This is the 5 Best Tips for Making a Laminated Guitar Neck. In this post you’ll learn several different ideas that can help you when it comes time to making a laminated neck for your guitar.
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Laminated Guitar Neck
After you’ve made a few regular guitar necks, your next adventure is to make a laminated guitar neck. This is where you take several different pieces of wood and glue them together to form one large blank.
From there, you begin the construction process of your guitar neck as if this was a solid piece of wood. You make your scarf joint just the same, and glue everything up into a stacked lamination just as if it was one piece of wood.
The big difference is in the look however, because several different pieces of wood glued next to each other look awesome on a guitar neck. I’ll show you everything you need know coming up.
See Also: Acoustic Guitar Making For Beginners
Choose the Best Wood
The first tip for making a laminated acoustic guitar neck is to start with the best wood. This is not only the best from an eye-catching standpoint, but it’s also the best from a functional standpoint.
You need to find wood that has a good track record for being made into an acoustic guitar neck, and then also fine accenting pieces that will fit too. They need to be of similar properties, and they can’t be overly weak.
In the beginning, you can do really well by simply laminating an alternating color strip right up the center of your guitar neck. With this type of lamination, you only need two different species to work with.
Another thing you can do is create a double strip, and you still only need two species. One for the main body of the neck, and another for the two strips.
Taking it to the next level, you can also do an elaborate array of several different types of wood with symmetry running down the center of the neck. This looks awesome, especially when you use bright colored wood species.
See Also: Laminated Guitar Necks
Use the Best Wood Glue
After you got your wood all chosen for your laminated guitar neck, you definitely don’t want to take any chances with all of that beauty. Especially with well over 100 pounds of string tension, you want to glue that’s going to last.
Don’t even mess around with researching glues. Just use the same glue that has been chosen by millions of other carpenters before you. If you are not going to use traditional animal glue, just use Titebond Original in the red label.
This is the best glue that you can use for all of your wood to wood joints, and it has a lot of great properties that make woodworking with type and extremely enjoyable.
Don’t worry about your glue. Just use Titebond and coat both meeting faces of your laminated guitar neck as you clamp the pieces together. They will bond very well, and your neck look awesome.
Leech any Oily Woods Before Gluing
Before you glue anything together, another good tip is to leech the surfaces of any oily woods before you glue them together.
Some woods, like Cocobolo for example have a very high oil content. It’s important to wipe away that surface oil before you glue it together. A quick wipe with a rag and a little bit of acetone will remove the oil from the surface, making the gluing process easier.
As you wipe the surface, keep on wiping until the rag comes away clean. This is how you know that you’ve gotten the oils off the surface. Once you’re done, let the wood dry for a couple minutes, and then get it glued together quickly.
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Glue a Little Taller to Leave Room for Planing Down
A good trick for making a laminated guitar neck is to glue up your pieces just a little bit taller than you actually need the final blank to be. This gives you a little extra room for running the piece through a thickness planer.
Before you can glue up your neck, you’re going to need to flatten the large faces on your lamination. If you have a thickness planer, this is a very easy process, and in minutes you can have two perfectly flat surfaces.
The only problem with using the thickness planer is that it removes wood from the surface, and your board will be thinner in the end. However, if you plan for this in the beginning, you’ll have plenty of extra to clean down.
Clamp Evenly and With a Lot of Clamps
When you do end up gluing all of your different pieces together to form your laminated neck, it’s important that you clamp evenly, and with medium pressure. It’s also important to use a lot of clamps for this process.
Laminated necks only look good when there aren’t any large gaps or areas where you can see that the pieces didn’t bond together fully. These spots are ugly, and they can take attention away from a beautiful neck.
Instead of having to explain to everyone your mistakes, spend time clamping the pieces together evenly, and with as many clamps as you can squeeze next to each other.
This will help ensure that the faces of the wood press together really well, and that the glue is also pressed around to fill any little gaps or voids that may have accidentally ended up in the lamination.
See Also: 9 Trusted Tips on How to Laminate Wood
Your Action Assignment
If you’ve been thinking about a way to make an acoustic guitar more custom, and uniquely yours, a laminated neck can be just the custom feature you need. It’s actually pretty easy, but it makes a very bold statement on a guitar.
Plan your lamination really well, and look at the different types of wood that are available to choose from. Pick out some beautiful pieces and get to work. You’ll be glad you did.
If you have any questions on making a laminated guitar neck, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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