Guitar neck blanks in a variety of hardwoods, All Blanks are dressed and are rectangular.
Blanks are dressed and are at the very least, quarter sawn across one third and rift across the rest, Utile and sapele are quarter sawn and thicker blanks are more likely to be on the quarter.Maple is the most popular choice but a darker timber is needed for an Ash body. Sapele and Utile are two varieties of the same species, Utile is often called Sipo, The Walnut works well and is an attractive wood, the Cherry also is easy to work. The story of the Guitar neckThe timber arrives in boards which are typically 3m long and 200mm wide, I get between ten and twenty boards of each species at a time.The first step is to inspect the boards and any which have moved during the drying process are set aside for sale as standard hardwood boards, A board which changes shape with moisture content is not suitable for a guitar. Next I trim both ends to inspect the endgraing, here I am looking for sections that are well away from the centre and also free of sapwood, typically necks will be rift sawn. The boards are now dressed down to the desired thickness and inspected, if there is a section free of knots and grain irregularities or excessive tear out, long enough for a neck I cut this out. The final part is to choose a 105mm wide section which is flaw free and attractive, I cut this with the table saw. During this cutting if the kerf opens or closes during cutting it suggests internal stresses and the neck is sold as dressed hardwood and not as a guitar neck. Typicaly this gives about three necks per batch or 5% The rest goes to furniture makers. The very small percentage of suitable timber is why many sizes are not in stock, sometimes from an entire batch there is nothing suitable at all, particularly the Walnut and Maple. Storage is another issue, the ambient air here is quite damp so there is a dehumidifier running in the room to keep the moisture content down. And the blanks are of coarse inspected again for movement before posting.