My Wenge/Ebony neck is as smooth and tight as a babies butte. :toothy10: My hand glides over her like butta' :evil4:
Unfortunately, my build with this neck is not finished yet, so she has not yet been played.
But I certainly like what I feel...
I have a wenge/ebony jazz neck and love it! Beware of weight though. the heavy wood, warmoth's construction (and my decision to use big heavy tuners :glasses9 makes a heavy neck. I would almost consider it a crime to finish wenge :icon_biggrin: it's just so great raw. good luck!
the only thing to watch out for with the wenge is splinters - you shouldnt really get any on a warmoth neck but there is still a chance of some on the fretboard edge, so give those a roll before finishing.
its a real problem if you work with wenge in raw blank form - just the other day i ran my finger down a piece of freshly planed wenge and got a splinter in the end of my finger. It broke into 3 peices as i tried to remove it - wenge sucks for that
as a guitar maker and general wood worker i am projecting from other experince rather than from a warmoth neck. I have used warmoth necks and am aware of the quality of the parts. This is why i said in my first post that you shouldnt have this problem on a warmoth neck....
i was however trying to be objective and make a suggestion. It wasnt meant as a negative comment about warmoth quality but a suggestion to get the most from your necks
so, just to make it clear i SUGGEST that people with wenge necks roll the edges of the fretboard.
i know on the warmoth necks i have used that they came with quite square edges to the fretboard and i believe this to be a splinter risk with wenge based on my experience of working with this wood. however, it is easily prevented by spending a few minutes knocking that square edge off and smoothing it all out... not only that it will feel comfier to - its something i do on all necks for comfort anyway
i use wenge for many uses and it ends up on about 90% of my guitars in one form or another you know i am a massive fan of this wood!! although it does have issues worth considering objectively. firstly i would never leave a square edge on it for the reasons above. once its smoothed out or rounded over slightly that splinter risk is prevented
also its grain can become more coarser/more open with age. I have seen many 60/70's eko guitars that where made with wenge fretboards and although it still feels great (the most important bit) it does look very coarse. It seems that the paler grain lines sink in a bit with wear and age. on the few i have refretted they have had massive divots from playing wear and most of the paler grain had worn away - i have only seen one so bad that i needed to do something about it though
this isnt meant to put anyone off - just sharing my observations of one of my favorite timbers
I have never dealt with splinters or heard of any one else dealing with them. Perhaps in an unfinished state, but not when Warmoth gets one to you. The oilyness of the wood does vary from neck to neck, and is helped out by playing the neck a lot. Once it gets "broken in" the oily ness and the grainy ness make it extremely fast and very comfortable. The other thing I have noticed about it is the necks have a lot of snap to them. They like to be very springy, very stiff, very alive. On a bass it is a great wood for a neck, the mids that are associated with it really match well. Shoot, it sounds darn good on a guitar as well.
it may be that warmoth already round them off more than they do on other wood. or maybe they dont and it hasnt been a problem yet.
i garantee the boys at warmoth making the wenge necks will know what i am on about - anyone who has worked with wenge does. Alembic actually wont use wenge because the splinters are poisenous and often turn septic... thats to protect the builder rather than the player but i still think its something players should be aware of just incase a splinter looks like it might develop
yeah, dont leave it rough or you will get a splinter
if you are thinking it needs to be thinner dont actually focus on how thick it is. sometimes removing a little wood from the cheeks can give the illusion of being a lot thinner without having to remove any wood from the danger zone right behing the truss rod
for a finish go with a lighter oil rather than a oil that builds.
tru-oil builds up to almost a proper lacquer like finish and doesnt look too good on wenge. a coat of something like danish oil works wonders. its still a processed oil that sets in the wood but its more suitable than tru-oil for these oilier woods