now i understand the reason that most builders use hard wood for their necks, but as long as i install a truss rod or laminate in a strip of hardwood like oak is there any reason that i can't use pine or some other soft woods for the neck on a build?
If Pine is the only piece you've got then you could do what I did. Cut the plank down the middle, reverse the grain and laminate them together, that way the grain 'fights' itself and it stays straight. Hardwoods better though!
I've become quite frustrated with pine, effectively wrecking two necks before they got even close to being fitted to a box.
The material is very soft, leading to many dings and dents simply from moving it around the shop. I mean, a piece of crud on the table would leave a dent in it. Not cool when trying to make a nice smooth fretboard.
The wood had a tendency to splinter and lose pieces when being worked. It was very easy to over work it and make mistakes.
If I couldn't even get a plank to stay in decent shape long enough to build the guitar, how would it stay nice when the axe was completed?
Basically, I've personally given up on pine insofar as critical, stress baring components are concerned.
Pine will dampen the tone because of the softness but if you are not planning on fingering the frets and only sliding them it won't be as much of an issue. I would avoid it personally for the reasons people listed in this thread. For a dollar or two more you can get a piece of maple, poplar or oak that would be much better suited to a guitar.
I agree with the others, I've tried pine and I found it just too soft to handle the load.For almost 2 years now I've used poplar for both Banjo necks and CBG necks and found it works fine .It's not expensive ,its easy to get and it looks good when done.
I've made quite few necks with hemlock, simply because that's all I had to hand at the time. It was good tight grained stuff, nothing like the typical quick-grown soft pine. I put on a substantial oak fretboard, left plenty of 'meat' in the neck and on the 4 strings put in a trussrod. The hemlock is quite like Spanish Cedar in the tightness of its grain and overall strength, so using softwood as a neck isn't a total no-no, but ordinary pine isn't a timber I'd use. If you were to laminate it with a hardwood centre stripe it would doubtless work, depending on what sort of tension (ie how many strings) you are putting on the neck, but it's an awful lot of work to compensate for the inherent weakness of the material.
thanks man... that is what i was thinking (laminating with a strip of hardwood) cause i've done that with poplar and a strip of red oak and was thinking that i could do that with pine but several folks are saying that it will absorb vibrations and dampen sound....i think i'm gonna give it a try anyway.