Fender bass neck wood choice

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Fender bass neck wood choice

Postby Brian Evans » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:36 pm

I'm making a J-bass for a friend of mine out of a black cherry tree that he cut down. The wood is not very straight grained, is wide grained, is flat-sawn and has not particularly stable grain. It twisted quite a lot when it was rough-cut. But I have a big enough chunk to cut out a fairly quarter sawn piece out of the middle of one of the boards (the board is 2 1/2" thick, so cut a piece at an angle). I have a double acting (actually I have two) truss rod, I would normally use one but concievably could use two. Separate fretboard. I just have serious doubts about how this piece of black cherry is going to act over time. A fender style bass neck is just so long and skinny and unsupported... Get something else and use this wood for a table?

Thanks for thoughts.
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Re: Fender bass neck wood choice

Postby Bob Gramann » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:47 pm

From your description, I would be uneasy about using this wood. If the part of the tree it came from had any lean to it when it was standing, that would clinch it. I like cherry a lot for necks, But I only accept straight grained pieces. On the other hand, a J bass has a bolt on neck, so it it warps, you can replace it easily.
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Re: Fender bass neck wood choice

Postby David King » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:06 pm

My experience with wild choke cherry (not sure if it's black cherry) is that the rings are not very well connected year to year so it can delaminate as it dries. It make pretty good firewood however and is easy to split. That said you can add a lot of CF to the mix and build a serviceable neck out of almost anything.
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Re: Fender bass neck wood choice

Postby John Clifford » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:47 pm

If the workpiece stays straight after you cut it to size, chances are it’s OK. You could laminate it with something else to add warp resistance. I’ve made a couple of archtop necks with laminated cherry, maple and padauk that have stayed straight so far.
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Re: Fender bass neck wood choice

Postby Beate Ritzert » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:36 pm

I would actually try to do a 2 or 3 piece neck with such wood and try to orient the grain that it will stabilize itself.
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