I am wanting to build a practice-only "guitar" that i can keep in my car all the time. it doesn't have to sound good or look good, just be a reasonable facsimile of a classical style guitar. I'll be using nylon strings, and the fretboard will be approximating that of a classical. Any suggestions of how to construct a neck that won't warp in the heat of summer or cold of winter? Or what to make it out of? I know wood is out and solid metal is too expensive. Any thoughts?
Carbon fiber (graphite) has a very low thermal expansion coefficient, and is also used to make guitar necks. It's not exactly cheap though.
yeah, i need to keep it cheap, too. also i thought it important to mention that i'm not too worried about it going out of tune- i just want a practice neck that wont warp
Maybe a hybrid of wood with a carbon fiber neck rod or two? They're supposed to stiffen the neck quite a bit.
I still worry about the effects of heat/humidity/cold on the wood, including the fretboard. I guess I was looking for a non-wood solution. I know they make carbon fiber necks, but then I wouldn't be making it myself. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of metal or a metal/plastic(?) hybrid. I was thinking of something along the lines of a SoloEtte-style guitar, but in metal.
For metal, I would suggest using aluminum. It's cheap, and easy to work compared to other metals. I've been able to use my woodworking tools on it (bandsaw with a metal cutting blade, belt sander and drill press).
However, it does conduct heat and cold quite well, so it will expand and contract with temperature. Plus on a hot or cold day, it would be uncomfortable on your hands. There were some aluminum neck guitars made back in the 70's.
I can't think of any plastic that would hold up to the string tension.
The real problem with wood is not the wood so much, it's actually the glue joints melting in the heat and slipping. Then they cool and reset in the melted position and this is what causes warping. So you may be able to use with wood if you can find a glue that tolerates high heat. That's not Titebond or hide glue. Gorilla glue maybe.
Or if you have a guitar without glue joints.
Looking at the SoloEtte, it actually looks like a pretty good design. The body is a metal rod (aluminum), so you would only have to worry about the neck. The neck doesn't have a scarf joint, and I can't tell from pics if it has a fingerboard. The truss rod area would be a concern though, whether it has a skunk stripe like a Fender, or a fingerboard to hold it in.
might be able to make one with fiberglass resin available at autoparts store. may even overlay it over a foam core with the truss rod built in
Try this, use quarter sawen oak for neck, cut two slots in top, epoxy two rods steel or carbon, glue fret board on with epoxy and seal. That will probably work. Using two truss rods will help prevent twisting. Epoxy handles temp. extremes well also. Just a thought. I have assembled high power rockets made of wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and card board with the stuff. put them up 6000ft and broke the sound barrier. high temp inside rocket motors, cold outside, and extreme loads and vibration.