

Good lessons learned though. I wouldn't buy this wood for a neck again. Aside from the obvious issues, it's just too hard to work, and probably too heavy as well. But now I know it makes great bridges, is tough enough for fretboards, is pretty as heck and machines and finishes well. I've pencilled it in for the top and back of #3.

So I'm glad I tried it, and if I end up with a neck that looks like Bells Beach under a sou-westerly, that's a bonus lesson! I've got a couple of other necks underway out of a nice straight-grained and light timber (but still Australian native - don't want to get all traditional here), so worst case I'll use one of them instead.

Dan Gleibitz
10-04-2016, 12:17 AM
Time will tell, but it's worked out okay so far (bearing in mind it's my first attempt). I should have taken a 'before' shot, but here's after the make-over.

HTTPS://I.imgur.com/tH797Wm.jpg

sequoia
10-04-2016, 07:13 PM
Looks great. Hope it works out. Probably everything is going to be just fine. The grain orientation on the top of the peghead does give me some pause however. Wood tends to want to align along the grain line. Remember; trees tend to grow as spirals not straight out of the ground and linear like we like to think ... Slap in a reinforcing rod, glue on a stiff fretboard and cross your fingers. Probably gonna be just fine.

Michael Smith
10-04-2016, 07:38 PM
I love the look of southern pine. The stuff I scavenged from a job was almost as hard as hardrock maple. It's pretty oily and hard. I'm not convinced it will make a great top.