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Wenge neck questions.

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Wenge neck questions.

Postby John Kingma » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:30 am

I have a customer wanting me to build him a guitar with a Wenge neck. I've used Wenge for fretboards before but not necks. I have a few concerns and questions.

Wenge is known to be "splintery". Has anyone had issues with this on a neck?

Customer does not want a finish on the neck... so the splintering issue has me concerned. Otherwise I could just build up some layers of lacquer or poly.

It's also very heavy and hard. Can I get away with a CF rod instead of a truss rod?
John Kingma,
Builder of Fine Sawdust & Expensive Kindling
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Re: Wenge neck questions.

Postby Waddy Thomson » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:22 am

I have seen a Wenge neck, but it was finished. Not sure how one might do it without finish. The splinter issue could become serious! Might be able to pore fill, then sand back to wood for a smooth surface.
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Re: Wenge neck questions.

Postby Dave Weir » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:41 am

I have an unfinished Wenge neck I've played for years. It is not smooth like Maple. It's very open grained, and unfilled. It feels fast, I think because of less surface area. I never thought of it being splintery, or had any concern about it. I didn't make it, so I think if there is a concern it would be during machining or routing (I'm not sure what your process is.) I have built necks out of Merbau, which has a similar open grain. It drilled fine, but I didn't use any other machines on it except a belt sander.
Anyway, Wenge would be one of my top choices except for the cost. If I get past the point where I ruin one out of two, I would use it without hesitation.
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