Okay so I have a cigar box ordered and on its way to me but I now seem to have stumbled at the next hurdle which is trying to find a timber merchant that I can buy pieces of american oak or maple from which to make a neck.  Strangely enough I have a timber supplier less than a mile from my home that will sell me the wood at a reasonable price but it is 6 inches wide, unbelievably the guy informed me that they don't have sawing equipment as they mainly sell to trade and they tend to saw their own as necessary.  Has anyone else had this kind of problem and if so how did you overcome it?  I do not have specialist electrical saws and have no inclination to buy one, for occasional hobby use it would be a waste of money.  Failing that if anyone in the Lincolnshire area knows of a supplier where I could purchase pre-sawn timber I would be grateful for a heads up.  I even thought of buying from the timber merchant and seeing if my local B&Q would cut it to size for me???

Thanks for any help guys.


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To saw timber, all you need is a handsaw - I made around 200 guitars before getting any serious power tools, and sawed my way thru' a lot of oak and mahogany with just an ordinary handsaw. Don't get fixated on having to have american oak, maple or whatever, almost any timber will do. Table legs from skips are a favorite source of wood from me...but a decent piece of softwood will do - I've made hundreds of them at my 'make and play' workshops just using 1" x 1 1/2" sawn softwood from Homebase.


Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.  I have read that the soft woods wouldn't stand up to the tension once strings were added?  But if this is not the case then I will bow to your greater knowledge.  Any timber I've ever bought from local DIY stores has been for jobs around the home and has been fairly uninspiring and I'd like my first build to look as nice as nice as possible.  I even have an old Squier guitar neck here but have not seen any how to's or other tutorials on how I could succesfully use such an item, though I know people do use them.

Thanks again 

Could you use Plywood for a neck. Not the usual softwood type but Hardwood Plywood or Marine Ply ? 

It can be bought in 1 mtr X 1 mtr X 18mm. sheets.  Two strips 1. 5 inches wide glued together could work ?

Or not ????

Just a thought.

Hi Tony, yes a good quality ply (Swedish birch has no gaps on either edge, the guys who build rocking horses use it for the varnished clear finishes and may have enough left over from a build but sadly the kit builders have nothing but sawdust left over but do look fantastic so a neck would look just as good) depending on how many strings you want to build to is a major factor. Ash is a great wood to work with and very resilient, oak is good but very heavy. The best necks I have made have been laminated and are very strong but without a truss rod it's a bit of a risk but that is just making a ply yourself really. This game is throw the dice and hope for the best, we are all ground breaking and that is what makes the Nation what it is mate, ask the guys and get the short cut through experiences of the members, happy building Tony. Chris. :)

Softwood isn't great, but it will work - I've used decent Hemlock (stair bannisters) from Wickes..straight grained and pretty dense...and if you glue on a fretboard it holds up just fine. Remember, it's a stick in a box, not a Gibson..so use a stick!

Thanks for that John, the "stick in a box" comment really brought it home.


In true CBG style go do a bit of skip diving, there's always someone chucking out good wood. Got any old relatives with garages, sheds? Ask if they have any bits of old furniture, shelving etc. Put an ad on Freecycle. Lots of ways of getting good seasoned hardwood for free. Only time I've actually bought neck wood was just cos I wanted some maple. Then as CB John said, cut it down with a handsaw. Yeah hard work but more satisfying and has a lot more mojo when you've built it.

Thanks for the input Mojo, much appreciated.


Hi Midge,

You don't say how thick the timber is. If you you are going to do this type of woodwork or come to that any woodwork, you will need a number of tools & equipment. You could see if there are any wood turning or woodwork clubs in your area, these guys I'm sure would help may be with a small donation to the club. Most of these guy have band saws which is a god send to woodworking. As Chickenbone said a hand saw will do the job & are not expensive from B&Q. I live in Surrey, so can not help other than chat about it. Again skips & damps can good for old furniture. At this time I have only one Strumstick but want to go to make more & cigar boxes. 


Thanks for the advice Graham, much appreciated.


Hi Midge,

Roosterman was selling neck blanks (hardwood) 5 for £50 which included postage. One end slimmed down to take the machine heads. The link with photo was on the chat part of the group from 5th jan 2013 Currently page 22. Sorry the iPad cannot cut and paste the photo. If interested message him via his page http://www.cigarboxnation.com/profile/RandyRoosterGuitars to send a full email you need to "friend"request him from the left column of his page. I bought 5 as health issues put me off trying to cut my own and I am really happy with them.


Thanks for the heads up on that David, I'll make some enquiries.



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