Hey guys, I'm P.J. I'm 21 out of Boston/Maine and I've been a touring guitarist/bassist/tech for the last 4 to 5 years. After I left the hell of Guitar Center I went on to start doing repair on my own, and now I'm venturing into building. I've been reading these boards for quite some time, so I know a lot of your names.


I tried searching for this, but wasn't quite sure how to word my question.

I got a great deal on Curly Maple, the boards measuring approx. 1 1/4 in thickness. I also have quite a bit of basswood. I plan to do my build (Star/Explorer shaped) with a basswood body with the curly maple top, but as far as the neck, I have a few option.

I would like a Wizard style neck, but I'm worried that if I go with the standard 1 piece, scarf 14 degree scarf joint, the neck still won't be strong enough. Would it be more beneficial to rip the board into 3-5 thin pieces and laminate them? And, if I do this will it ruin the look of the curly maple?

I could also go neck through, but I'm worried that it will look stupid with a piece of curly maple with basswood sides. Even if I put another two piece of maple as a top on the sides over the basswood, I'm afraid the look of the three contrasting grains will look awful.

Any response would be amazing, as I'd obviously like to get things underway. I look forward to talking with you guys more.
if you can spare ten or twenty dollars, you could go and buy like an inch thick peice of black walnut or something from menards or any lumber place, rip your neck into two peices, put that in the center to make it both look nice and be stronger.
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a properly built laminated neck is certainly stronger than a flat/quarter sawn neck. however, i'm not sure what you're concerned about. the wizard profile should not affect the amount of surface area for a scarfed joint-- your joint should be under the the headstock plate, not the fretboard. with a headstock veneer and a backstrap veneer your scarf should be fine regardless of the neck profile. i'm not too familiar with ibanezes, but i imagine their necks are flatsawn maple.

a laminate neck is fine. a 1 piece should be fine too, depending on the grain orientation. the appearance of the curly maple will be gone in a laminate. the scarf strength depends on how the joint is built more than how the neck is built. i'd go 1 piece with a truss rod and carbon fiber from stewmac with a scarf that's reinforced with a headplate veneer and a backstrap.
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Thanks guys.

Gazaa, it wasn't the strength of the scarf joint I'm worried about, it the strength of the overall neck. I was just describing the type of the neck I was building by mentioning the scarf joint. I think I'm going to go with the one piece. I have looked at the carbon fiber inserts and it seems to be the way to go for me.

Also, if I go with a maple fingerboard would I just create the neck, saw off the thickness that would be the fingerboard, insert the truss rod and then glue back on? Or is there an easier way I havnt thought of?
that's one way to do it, or you could just buy a completely different maple fingerboard altogether.

imo the laminated necks look better than one-piece, but at the same time, the curly maple might not show as much. from what i've seen in ibanez wizards, you can get a bit of patterning from the curly, and have a righteous mahogony or walnut stripe that accents the guitar beautifully.

As for the top, you could do one of 2 things: (assuming it's a neck-thru)

buy a veneer, apply it to both sides, and stain that, and bind the edges to cover the seams,


buy a piece of quilted maple, or something of the like, and bookmatch it to make a top, and paint the back to cover up the joinage of curly maple and basswood.

that would look pretty snazzy too.

either way, i think you should make sure you have everything you need, and then start writing ideas down, and comapring.

happy building!