Does anyone use pine for necks ? or is it too soft.

Tam

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There are builders here that have used pine, but it is soft and relatively weak with any length. Even buying oak or maple at a big box store is not much more expensive and is a much better choice. Locally the poplar is cheaper than the pine.
$.02
I started making instruments with pine, cuz I had a bunch of 1x2s hanging around. Free is better than paying for something, a lot of times... at least, it is when you're broke! :-)

But to answer your question, you can do it. I personally have made 3-string CBGs with pine necks and had no problem at all. Using strings 44-34-24 tuned E-B-e, no problem. Granted, they were fretless CBGs, so any bow the string tension may or may not have put on them wouldn't matter much in terms of playability. And you can make a piece of pine look pretty nice, too... also, putting a fingerboard on it might help in terms of stability.

That said, I did give one of these pine neck'd CBGs to a friend of mine... and he said the neck bowed on him, pretty badly. It wasn't until later I found out he tuned it all the way up to A without putting thinner strings on it.

Pine is easier to work with than oak or maple, and some people say it's a really good tonewood. It is very soft, though, and dents very easily. For that reason alone I prefer not to use it... why bother putting in all these hours of sanding, finishing and what not, just to have one careless moment and *DING!* Sure, you'll put dings and dents into it anyway over time... but lately, I haven't used any pine.
pine is a great tone wood but for the prince of 1x2 maple (89 cents a foot) i think i would spend a few bucks on maple for a neck.
Thank's for the answers Guys.
I live in Scotland and our main DIY store is B&Q pine is about all I can get there.
I will have to visit a sawmill to get some oak. I have been using oak from a coffee table that my son ruined with cigarete.

Tam

I use B&Q 38 x 25 sawn softwood for my workshop kits..over 1000 of 'em made in my "Make and Play" sessions so far and they work fine. Glue a hardwood fretboard to the top and it'll be OK. It's cheap and it works..hardwood is nicer, but oak is hard to work.

what about cedar? i recently got some lengths of 4 x 1 cedar and was thinking about necks but it feels very light.
stronger than pine though?
I have used pine but I dont if I can get out of it.If I have to use it in the future tho ,I'll cut 2 pieces for the neck, laminate them together so the neck is stronger then a single piece of pine.
I now use mostly poplar and thats how I do my poplar necks too for 3 stringers.What you see on my necks if you look close is a single seam under the 2nd (middle) string where the 2 pieces are glued. It makes for a very strong neck that has always ( so far) stayed where I put it.
I have no idea. I have a thin slice of cedar I'm trying to get some fingerboards from, but my slice has so many damn knots it's hard to get 'em without breaking.

c# merle said:
what about cedar? i recently got some lengths of 4 x 1 cedar and was thinking about necks but it feels very light.
stronger than pine though?
I used a pine 1x2 on my first 3 stringer, just because that's what I had laying around. It was a fretless CBG, with a shorter 21" scale length. It had a nice warm growly tone. The neck seemed a little unstable tuning-wise, but like one of the other posters was saying, laminating two or more pieces of wood together would help with that.

Pine is a great overlooked tonewood, mainly because its soft and dents easily, at least for big factory production operations.

Spanish cedar is the preferred neck wood for classical guitars.
Okay, Pine is a sort of specialty for me so I will add my 2 cents if you don't mind...Pine is a very unique specie of wood. Yellow pine with no heart is soft and not a great choice. However, heart pine is about 25% harder and antique heart pine is about 50% harder. My company manufactures flooring in both Yellow Pine, Heart Pine and Antique Heart Pine flooring. I will tell you, vertical grain antique heart pine is twice as stable as oak or maple and just as hard if not harder. As the wood ages, the resins in the heart wood crystallize and get harder and harder. Find yourself a nice piece of old, vertical grain heart pine and you will not be disappointed in the results. I promise you.

I found this comment very helpful.  I was given a 4x4 rafter from my Great, great grandfather's log house that he had hand hewn (with an ax!) from loblolly pine.  I wanted to use some of it for a neck because of the good mojo it might carry.  But I had questions about the suitability of the wood.  But the rafter is just about 200 years old.  So I'm thinking the crystallization you referred to applies in this case.  There are also some holes from powder post beetles, the bugs have been killed.  But  don't believe the beetles have done much structural damage and the holes can be filled.

Thanks for posting this.

Hey Bobby - Not to side track your plans but I would keep that rafter intact - maybe use it as a rack for your CBG's or something - but then again, I'm a bit sentimental.
The mojo might still transfer from them hanging there!!!

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