#1
Hey, basically my mother is getting new furniture in her living room, her old furniture is now about 25 years old and pretty beat up so basically I'm getting it.

The frames are all solid english oak and I was planning on making one or more hollow/thinline bodies from it to compensate for the weight. I checked the tonewood thread here and it lists oak as unsuitable as a neck wood. Is this accurate or would a 3 or 5pc laminate neck thru design work? If it's not gonna be successful I'll slap some maple splices into it to strengthen it, but I'd quite like to use all oak.
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#2
are you at all experienced in crafting guitar body parts?
I'm not trying to doubt you at all, just wondering. I've made 3 bodies and one neck. Two solid bodies and one semi-hollow. All fun and dandy. But making a neck was the hardest thing. It has to be so exact. I would recommend straying away from building necks unless you have the tools, skills, and patience to do so.

I really love wood working. Glad to see someone thinking outside the box.
#3
a) Building bodies isn't an issue for me, I'm not a newbie :p
b) Tools will be on order soon
c) I'm trying to train myself up as a luthier so I should really hope I am able to make myself a neck

edit: I'm a carpenter so have a reasonable amount of skill :p
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Last edited by GABarrie at Jan 12, 2012,
#4
I might be wrong, but I think Brian May made the neck for the Red Special out of Oak. I would check that though, I'm not totally sure
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#5
It's rare, but it has been done.

The biggest problem you will run into is having to use a lot of pore filler due to the nature of oak. Aside from that, it'll be a very solid construction.
#6
Quote by Paddy McK
I might be wrong, but I think Brian May made the neck for the Red Special out of Oak. I would check that though, I'm not totally sure


This is true
#7
pore filling, otherwise good, cheers for answers
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#8
Oak would be plenty fine for a neck as you won't find many domestic hardwoods stronger than oak. We own 100+ year old steam engines that weigh over 16 tons and the front axles are carved from solid oak timber if that's any consolation.

The only problems I would see is actually trying to carve it without having large splinters and/or chipping occurring. I've never had good luck using a spokeshave or drawknife with oak, you would almost have to solely use a rasp or sureform in order to shape it.

EDIT: You're wondering about English Oak, I have never worked with it before and dunno anything about it haha. All I've worked with is Red Oak, White Oak, and Pin Oak
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Last edited by Flux'D at Jan 12, 2012,
#9
Although oak is strong, I have heard that it is 'unstable' and more affected by temperature and humidity than other woods. It could be that this 'flexibility' is what gives it the enduring strength which made it famous.
#10
English Oak (Quercus robur) I believe is quite similar to American White Oak (Quercus alba) in it's properties, although American white is favored for it's superior color and grain qualities for wood products.

Despite living in England I have used more American white than English oak.

From what I'm reading English heartwood is prime furniture wood and is extremely strong which is probably what I'll be working with but I won;'t be able to tell for certain until I sand it down and can see the grain to identify it properly

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#11
Quote by RebuildIt
Although oak is strong, I have heard that it is 'unstable' and more affected by temperature and humidity than other woods. It could be that this 'flexibility' is what gives it the enduring strength which made it famous.


Probably, most oak comes at a much lower moisture content than other hard woods (like 7-8% instead of 15-20%) which means changes in humidity or any liquids on it will make it swell quite severely, obviously the oak I'll be using has been sat as a three piece suite for 25 years so is probably past that point, I'll also be going laminate on the neck so if I line the grains up properly then it will hopefully not flex that badly
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#12
Oak is a great wood...for furniture and cabinets, not guitars. The reason for this is, as stated previously, its very strong but not flexible. This is a concern because strings put several hundred pounds force on the neck and body, most neck woods flex a little with that much force, dissipating it. Oak won't, instead it will just crack. I have had 1" think oak crack with as little as 75 pounds of force.

I fear that an oak neck with maple splices still wouldn't be enough. I would go with a 5 piece laminated neck, maple/oak/maple/oak/maple.
#14
Isn't oak really heavy as well?

Proper neck woods arent exactly expensive, I'm not sure I would risk it for the sake of saving a few quid.

Use the oak for bodies.




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#15
Well, I'm not sure about the other types but english oak is pretty springy under tension, so much that you'd have to find a way around that (carbon fibre strengthening rods?).

Its also really easy to plane, but an absolute bitch to cut.
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#16
Quote by kingnothing7718
Oak is a great wood...for furniture and cabinets, not guitars. The reason for this is, as stated previously, its very strong but not flexible. This is a concern because strings put several hundred pounds force on the neck and body, most neck woods flex a little with that much force, dissipating it. Oak won't, instead it will just crack. I have had 1" think oak crack with as little as 75 pounds of force.


There is a 4" thick beam, hand carved over 100 years ago, underneath 2 of our steam engines that is supporting over 16 tons of weight respectively. And has done so for that entire length of time through extreme temperature changes, over rough terrain, and going through whoknowswhat. Still straight as an arrow without any cracks, and the beams have knots in them as well.


TS, go for it. The lumber is free and if it does bring horrible nightmares (which I really doubt) you've still gained learning experience for the next neck you make. There's so much conflicting 'information' in this thread
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#17
Quote by Flux'D
There's so much conflicting 'information' in this thread


Its because there is literally 600 odd different types of oak, plus everyone's own experience with it will be different because its a natural product.
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#18
Oak was used as wood for boats back when boat were made of wood. So its very humidityproof from what i read..
#19
boat-oak is not dried first and sealed with a non-finishy substance like tar, show me a tar-finished guitar and maybe we'll draw a parallel :p
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