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Thread: Sandwiched necks

  1. #1
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    Default Sandwiched necks

    I see high end or custom instruments with sandwiched necks, typically with layers of light colored maple up the back, and on the headstock. Looks cool, no doubt, but Is this type of construction purely decorative, or does it serve a structural purpose too, perhaps in lieu of a truss rod? Thanks.

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    Last edited by Ukecaster; 05-04-2018 at 04:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2017
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    Default

    Laminated necks when done correctly are definitely stronger. (and they look nice too )

  3. #3
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    Feb 2014
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    Cumbria, NW England
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    Default

    Laminated necks are stronger and more stable, so there's little chance of getting a twisted neck. And I agree they look nice too if a contrasting centre wood is used.

    As a maker, more care is needed to keep things symmetrical if using a contrasting wood. If the central element is off centre, it's particularly noticeable at the heel. The headstock can be veneered and cover any error there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    I am not that convinced they are all that much stronger. Mind you a laminated neck does help out if you hit the neck on something and with a solid piece of wood it cracks along the grain line. If you use a harder wood in the middle and there was an appreciable amount of center wood then yes. Doing a bookmatch type of sandwich of the outer wood does help by canceling out some of the movement that humidity changes may cause. Most of the time this is not an issue on a good piece of wood for necks. The center strip can help with the visual aspect rather than joining the side pieces without it.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2012
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    New York, NY
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    Default loprinzi and bruko

    That is a very good question. The two brands that I've played who have sandwiched necks are Bruko and Loprinzi. I know that the ukes are good and I know they have a good reputation for being durable, too. So I'm going to say "At the very least, they don't hurt." I've been assuming that they help with structural integrity, though you do have a point in that I'm not positive they actually do have a structural purpose.
    Last edited by 13down; 05-04-2018 at 03:50 AM. Reason: clarified

  6. #6
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    Apr 2014
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    Bellevue, KY
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    Default

    Laminated necks are absolutely stronger and less susceptible to twisting / warping. I find them aesthetically pleasing.
    Victor Jones
    Bellevue, KY
    bluefrogvic@gmail.com
    Blue Frog Ukuleles

    http://bluefrogukes.weebly.com/index.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Diogenes Blue View Post
    Laminated necks are absolutely stronger and less susceptible to twisting / warping. I find them aesthetically pleasing.
    Less susceptible to twisting and warping maybe, but how does the strength increase? Unless you stick in a stronger wood then a laminated piece should be no stronger than a solid piece.

  8. #8
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    Bellevue, KY
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    Default

    It's in the way the grain in each layer opposes the other. It makes a stronger neck.
    Last edited by Diogenes Blue; 05-09-2018 at 06:14 AM.
    Victor Jones
    Bellevue, KY
    bluefrogvic@gmail.com
    Blue Frog Ukuleles

    http://bluefrogukes.weebly.com/index.html

  9. #9
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    May 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Diogenes Blue View Post
    It's in the way the grain in each layer opposes the other. It makes a stronger neck.
    That mean nothing, sorry to pick on you, I just hear this all the time and nobody explains how it makes the wood stronger. Either way, solid piece or a laminate of the same wood, the outer fibers of the beam (the neck being a beam) takes most of the stress. I don't see the outer fibers being any stronger, the main concern is the wood being pulled apart as it is being bent. The inner fibers are in compression (the inside of the bent neck) and they do not fail before the fibers in tension. Unless the wood has the grain at an angle to the length of the neck a solid piece should be in the same range of a laminated piece.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    4

    Default

    People are using the word "stronger' when they mean stiffer, which is not the same thing.

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