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Old 10-10-2016, 10:54 AM
jazzizm jazzizm is offline
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Default maple neck - caveats?

Hi everyone,

this is my first post. I'm a 51 yr. old physician from Germany and I play guitar since I was 9 yrs. old. I'm classically trained but play modern fingerstyle stuff mostly.
Last year I got my first built-to-order guitar from a local luthier. It is a 12-fret 00 cutaway made entirely from mahogany (well, it's got the ebony fretboard, bridge and headplate). Looks like this:



I'm already contemplating my next luthier-built guitar. It's ging to be a 00 14 fret with a German spruce top. I'd like it to have flame maple back, sides and neck. I'm thinking violin stain on the body, tortoise or koa binding, black ebony fretboard, bridge and headplate.

The guy I spoke to last week who I'd chosen for this task said it would be his first maple neck acoustic.

The choice of flame maple is a purely aesthetic one. Is there anything radically different build-wise when you use maple instead of mahogany for a neck? I'm not yet sure whether to use a laminate (maple/ebony) for strength.

Last edited by jazzizm; 12-05-2017 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:11 PM
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I might ask John Slobod of Circa guitars, as I know he's done several guitars with flamed maple necks.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:19 PM
jessupe jessupe is online now
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I have used flamed Maple quite a bit, as well as violin varnishes, both work well.

Only thing I would say is that the rough shaping needs to be done "right" and or fine sandpaper/scraping should not be done until the final shape is done in order to not impart grain mottle into the "feel"

Flamed maple, if sanded and shaped improperly will start to develop "mottle" and or the paper will start to accentuate the "ripples" in the grain thus making it feel lumpy/bumpy
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:36 PM
jazzizm jazzizm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessupe View Post
Only thing I would say is that the rough shaping needs to be done "right" and or fine sandpaper/scraping should not be done until the final shape is done in order to not impart grain mottle into the "feel"
Flamed maple, if sanded and shaped improperly will start to develop "mottle" and or the paper will start to accentuate the "ripples" in the grain thus making it feel lumpy/bumpy
Can you elaborate on that? What do you mean by "final shape is done" before scraping?
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  • Deerbridge 00-12 fret (all Honduran mahogany)
  • Pendennis 00-14 fret (alpine spruce/flame maple)
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:43 PM
jazzizm jazzizm is offline
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I have an aesthetics question regarding finish: I'm imagining a violin stained flame maple body with a possibly also stained spruce top, with the flame maple neck having no stain, everything finished in transparent gloss nitro.
Has anyone seen such a guitar or can point me in the direction of photos of such a wood/finish combo?
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  • Deerbridge 00-12 fret (all Honduran mahogany)
  • Pendennis 00-14 fret (alpine spruce/flame maple)
  • Santa Cruz OM/PW M (Sitka/Mahogany)
  • Cordoba Orchestra CE (Spruce/IRW)
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:27 PM
jessupe jessupe is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzizm View Post
Can you elaborate on that? What do you mean by "final shape is done" before scraping?
Well there are probably many methods and various tools that different makers use, so I can only speak for myself, who uses rasps. And well mottle can also be referred to as "grain dish out" But bottom line is with flamed Maple that if one tried to do shaping with finer or medium fine grits of sandpaper, not the rasp, as paper should be for smoothing and removing tools marks, that one can induce a wave/mottle/or dish out that will make the neck feel "wavy" as the paper can fall into the softer grain and dish it out.

Here is my latest guitar which has some aspects of what you are saying you would like, a flamed Maple neck with flamed back and sides, and also has violin varnish, Joe Robsons, master varnish maker. The post has pictures so you can see.

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=440715

And well for what it's worth, I just listed it for sale

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=445242

So if for any reason it interests you, feel free to contact me...good luck, Jessupe
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:21 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Not a flat top but an archtop. I would do a light stain on the neck along the line of this. Benedetto Bravo Elite. Spruce top and maple.







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Old 10-11-2016, 01:57 AM
jazzizm jazzizm is offline
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Thanks guys. Not quite what I'm looking for but interesting nonetheless. Not easy to find a flattop with that kind of finish. Maybe it's because flattop, violin maple and red stain don't go together well?
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  • Cordoba Orchestra CE (Spruce/IRW)
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:50 AM
westman westman is offline
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yeah, they work -


http://store.heartbreakerguitars.com...re-_p_104.html
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:49 AM
redir redir is offline
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I've built a few with tiger maple necks and didn't alter the construction methods at all. So to answer your question, no nothing is radically different.

From a builders point of view the maple will be more difficult to work with. You have to sharpen your planes and chisels up really well. I tend to avoid bladed tools and only use them to get real close then follow up with rasps and sand paper. Nothing worse then ripping a curl right out of the wood and it seems to always happen on your last plane stroke.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:37 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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The choice of neck material is a strong factor in the sustain and tone of a guitar. Mahogany is commonly used for its ease of carving, but the density of the specific piece is something that the luthier needs to consider when making decisions about the guitar. Maple can make a big difference, so if the desire is purely aesthetic, I'd discuss it carefully with your luthier -
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:11 PM
jt1 jt1 is offline
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The maple neck on my Kim Walker SJ:



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Old 10-11-2016, 05:03 PM
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The maple neck on my 16" Comins Classic Archtop...

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Old 10-11-2016, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzizm View Post
I have an aesthetics question regarding finish: I'm imagining a violin stained flame maple body with a possibly also stained spruce top, with the flame maple neck having no stain, everything finished in transparent gloss nitro.
Has anyone seen such a guitar or can point me in the direction of photos of such a wood/finish combo?
There's a Russian guy in Tennessee named Alexander Svistunov who does this. It looks pretty freaking cool. But his guitars are exceptionally difficult to find. Zac Brown owns one.
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2016, 10:22 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Have a look at Collings website. They are absolute masters of maple -construction, tone and aesthetic. www.collingsguitars.com

John Slobod/Circa Guitars also builds absolutely beautifully with maple, as has been mentioned.

On the more plebeian side of things, Eastman makes a bunch of guitars with maple necks and finish, mostly archtops. They are very fine guitars indeed.

Lots of stuff on the web for viewing. Maple is a very good structural and tonewood, especially in the right hands. I'd find someone with extensive success with maple builds. It can be mishandled.
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