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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Maple necks and grain run out

Stratplayer74

United States

Michael Fulton
Jul 28th, 2019 11:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Wondering if anyone has any opinions about run out on flatsawn maple necks. By run out, I mean that the grain makes U-shaped patterns on the back of the neck, which means it wasn't as flatsawn as it could've been.

Asking because I bought a used Hot Rod '57 a while back, and the relatively thin neck has been really unstable. I have to adjust the truss rod at least 5 times a year. My woodworking friend pointed out that the neck has a lot of grain run out the entire length of the neck, which he believes can make for a weaker piece of wood.

If this really is something to look out for when checking out a maple neck, I'd like to know.

New to the forum, so apologies if this has been covered before--I did a search but did not find any similar posts. Thanks!

Leftee
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VA

The Escalator
Jul 29th, 2019 06:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Welcome!

I do know that it is common on low-end necks like Mighty Mite. Your friend might be correct. Especially since the neck has a thin profile. My thinner profile necks are usually less stable across the season than the beefy necks.

Peegoo
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If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Jul 29th, 2019 06:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Generally, flat-sawn wood will flex more than quarter-sawn or rift-sawn wood. However, maple is quite stiff for its weight and that's why it's used to make guitar necks.

As you've discovered, some necks just tend to move a lot with changes in temperature and humidity. It's one of those things that goes with the territory of guitar playing.

Fender never really paid much attention to grain orientation of their necks, and that's why you commonly see different grain orientation in the maple when comparing guitars. It's one of the reasons to 'cherry pick' a specific guitar from within a model range (play 10 of the same model and buy the best one).

Custom builders and parts makers (Warmoth, Musicraft, etc.) tack on an upcharge for a quarter-sawn neck because it does help guarantee the wood will remain stable through the seasons.

Welcome to the FDP.

littleuch
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Jul 29th, 2019 06:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Interesting. I've never heard the term but by description I would say this is something fairly evident on a Strat Allparts neck I have. The "U/V" pattern is pretty pronounced where the neck meets the headstock. I always attributed it to part of the flame that presents up and down the neck.

I have a number of parts guitars with Warmoth, Allparts and Musikraft necks. Of all of them this one is the oldest and has proven to be the most stable over time. In fact I would say freakishly stable.

Leftee
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VA

The Escalator
Jul 29th, 2019 07:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

The Boatnecks I have from Warmoth are *extremely* stable. The thin profiles a little less-so.

littleuch
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Jul 29th, 2019 10:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I generally find the thicker the neck the more stable it is. Fortunately I prefer chubby necks. Now the Allparts I speak of is what I would call a slightly slimmer version of the Warmoth Boat. When I say it's stability is almost freakish, I mean I think it's been years since I've had to tweak the trussrod.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

The Escalator
Jul 29th, 2019 11:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've not had my Warmoth boatnecks long enough to earn the "freakish" label.

:-P

Stratplayer74

United States

Michael Fulton
Jul 31st, 2019 07:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the thoughtful replies! It sounds like that if I ever replace the neck, I might do better either seeking out a chunkier flatsawn neck or, if I want to keep the thin profile, a quartersawn neck. And if I replace the guitar, pay a little more attention to the neck grain in general.

In the meantime, sounds like I'll just keep tweaking the truss rod in between set ups. A little bit of an inconvenience, but I like the tone and feel of the guitar enough to make it worthwhile.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Maple necks and grain run out




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