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 Post subject: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:10 am
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Just wondering what the pros and cons are of using Spanish cedar for steel string necks. I typically inlay graphite rods on either side of the truss rod to stiffen the neck and raise the resonant frequency. With decent mahogany becoming more and more difficult to find at a reasonable price, I'm thinking it might be time to explore other options. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:18 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:15 pm
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First name: Ed
Last Name: Bond
City: Vancouver
Country: Canada
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You'll find Spanish cedar diminishing in supply as well.

It is lighter and softer than mahogany but the taste of the dust in your mouth is acrid and bitter and will spoil your meals. But I love it.

PO cedar, Khaya, and walnut are suitable, as is cherry.


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:04 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:27 pm
Posts: 575
Location: United States
Pros- works great, finishes great, smells beautiful
Cons- dust is nasty. Wear mask when sanding. Cites listed (but what isn't these days?)


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:08 am 
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Contributing Member
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Location: Seattle WA
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All things being equal, has anyone noticed SC being not as strong as HM on SS guitars? Such as more relief at string up?

I've only used it for a soprano Uke and it was plenty robust! LOL


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:17 am 
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Cocobolo
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pat macaluso wrote:
All things being equal, has anyone noticed SC being not as strong as HM on SS guitars? Such as more relief at string up?

I've only used it for a soprano Uke and it was plenty robust! LOL


I had the same question on another forum and was told that Martin has used it and still does on certain guitars.


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:44 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:15 pm
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First name: Ed
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I've used it lots and lots with no issues beyond the bad taste in my mouth, which is only from the resins. It is definitely strong enough. It's certainly easier to carve than Khaya and most mahogany.



These users thanked the author meddlingfool for the post (total 2): pat macaluso (Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:54 pm) • Imbler (Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:49 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:38 pm 
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First name: Alex
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Ed, are you sourcing your Spanish Cedar from a luthier supply, or from a lumber yard?

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:46 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:44 am
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I use Spanish Cedar but mainly build classicals. The option of adding the extra carbon fiber rods that Pete mentioned at the start should eliminate any concerns, I would think. SC is a dream to carve compared to almost anything else, and I'd try to keep using it even if my building drifted to SS.

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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:08 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

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First name: Ed
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Both, either or.


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Jim Kirby wrote:
I use Spanish Cedar but mainly build classicals. The option of adding the extra carbon fiber rods that Pete mentioned at the start should eliminate any concerns, I would think. SC is a dream to carve compared to almost anything else, and I'd try to keep using it even if my building drifted to SS.


Yes, I'm building my first SS now, after 5 classicals, and I'm using SC both for the low weight, and the ease of carving. Plus, I actually like the smell!
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:50 pm
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Location: United States
I don't think anybody dislikes the smell, it's the taste that's terrible!

As with all woods, cedro varies a lot in density and stiffness. Some of the denser stuff can be as hard and stiff as a lot of Honduras mahogany. The lighter stuff is more like balsa.

There are lots of alternatives. I am going more with domestics these days, and find that butternut makes a decent substitute for cedro. It does tend to be stringy, so it's a little harder to carve, but not much. Some of the lighter samples of walnut can be a pleasure to carve, and compare well with medium cedro. Cherry is a good substitute in general for mahogany. Soft maple works well, and if you get curly wood and laminate two book matched pieces down the center line it's pretty showy.



These users thanked the author Alan Carruth for the post (total 2): pat macaluso (Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:09 pm) • Imbler (Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:54 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

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First name: Mike
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Alan Carruth wrote:
I don't think anybody dislikes the smell, it's the taste that's terrible!

As with all woods, cedro varies a lot in density and stiffness. Some of the denser stuff can be as hard and stiff as a lot of Honduras mahogany. The lighter stuff is more like balsa.

There are lots of alternatives. I am going more with domestics these days, and find that butternut makes a decent substitute for cedro. It does tend to be stringy, so it's a little harder to carve, but not much. Some of the lighter samples of walnut can be a pleasure to carve, and compare well with medium cedro. Cherry is a good substitute in general for mahogany. Soft maple works well, and if you get curly wood and laminate two book matched pieces down the center line it's pretty showy.


So true about density (and I assume stiffness, but I"m better calibrated for weight) For this steel string I went through my cedro stash and picked one of the heavier blanks remembering what you had said about the spruces being similar stiffness once you adjusted for density.


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:36 am
Posts: 1567
State: ON
Country: Canada
Status: Professional
I was repairing a Martin Dred a while back and the repair required me to remove the neck. When I got the neck off I was surprised to find that it was SC. I'd never heard of Martin using SC, but apparently they do or did at one point. I don't have any experience using it personally on SS guitars, but as others have said it should work fine, especially if you are reinforcing it. It is generally softer than Mahogany and can easily be dented when you're working with it.

For any builders in Canada looking for SC I currently have a good stock of 1-piece necks as we as 1" stock with separate heal block.

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Canadian Luthier Supply
http://www.canadianluthiersupply.com
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House Guitars - Custom Built Acoustic Instruments.
http://www.houseguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2020
Martin used Spanish cedar on their early stuff (which was mostly gut strung) but later switched to mahogany. If they are again building with cedar is it because of the lack of availability of mahogany?
I've used cedro for SS guitars, but it was a bit too bendy for my taste. With extra reinforcement or the right truss rod it might work fine. It is easy to work and smells nice in small doses, but when milling large quantities sometimes gives nose bleeds.
I'll use it for nylon strung instruments but for SS I'll use something stronger.


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:25 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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I LOVE Spanish Cedar. I use it everywhere I can. However, it's too soft. Too light. Not going to use in steel strings. Maybe classical ok. Always reach for hog in necks.


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 Post subject: Re: Spanish cedar necks
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:50 pm
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Location: United States
Sadly, the rule about stiffness and desity only really applies to softwoods. They all have a very similar structure microscopically, so they tend to be quite similar in that respect. Hardwoods are more complex, and differ more. If you plot Young's modulus along the grain versus density for softwoods the points all tend to fall on the same line. With hardwoods, even of the same species, there's much more scatter.



These users thanked the author Alan Carruth for the post: Colin North (Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:10 am)
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