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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #156093  by 911sc
 Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:37 am
I see a lot of people building guitars using a flat sawn grain on its side to make multi piece necks and Also book matching figured tops with no regard for grain direction. Has anyone else noticed this? Has anyone made a five piece neck using flat sawn wood. I was always taught to use quarter sawn lumber and pay attention to grain direction for a quality instrument. I would like to hear input from you guys.
 #156096  by shadowboxer
 Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:31 pm
I'd say that from everything I've read, quartersawn wood is the standard for high quality acoustic guitar bodies, no question. The neck though is different, and I've seen postings from people that know indicating that flatsawn for a one-piece neck may be better as it flexes properly and predictably. But for a multi-piece neck, I would think that advice is out the door. The multiple pieces are going work against each other and produce less likelihood of a warp, whether flat or quartered.

As for matching grain, I agree that it is required for a high end, quality built instrument unless it's a painted finish. The straight grain stuff is preferred in the acoustic guitar market for its stability, although the wilder stuff has its place for cosmetic reasons.
 #156148  by 911sc
 Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:07 am
softmachine72 wrote:I wonder sometimes if they really know the difference ?
That's sort of what I was trying to say in a nice way. I see a lot of flat sawn wood going every which way in a lot of builds on different forums. I also notice a bunch of players not impressed with Jerry tribute guitars, wolfs, Tigers et. These guitars take a tremendous amount of time and money to build I can't understand why some would not take the time to learn the fundamentals of grain direction and the differences in quarter sawn and flat sawn lumber when applied to a stringed instrument.
 #156149  by 911sc
 Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:07 am
softmachine72 wrote:I wonder sometimes if they really know the difference ?
That's sort of what I was trying to say in a nice way. I see a lot of flat sawn wood going every which way in a lot of builds on different forums. I also notice a bunch of players not impressed with Jerry tribute guitars, wolfs, Tigers et. These guitars take a tremendous amount of time and money to build I can't understand why some would not take the time to learn the fundamentals of grain direction and the differences in quarter sawn and flat sawn lumber when applied to a stringed instrument.
 #156150  by ac4468
 Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:36 am
I've done both and frankly with a 5 or more piece neck I cant imagine any reasonable scenario where the neck twists or bows if the boards you started with are strait. I have however always used something very straight grained for the 2nd and 4th strips for good measure.
 #156153  by augustwest1
 Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:27 pm
It isn't really a choice between either quarter sawn or flat sawn lumber anyway.

Any log that is flat sawn will yield some true quarter sawn boards and many more boards where the growth rings deviate from 90 degrees relative to the surface, but which are still much closer to what we think of as quarter sawn compared to the cup shaped growth rings usually associated with flat sawn lumber.