Evo Pro Build Diary – Part 6

In previous articles of the Evo Pro build diary I have concentrated on the body. Well, that is pretty well done apart from final polishing so it’s now time to concentrate on the neck. I am building two necks for this guitar, one Maple and one Wenge so, in the diary you may see me working on one and then on the other. I will decide which to marry to the guitar at final assembly and testing.

Preparing gluing surfaces

Preparing gluing surfaces for the sections of the Wenge neck on the planer.

The Wenge neck is going to be made up of three pieces and quarter sawn for stiffness and stability. I start by rough sawing the lumber and then machining the gluing surfaces on the relevant sections (as shown above). Once the gluing surfaces are prepared and marked the sections are then thicknessed to slightly oversize, again on the planer.

Thicknessing the sections on the planer

Taking the three Wenge sections down to a uniform thickness.

The laminates for the neck are then trimmed to the required length. This also gives me a clear view of the grain orientation on the end of each of the sections. The blank when glued is a little over 20mm thick and the middle section is 20mm wide so it’s all too easy to glue up with the grain running the wrong way in the center section.

Trimming the sections to length

Using the table saw to trim the sections to length.

Quarter sawn timber has the grain running perpendicular to the wide face of a board, flat sawn the grain is parallel to that face, and rift sawn is substantially angled to the face and can be prone to twisting if the timber is not stable. Quarter sawn neck timber is stiffer and more dimensionally stable than rift sawn. Flat sawn necks, which I use a lot, are less stiff but still more stable than rift sawn. I like flat sawn necks as they have a bit more spring in them than a quartered neck and can give a bit more of that ‘quack’ that you get from some old Fender guitars. The extra stiffness of a quartered neck can give a bit more harmonic response and sharpen the attack. All things that are taken into account when building a guitar to suit someones needs. I am using Wenge for this neck to introduce a bit of ‘bite’ and harmonic clarity that the mahogany of the body would not normally display.

The prepared quarter sawn sections

The trimmed sections, the vertical or quarter sawn grain is very clear.

The neck laminates are then glued, clamped and left overnight to cure before being dressed down to the final thickness.

The glued and clamped neck blank

The neck blank glued and clamped.

Next time I will cut out the shape and route for the truss rod etc.

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