Wondering where UK builders get their wood for CBG necks?  All B&Q seem to have is cheap pine and other wood merchants aren't much better.  I could trek out to my nearest sawmill and get some proper hardwood but it's a bit of a distance and I can't help thinking I should be able to get what I need closer to home.

I notice that poplar is mentioned a lot but I've not seen that for sale in the UK, anyone know where I can get a stick of that?

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Im not sure about the UK but here a good source in my opinion for suitable wood are shipping pallets / skids. Here, they are commonly built with hardwoods such as oak. Ive seen pallets made with a mix of Oak, Pine, Poplar, Maple and Walnut. If you can find some pallets and are lucky enough to find one made with hardwoods you hit a gold mine of possibilities. Best yet... you can usually get them free!
Your best best is skiphunting, virtually all my timber comes from recycled furniture. I've had beech, oak, cherry, merbau, mahogany and iroko so far. In the UK pallets are always low grade softwood, so no joy to be had there..although I have used if for making-up rustic looking boxes, but it does need a lot of re-sawing and thicknessing to get it useable.

Wickes do decent plain Hemlock stair balluster spindles...it is softwood but it's close grained, straight and dense and will make up into a good neck..but I face mine with a hefty hardwood fretboard and use a reinforcement or trussrod on my 4 strings.

Don't bother looking for poplar, it's common in the USA but not over here, you are better off looking for oak or mahogany as you a much more likely to get it...speaking of which I'm collecting some today...and will probably have a fair bit surplus to my requirements if anyone is interested.

I hope you wear a mask when cutting iroko john the dust will bugger up your lungs.I've know some lads who have worked on this wood before all this health/safety came in and now the suffer with skin and breathing problems.of course all hardwood is hazardous but iroko seem to be one of the worst.I've work with it when I 1st started work after leaving school and boy does it give out dust. horrible stuff. anyway john you look after your lungs mate.it may not affect you now but certainly will when you get to my age! by the way I don't suffer with even though I've been a welder most of my life.

Thanks for the advice, I have kept an eye on skips in the past but not turned up anything. Will need to keep more of an eye out for them. It does surprise me how hard it is to find hardwood in the UK. Skip finds are certainly more in keeping with cigar box ethos, just that supply is irregular by their nature!

ChickenboneJohn - If the offer's still there I wouldn't mind a stick of hardwood suitable for making my first 3 string CBG
I know what you mean J, it's really tricky getting hardwood here in the UK! I ordered my first bit from Travis Perkins the builders merchant (not sure if you have em up there in Edinburgh) it was a piece of white oak 1"x 2" and long enough to get two necks out it. It cost £18.00 and took about a week to order in. Since then I've found a sawmill within 45mins drive of my house which has racks of offcuts and turning blanks etc. Still quite pricey but saves waiting! Have a look on ebay too. I was surprised how much there is if you search 'hardwood timber'. Good luck.
We do have travis perkins up here, and a few other builders merchants - I'll give them a try. When I've phoned places like wickes and jewsons before they make it seem like you're some kind of mad-man for want to get some hardwood!

Julian Perry said:
I know what you mean J, it's really tricky getting hardwood here in the UK! I ordered my first bit from Travis Perkins the builders merchant (not sure if you have em up there in Edinburgh) it was a piece of white oak 1"x 2" and long enough to get two necks out it. It cost £18.00 and took about a week to order in. Since then I've found a sawmill within 45mins drive of my house which has racks of offcuts and turning blanks etc. Still quite pricey but saves waiting! Have a look on ebay too. I was surprised how much there is if you search 'hardwood timber'. Good luck.
I've got most of my neck material from local joinery firms. The ones I've tried all seem happy to sell me pieces cut to my specified sizes, which are pretty small game compared to their usual work. Sapele is a commonly used hardwood that a lot of them seem to carry - it was recommended to me as a cheaper substitute for mahogany and it makes fine necks - I can generally get a couple of 1m long lengths of a suitable section for around £10 - or £5 a neck. I got a similar sort of deal on some maple but it was harder to find a firm that carried it.

Other than that I've acquired a few pieces of timber from amongst rubbish - although that's meant neck dimensions being dictated to some extent by the size of the pieces in question, which hasn't exactly been ideal. All the wood I've seen in skips so far has been smashed up softwood boards. Nevertheless I try to keep alert to any local building or house clearance activity and maybe I'll strike lucky sometime.
Hi I use this company there bloody blinding good prices RING SIMON ON 07811 283614 OR TIM ON 07977 261955 cheap delivery plus they cut and plane it for you give em a call
I buy 45mm x 20mm oak from a builders place in England when Im down that way.
Its £1 a foot and already perfectly sized for CBG necks to boot - what could be better? :o)
If you get stuck let me know - I will be passing your door a couple of times over the next month so could drop some off for you.
I suspect you want something sooner, but its worth considering in the long run - I buy 100' at a time and it generally keeps me in necks for 6 months, which saves an awful lot of running up and down to the timber yard!
What place in England is that? I'll be down around Yorkshire next week so may be able to pick some up myself, if not then your offer of dropping some off would be appreciated, but only if you genuinely are down this way! The CBG project will follow a diddly bow or two which will be made with broom handles or similar so I'm in no immediate rush for the wood.

Roosterman said:
I buy 45mm x 20mm oak from a builders place in England when Im down that way.
Its £1 a foot and already perfectly sized for CBG necks to boot - what could be better? :o)
If you get stuck let me know - I will be passing your door a couple of times over the next month so could drop some off for you.
I suspect you want something sooner, but its worth considering in the long run - I buy 100' at a time and it generally keeps me in necks for 6 months, which saves an awful lot of running up and down to the timber yard!
Hi guys...I have just got a load of mixed hardwood strip in...mostly oak and mahogany, plus a bit of tulipwood (yellow poplar). It's in a variety of random sizes, 25 x20mm, 30 x 50mm, thru' to 75 x 30mm and all sorts in between, plus a few wider boards (mainly waney-edged tulip up to about 30 x150) and in approx 2500mm lengths.

I need to check it over and grade it, but if you need wood I got it (about 1/2 tonne of the frickin' stuff!). I'll try and sort it out and offer it in useable sizes and I'll be able to cut to length and post stuff out to you if anyone is interested in it.
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That wood!!!!! Be fantastic and you local to me, we just in Halesowen B62 so I could collect no rush just please keep me in mind
Cheers
Ken

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