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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:43 am
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Ok so this shows exactly how new I am:) I'm on my 4th build but until now I haven't built my own neck so I've had some things pre made. I've 2 questions:
1: since I don't have chunks of hog laying around where do I get the stock for a neck block? Something like the heel block? Like this?
http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-woo ... eel-blocks

Also, 2: what size to I need a neck blank to be in order to have enough to stack a heel from the same blank? I see several hardwood places that have blanks around 33". The lmii offers up to 35. Again thank you for any help / experienced advice
-B


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:53 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Ed
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Well...just get it from LMI if you don't have lumber.

30" blanks are enough for most type of necks, though headstock design and scale length need to be considered. If you're not sure, the 35" blanks are only a few bucks more...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Koa
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The neck block doesn't have to be made of Mahogany. If you have another type of hardwood available to you that could work just as well.

If you want to make a neck out of 1" stock with a scarf joint at the headstock and a stacked heel then 35-36" will give you enough wood. Part of this depends on how big of a heel you use and how much length you need for your neck joint. If you are careful with your measuring and glue up than you may be able to get away with a slightly shorter blank.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:15 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: peter
Last Name: havriluk
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Neck blocks can also be made out of birch plywood, laminated together if needed. Guaranteed not to split, readily available, and inexpensive. Heel blocks, too. Also guaranteed not to split if the instrument is bounced on the ground on the strap pin.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:40 am 
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Terminology check: I'm pretty sure the OP is asking about the wood block that gets glued to the bottom of the neck in order to create the part of the neck that is exterior to, and connects to, the body of the guitar, not the structural blocks on the inside of the body of the guitar. We don't have completely standardized terms for these blocks, so confusion can occur (and apparently just did).

As far as the OP's question, you can buy both the neck blank and the block as a set from LMII if you want to. Or, you can buy them separately. Or, you can build the block out of a cut up neck blank. In terms of dimensions, you can actually get a normal sized, scarf jointed neck out of 24" long material. Buying longer is fine, but you really don't have to for most steel strings. This is where the Cumpiano/Natelson book comes in really handy.

Speaking of handy, I find it really handy to have some mahogany sitting around. If you mess up a block, it is nice to have spare material right there, ready to use.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:33 am 
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One thing to keep in mind: only the shaft piece needs to be super high quality straight grain. If you can find matching wood locally, you can save some cash by making the headstock and heel from that, working around knots and ignoring any curvature in the grain since humidity movement won't cause any trouble in those pieces. And then you can buy 30" blanks from luthier suppliers to make two shafts for the price of one.

Also, heels don't have to be made out of stacked slices. I like to laminate vertically using rift/flatsawn wood:
Attachment:
HeelGrain.jpg


Or you can get creative. This peruvian walnut, I didn't have any matching wood, didn't have enough length to stack it or make 3 vertical slices (at least not without switching from integral neck to dovetail or bolt-on), and not enough thickness with two vertical. So I added a third wedge shaped slice of maple to widen it out and make it look better at the same time :) But be careful on that last bit of carving or you'll lose the sharp point where the maple meets the shaft.
Attachment:
HeelAngle.jpg


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These users thanked the author DennisK for the post (total 3): mountain whimsy (Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:57 am) • Heath Blair (Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:55 pm) • pat macaluso (Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:43 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:03 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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That's cool Dennis I like that little crescent moon heal.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:44 am 
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At nearly every point along the lutherie learning curve, I have found the Natelson/Cumpiano book and R.M. Motolla's website to be invaluable. Here's a link to the latter's page about making a neck blank: http://www.liutaiomottola.com/construct ... kBlank.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Depending on where you are, you may find a hardwood dealer who stocks 12/4 mahogany along with 4/4 stuff. Often they will have "shorts"or will cut a board (as long as they are left with a salable piece). You may find that you can buy enough wood for several necks for the price of one luthier supplied neck blank. You need to look at the grain and select wood that is suitable, which is where the added value comes in from the luthier supply's wood.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

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First name: peter
Last Name: havriluk
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I went to a wood dealer (not a lumberyard) and found a perfectly quartered plank of 'African Mahogany' last year, it was resawn into wood enough for six necks. Plank was thirty-five bucks. I was happy to pay for the resawing at a luthier's who does that sort of resawing as a normal part of his business. Still dirt cheap and I had a half-day of good gabbing to boot.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:57 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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Dennis, thank you so much for sharing those out-of-the-box solutions/ideas. Really creative.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:48 pm 
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George L wrote:
At nearly every point along the lutherie learning curve, I have found the Natelson/Cumpiano book and R.M. Motolla's website to be invaluable. Here's a link to the latter's page about making a neck blank: http://www.liutaiomottola.com/construct ... kBlank.htm

Ditto on that resource George! The Cumpiano book is a must-have.
For a first-time neck carve, Mahogany is gentle on the nerves. Easy to carve and sand.
Spanish Cedar might be another option.

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