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Well yesterday I spoke with a local rustic furniture builder in town and he sold me a 4"x12"x4' slab of cedar as well as more oak flooring than i could ever use and some really nice black walnut. i plan on using the oak and walnut to experiment with some laminate necks and such, my question is- has anyone ever used cedar for a neck and if so how does it hold up? i know for bodies cedar has a great tone, im just worried about standing up to string tension and whether or not it will hold frets.
btw-all the above mentioned lumber cost me 20 bucks--what a steal! he promises to have some bald cypress, spruce, maple, and more black walnut when i return.
That's a nice haul. What kind of cedar? Red cedar is stronger than white, eastern is stronger than western.
Here is an interesting link comparing various woods.
Probably be fine for a 3 string, maybe 4, if you leave some thickness to the neck.
I would image a cedar would be fine for a 3-4 string cbg w/o any truss rod or anything.
any wood will work. if it is soft, cut it on the bias or lam small strips together.
ive done a few cedar necks. although its soft and easy to bruise / mark it is reasonable strong and more resistant to warping/twisting than pine imho. mind you im in Australia, might be different stuff. the only cedar ive had in quantities is western red cedar and im comparing it to pinus radiata that we grow around here. It DOES NOT hold frets too well tho, you are spot on about that id look at a hardwood fingerboard or you'll have to super glue them in.
if i were youI would consider saving that cedar for three solid bodies, one piece cedar bodies would be sweet, its a very musical wood, and it seems a terrible shame to rip a foot wide piece into neck blanks, its the width that costs money in wood, not the length
wow all very helpful info. wormil-that link is gonna come in real handy. I've though about laminating cedar/black walnut/cedar side by side, give it that skunk tail look or possibly cedar/oak/cedar with a walnut fretboard. Kid-good idea with the bodies. I'm thinking solidbody electric mandolin. order99-correct me if i'm wrong, it sounds like you are describing lamination from back to front. I've never seen necks made that way, usually the strips are glued side by side that i have seen. am i just misunderstanding? anyways, pictures of that would be awesome if i could see what you mean
Thanks again guys
I've used quite a lot of cedar in necks but have always laminated the necks. Have a look in the photos section for a look at some I have done.
Spanish cedar is traditionally used for Spanish/classical guitar necks. It's also used for cigar boxes. The wood is actually a lightweight, fragrant form of mahogany. The Latin name is cedrela odorata. If this is what you have, it would make a great neck. If not, probably best to laminate, or stick with making a body.
Do you have any idea what your species of cedar is?