I used a straight poplar 2X1 for the neck (through neck) on my first build... it's straight until I put the strings under tension, then the neck bows slightly, but enough so the action is way too high.  Is poplar just a bad wood to use, or is there something I can do make sure the neck stays straight? 

Views: 2331

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

In my work I've found that poplar is a good wood to use for paint grade cabinet framework and columns and so on. I have never attempted to stain poplar because it doesn't take stain well, very blotchy like beech and birch. Mahogany is a good wood to use, also ash is good (very hard like oak, only better) and maple is good for a neck but its extremely squirly when you cut it on the table saw and if you don't have a brand new router bit it will leave a lot of burn marks which are a pain to sand out, cause it's so hard.
My favorites so far, 1. Mahogany for three strings, but for a six string I would use a truss rod.
2. Ash
3. Oak, if you can stand the smell, I can't.
I hope this helps Brian.
I have an cbg thats about 5 years old hasn't bowed yet. But I only tune it DAd or GDg not that much tension on the strings or neck. Could be you just got a bad piece. There are way to many here that have built with poplar necks with no bowing. Look at Shane Speals old mac 13 years old yes it has bowed a little but look at how old it is and how much abuse he has put it through.
Buying a finished 1x2 gives you a 3/4x 1 3/4 neck.
IMHO, I think poplar is to soft for that. Yes ... there have been many built, but still ... IMHO....
That said, I only use red oak 1x2's but I will use poplar when I do a fully carved neck. I start out with a 2x2 and end up with a hoss of a neck.
Even with red oak 1x2's I still pay close attention to the wood when I get it. I get the straightest piece they have .... I have left and gone to other places just to get one 1x2.
I also look at the grain. I only get sticks that have the grain running from end to end. The straighter the grain, the better. I have seen a 19" scale dulcibox with a 26" total neck-thru length bow with bad grain.
Paying close attention to the grain in poplar could help avoid the bow.

Matt
did you add a fretboard, or is the does the neck serve as the fretboard as well?
Poplar is not really a hardwood. Doesn't have enough rigidity for steel strings - might work with nylon, though. Best to stick with maple, walnut, oak, cherry, or hickory for necks - sometimes even mahogany 1 x 2 won't hold up under steel strings, but usually would work.
Thanks for the info guys... I should have added a pic, it's a 3 string (steel strings), no added fretboard although for my next build I'll be adding one. Godzilla, you're right about the stain part - it came out pretty blotchy, but what the heck, I see it looking a bit "different" as a plus.
Given the number of people who have used poplar with success, I prob just have a loser piece... Does anyone have ideas to brace or otherwise reinforce it to take the string tension? I attached a steel connector plate under the notched part to try to strengthen it but that obviously didn't help much.
what is it tuned to?
GDg

THENUGE said:
what is it tuned to?
hmmm...it must be a bunk piece i guess, i have only used poplar once, and i had it tuned to AEa for a while with no problems, though i added a maple fretboard. hope your next one is trouble free
Guess I should stop worrying so much about a problem with build#1 when I'm already gathering materials for build#2... and thinking about plans for #3... thanks for the input
Hmmm, I do use poplar and have had good luck. I make a laminated neck which greatly increases the strength. Else, I might put in a 1/8"x1/2" iron bar (lowes/HD) and that makes it solid.

I will agree tho that it does dent mar easy.

-WY

Duke T. said:
Poplar is not really a hardwood. Doesn't have enough rigidity for steel strings - might work with nylon, though. Best to stick with maple, walnut, oak, cherry, or hickory for necks - sometimes even mahogany 1 x 2 won't hold up under steel strings, but usually would work.
Absolutely! Your second (and third. and fourth. and fifth. and sixth....) will go MUCH smoother.

Oh and if its not fretted, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

-WY

Brian H said:
Guess I should stop worrying so much about a problem with build#1 when I'm already gathering materials for build#2... and thinking about plans for #3... thanks for the input

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

 


Forum

2021 Throwback Holiday Build-Off Contest!

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by smilingdog1 17 hours ago. 44 Replies

Squaring the neck

Started by Fantacone Box Works in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans Nov 19. 16 Replies

Completed Builds

Started by ThePracticalPeasant in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Derek Waters Nov 5. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

Uncle Enos CBG Banjo Build

Posted by Greg on November 29, 2021 at 7:24pm 0 Comments

To Reach the Chord

Posted by Rich on November 12, 2021 at 10:20am 0 Comments

Seasonal build contest?

Posted by smilingdog1 on October 29, 2021 at 9:20am 9 Comments

Latest Activity

Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

CB Gitty Throwback Holiday Build Contest Entry.

"Thanks, Belinda.   It is the tale end of building season for me due to cold coming on…"
14 minutes ago
bemuzic commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

CB Gitty Throwback Holiday Build Contest Entry.

"nicely done video and beautiful build John"
2 hours ago
Gutbucketeer (Jim Bunch) commented on Will Carter's group Cigar Box Basses
9 hours ago
Wade commented on 3 String Blues's video
Thumbnail

1940's Kamaka Cigar Box Ukulele - Hawaii uke history

"Nice find! I bet Bill Jehle could help you get some more info on this beauty!"
9 hours ago
BrianQ. commented on Will Carter's group Cigar Box Basses
"Wade, that link’s not working?"
9 hours ago
Wade commented on Will Carter's group Cigar Box Basses
"Not cigar box basses, but thought I would leave a link for a page with cool washtub bass…"
11 hours ago
victor c. sotelo commented on Miku's photo
Thumbnail

Skiffle cigar box guitar

"Just bought the Garcia & Garcia beveled top box the other day. I was wondering about the neck…"
12 hours ago
RTZGUITARS replied to Slowpaw Steve T's discussion CIGAR BOX NATION CHRISTMAS ALBUM 2021
"I'm starting to think you really know Santa Steve. I think I can find a song around here. "
12 hours ago
RTZGUITARS posted a photo

Swiss Parlor

Only took 2 1/2 years!22.5 scale 12 fret. Flame Malpe neck Maple back and sides. Spruce top. jumbo…
12 hours ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's photo
Thumbnail

2 string Banjo for Gitty's Throwback build contest.

"Thanks, Doug!   It will make a pretty cool and playable wall hanger."
14 hours ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

CB Gitty Throwback Holiday Build Contest Entry.

"Ha!  Thanks, AGP.   There are a bunch of great looking entries.  I was trying…"
14 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on AGP #'s photo
Thumbnail

Xmas Scam ;-D

"Wow, that must have been a heartbreaker AGP!!!"
16 hours ago

Music

© 2021   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->