Question about stability of flamed maple necks

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Santuzzo, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Santuzzo

    Santuzzo SS.org Regular

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    Hi,

    my EBMM JP7 just got a new neck, it's a roasted flamed maple neck.
    Now, I have read that flamed maple necks are supposed to be less stable and more prone to warping than non flamed maple necks.

    Most flamed maple necks I have seen have the flames arranged in a 90 degree angle to the length of the neck, so the flames are perpendicular to the neck.
    On my new neck the flames are slightly diagonal to the length of the neck.

    Would a neck with the flames being slightly diagonal to the neck be less stable and more prone to warping than a neck where the flames are perpendicular to the neck?

    here's some pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Return of the Dread-I

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    No. I have a one piece flame maple neck and it's just as stable as any of my other necks. I think that's just a cosmetic thing.
     
  3. elq

    elq (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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    Flame figuring is caused by different densities of wood, but I think neck stability is more a function of quality of materials and ability of the maker. EBMM do pay attention and care to details IMHO, so you probably have nothing to worry about. :2c:

    Also, I have a flamed maple necked Thorn that is completely stable.
     
  4. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    My understanding is the the flame figure is caused by waves in the gain. What you see is grain "runout" that fluctuates in a tight pattern. So in theory, the run out isn't desirable from a structural stand point, but given the fretboard and the truss rod, I wouldn't worry about it as long as the wood was stable before they turned it into a neck. And presumably EBMM made sure the piece was probably dried etc. before milling it.
     
  5. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    As stated above, the flame figure is a result of the grain waving back and forth, then cutting a straight line through that grain exposes alternating points in the waviness, and causes it to look the way it does. This is a nice visual effect but really does nothing to add to the structure and stability of a guitar neck. If anything, it would probably decrease the necks stability.

    However, that being said:

    1) Doesn't the neck has full tension on it as it sits right now? and it isn't showing any signs of bow or anything… not that warping couldn't happen over time but the situation so far seems to show good indication that it can withstand full string tension for some amount of time.

    2) Roasted (aka. burnt or caramelized) maple is much more stable than its non-treated state, again, not fool proof but should give you a better piece of mind.

    3) Check out some older flame maple necks that you can find on the web, like even ones dating back to the 80's and such. Many of them are still as straight as a laser beam.


    I don't think you have anything to worry about. This neck will probably withstand years of string tension and playing with little more than maybe a slight truss rod adjustment in a decade or so. If it ever develops a bow, take it to a respectable tech, or just contact Music Man. They've been building some nice guitars for a long time, I'm sure they've delt with similar issues on other guitars and could handle it.
     
  6. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Return of the Dread-I

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    I forgot to mention mine is roasted...
     
  7. Santuzzo

    Santuzzo SS.org Regular

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    thanks guys :yesway:

    I was just wondering whether it is common to have the flame run diagonally as opposed to perpendicularly and if that would have anything to do with the necks stability.
     
  8. Humbuck

    Humbuck Can't stop, won't stop

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    Absolute not issue. Absolutely beautiful neck.
     
  9. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    This^


    That neck is gorgeous
     
  10. canuck brian

    canuck brian Bowes Guitars Contributor

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    Looks like a quartersawn piece of wood. You should be fine. :)
     
  11. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    On a Wizard profile, not as stable.
    On a '59 or Fatback, very stable.

    Flame & Quilt are softer sections of maple compared to rock maple, which is why you primarily will see it used for visual purposes such as 1/8" laminate tops.

    For a top, you need to get to at least 1/4" before you start to notice an impact on the tonal signature.

    For necks, a neck with more mass will be a stiffer neck, which will in turn be more stable, less responsive to humidity fluctuations. This is why many manufacturers insist upon applying a finish to a neck with a maple shaft, to "choke" it into submission.
     
  12. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    I understand that you're addressing how much mass affects rigidity/stability, but I couldn't help but read and think, "This Post Sponsored by Gibson Guitars."
     
  13. Humbuck

    Humbuck Can't stop, won't stop

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    Not true. Although all maple is considered a very hard wood, some types of maple are harder (eastern or 'hard rock') or softer (red or western big leaf), and can all be obtained in plain, lightly figured or super flamey grades, although the supply is much more limited as the figure increases. Highly figured sections of the same kind of maple are no softer than plain...it's been being made into high grade instrument necks forever...furniture and gun stocks too. The reason it is used for visual stuff is it's pretty to look at compared to plain maple and the reason it is used sparingly or as a thin veneer is it is expensive and hard to get in large, evenly figured sizes.

    Plenty of guitars used and use a highly figured, thick (more expensive) maple cap and not a veneer...Les Paul Standard, PRS and Jackson Misha Mansoor model to name but a few biggies. There is no tonal difference due to figure alone in these tops, or in more or less flamey necks for that matter.

    Plenty of other guitars have been made with curly, highly flamed maple necks like the one in the OP with no more unstable results than a plain maple neck of proper build. If the grain orientation (not the "figure") is good, the neck will be fine. Thousands of Fender's and Music Man's through the decades have necks like this, as well as more violins, violas, cellos, upright basses, banjos, lutes, etc. than you can shake a stick at.
     
  14. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Thanks for the additional info.
     
  15. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Never.
     
  16. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein SS.org Regular

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    I like when there's a forward slant to the flame like that. Looks fast.
     
  17. Santuzzo

    Santuzzo SS.org Regular

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    Thanks again, guys!
    Yes, this neck is indeed very nice! :)
     

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