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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:54 am 
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Walnut
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This is probably going to seem like a dumb question to y'all, but as a noob I've gotta ask. I'm going to attempt my first build (solidbody electric) in about a year. I don't have the time right now. What I do have right now--and what I'm NOT likely to have in a year when I'm ready to build, because of circumstances I won't go into--is money. So what I want to do is get all the parts right now (electronics, etc.), so I've already got them when I need them (and won't be able to afford them). Thankfully I have a relative with a fully outfitted shop, so tools aren't an issue.

I'm going to create the body from the ground up with a blank or a couple of pieces glued together & planed. However, the one thing I don't want to try, at least on my first build, is the neck. For this first go-round I'll get me a Warmoth. As with everything else, I want to buy it now while I've got the spare cash. But I fear the potential for warping as the neck sits around for a year before I get to the project. The danger may be heightened by the fact that I want a scalloped neck. One plus is I'm in dry Arizona, so not as much humidity variation as elsewhere, and also I've heard elsewhere that roasted maple is more stable than non-roasted woods, so I'd get a roasted maple neck. .

But still. Dry climate & roasted maple notwithstanding, would my Warmoth scalloped neck nevertheless run the risk of warping? (Obviously what I'm worried about is across-the-fret, side-to-side warpage, not lengthwise along-the-neck movement which is taken care of by the truss rod).

Many thanks in advanced for allaying my worries or preventing me from making a mistake.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:19 am 
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No problem.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:40 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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There is no such thing as side to side warping.

Edit: At least that I have ever seen.


Last edited by Barry Daniels on Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:03 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Remember that the necks sit around at the factory before you order them. Then they sit around until you start building with them. Then they sit around the whole time they are a guitar. As long as it is stored in an appropriate environment, it doesn't matter if it is on a completed guitar or sitting and waiting to be on a guitar.

Wood does move depending on conditions and cut but if it is a well made neck and you don't subject it to abusive conditions you will be okay.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:42 am 
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Koa
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I'm currently putting together a guitar with a neck that I bought at least 4 years ago. I have noticed a tiny bit of sharp fret ends from the humidity cycles that it has gone thru (my shop is not humidity controlled) but that is part of doing the frets. Otherwise the neck is nice and stable and soon will be a guitar.

If you do get a roasted neck be sure to read the instructions included about reaming tuner holes to fit. There have been several reports on another forum of people cracking their roasted necks - Ken Warmoth cautioned about this in an interview and said they include instructions. I've neve encountered a scalloped board - might be a little trickier to level. Again, Warmoth said that they expect the end user to dress the frets but knows that most don't bother.

Good luck with your build.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:53 am 
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Mahogany
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Just make sure the truss rod is loosened.
Necks don’t “warp” but they bow due to an unbalance of string tension vs. truss rod tension.

Unless it’s a bad piece of wood.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:56 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Necks do warp so much so that a decent percentage of our business is because a neck and it's wood has moved because it's now in different relative humidity than it was built in. We see most of the set-ups that we do in the months of Jan - March here in Michigan due to a neck drying out.

You are in a very dry place and Warmoth necks and others are manufactured with controlled climate with higher RH than Arizona.

With all this said it likely will change sitting around for a year with zero attachment to a body and/or strings to help encourage it to not move in the dry climate where you are. What we see over and over again is dimensional change that causes a back bow and a shrinking of the neck from side to side as well which is the cause of "fret sprout" a very common thing on a dry guitar. The wood shrinks but the metal frets don't hence the fret sprout.

If what you build is going to stay in your climate forever you may be simply acclimating materials to what you have there. You will need a double action truss rod for insurance and you will need to learn how to take down fret sprout.

But yes not only might it move I would expect it.

If what you build may be sold to others you should invest in controlling your humidity to an acceptable level for where you intend your creations to land someday.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 9:16 am 
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Cocobolo
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Barry Daniels wrote:
There is no such thing as side to side warping.

Edit: At least that I have ever seen.


Think he may mean twist.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 9:55 am 
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Koa
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Warmoth does an excellent job selecting and milling their woods. There should be no major movement over the year, provided you store in a cool place, avoid extremes and ensure that the 2-way truss rod is in the middle position with no tension in either direction.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:02 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Hesh wrote:

With all this said it likely will change sitting around for a year with zero attachment to a body and/or strings to help encourage it to not move in the dry climate where you are. What we see over and over again is dimensional change that causes a back bow and a shrinking of the neck from side to side as well which is the cause of "fret sprout" a very common thing on a dry guitar. The wood shrinks but the metal frets don't hence the fret sprout.



Hesh, are you saying that body attachment and string tension would encourage the neck to not move? I think we would all expect some amount of movement as it changes climate/conditions but I think the question is if waiting to start the build is an issue.

The neck will probably narrow causing the fret ends to need attention. I don't think we are saying that will be any different whether it is a guitar or just a neck. The neck will likely move/bow to some degree. I would think that string tension would alter how that movement presents itself but it seems to me that this issue will need to dealt with no mater when the guitar is built (climate control, truss rod adjustment. . .). Are you saying that building the guitar right away (or waiting to acquire it until he is ready to use it would offer some advantage? It doesn't seems so to me, but you have handled many, many more instruments than I have. My gut feeling is not rooted in practical experience.

I suppose one could also make the argument that having the neck acclimate to its new conditions before building with it and adjusting the geometry, fret work and set-up could have merit. Or, maybe not.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:55 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The string tension counteracted by the truss rod does put the neck into a more stable state that will be less prone to humidity change induced movement. Whereas a neck with no tension undergoing an extreme change in humidity levels will undoubtedly move if left to sit for an extended period of time. Hopefully, that at least sounds plausible.


Last edited by Barry Daniels on Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post (total 2): Bryan Bear (Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:51 pm) • Hesh (Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:13 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:08 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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That's a good point Barry, and I wasn't really looking at it that way. I was not really considering the truss rod as being hardware resisting the string tension and providing some degree of stability.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:11 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Bryan Bear wrote:
Hesh wrote:

With all this said it likely will change sitting around for a year with zero attachment to a body and/or strings to help encourage it to not move in the dry climate where you are. What we see over and over again is dimensional change that causes a back bow and a shrinking of the neck from side to side as well which is the cause of "fret sprout" a very common thing on a dry guitar. The wood shrinks but the metal frets don't hence the fret sprout.



Hesh, are you saying that body attachment and string tension would encourage the neck to not move? I think we would all expect some amount of movement as it changes climate/conditions but I think the question is if waiting to start the build is an issue.

The neck will probably narrow causing the fret ends to need attention. I don't think we are saying that will be any different whether it is a guitar or just a neck. The neck will likely move/bow to some degree. I would think that string tension would alter how that movement presents itself but it seems to me that this issue will need to dealt with no mater when the guitar is built (climate control, truss rod adjustment. . .). Are you saying that building the guitar right away (or waiting to acquire it until he is ready to use it would offer some advantage? It doesn't seems so to me, but you have handled many, many more instruments than I have. My gut feeling is not rooted in practical experience.

I suppose one could also make the argument that having the neck acclimate to its new conditions before building with it and adjusting the geometry, fret work and set-up could have merit. Or, maybe not.


Hey Bryan - Good thinking on your part but you are a little off on what I should have been more clear on. A neck on a guitar with strings on it as Barry said is supported by the structure that results from string tension and a countering truss rod and the rest of the structure, wood, etc. I'm also saying that a new neck thrown on a shelf in a non-climate controlled environment in an extremely dry or wet climate is likely to move a lot again because nothing is stopping it AND.... no one is noticing either. When we take that same neck and build the guitar the very acts of playing it will spawn needs to set-up it up, adjust that, adjust this until it settles down. I had an American Strat that did this for five years and my place is strictly climate controlled. Anyway what's notable to me is that the climate, Arizona where the neck is now was not the RH it was built at and if it's extremely wet or dry it's more likely to move.

So my real intent commenting here is on the idea that I would think that any aftermarket neck not built in AZ RH is going to be moving at least for a while, perhaps some years.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post (total 2): Barry Daniels (Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:42 pm) • Bryan Bear (Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:51 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:52 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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So available options would be:

1) buy the neck and get it mounted to a body, string it up then do the finishing and wiring later,
2) buy the neck and clamp it to a stable flat surface or beam, or
3) put your money in an interest bearing account until you are ready to start the build.

I would go with #3.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:44 pm 
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Quote:
So available options would be:

1) buy the neck and get it mounted to a body, string it up then do the finishing and wiring later,
2) buy the neck and clamp it to a stable flat surface or beam, or
3) put your money in an interest bearing account until you are ready to start the build.

I would go with #3.



Let's see Barry.... My current savings account is making .05%. A Warmoth neck is about $300 average. That means about 15 cents a month. How long should you think Ironword should wait to cash in his huge fortune?

Or maybe he should buy the neck now, as a hedge against inflation - which is going up like gangbusters with no stoppage in sight.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 2:23 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Well, I guess a can buried in the backyard would work about as well.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post (total 2): Hesh (Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:54 pm) • Chris Pile (Sat Jul 24, 2021 2:36 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 4:05 pm 
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Walnut
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Thanks Hesh for your crucial expertise. Unwelcome knowledge is usually the most important kind.

Chris Pile, yes, other than my own personal situation the inflation is an important issue, and the problem with Barry's ultimate solution is that at some point during the intervening year, some other important purchase will need to be made, and up comes the can. And please, nobody lecture me about priorities or self-discipline; when money is in short supply, there are always more important and "necessary" things to spend money on than one's initial hobby guitar-build, so the money will be spent on those more important and necessary items, and the guitar will not be built. When I say I have the money right now, I don't mean that I'm comfortably well off. I mean that I barely have enough to get the supplies above and beyond my normal living expenses (with a slight emergency cushion of ca. $500, which I always try to maintain). Me having an extra $1500 in the bank is an anomalous situation and it won't last. Some sort of emergency will inevitably occur--major car breakdown, minor medical emergency etc--and that money will evaporate. But if it has already been used for guitar-building parts which have little resale value, I'll figure out some other way to deal with my car or my broken arm because the money simply won't be there. But if it is there--well, those of you who live more or less on the edge will know what I mean. Once again, the dough will probably be used up for some genuinely important expense, but if the money just isn't there because it's already been used, the important expense will have to be taken care of in a different fashion because there's no other choice, necessity being the mother of invention & all that. Probably only those who live below the lower-middle-class income line will be able to appreciate these realities. I find that those who are decently well off, making ca. $40,000 a year or so with a family of 3 (adjust upward for more members or exceptional medical needs), just don't get it. So if you fall into that category and you feel the need to preach, I will courteously ask you to refrain.

Anyway, a lot to think about. If I do decide to purchase instead of risking Barry's can solution (which IS a significant risk, as I've outlined above), which would be better, his other string-up-to-temporary-body solution or his clamp-to-stable-surface solution?



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:10 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Never bought a neck from Warmoth but frequent their site just to look around.

Thought I'd check warranty info and it looks like finished necks are supported with a warranty for 2 years.

So looks like your plan is good to go.

I haven't used a lot of terrified (pun intended) wood but my research tells me it moves about half as much as its non-forged in fire brethren. So you are building in some stability there. If you want more, maybe consider a two-way truss rod.

A good piece of neck wood, shouldn't bow, crook, cup or twist, (warp in other words) once properly dried but organic materials can disobey "rules" of nature.

Prices of instrument woods and parts are going up in price steadily so I think your plan to buy now is good.

I rough out neck blanks in batches and typically have necks bandsawn as close to final shape as possible hanging out in the shop for a year or several. Of course they get a final once over or an occasional rejection notice but they usually survive numerous humidity extremes before being attached to an instrument. Doesn't hurt them at all unless the wood is just not good.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:54 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Barry Daniels wrote:
So available options would be:

1) buy the neck and get it mounted to a body, string it up then do the finishing and wiring later,
2) buy the neck and clamp it to a stable flat surface or beam, or
3) put your money in an interest bearing account until you are ready to start the build.

I would go with #3.


laughing6-hehe Me too :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:56 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Barry Daniels wrote:
Well, I guess a can buried in the backyard would work about as well.


:) Marcus by Goldman has an on-line savings account that is coughing up a massive .5% right now. Oh joy :) And we may be seeing inflation 8 times that over the same period. Ain't life great...



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