The Butterscotch neck

Some time ago (actually, 11 months ago) I stumbled across a neck which struck me like a slap in the face. It was a Stratocaster neck made from a single piece of quartersawn Goncalo Alves. I figured because this neck was so unusual looking, it would eventually be part of a beautiful guitar and that I might as well own that guitar, so in a impulse purchase, I picked it up. Now I know what you might be wondering. You might be asking yourself: ‘what the heck is Goncalo Alves?’ It sounds a little bit like a town in Middle Earth but actually it is a tropical hardwood, mostly exported by Brazil. It is notable for its contrasting light and dark wood coloration, almost like a butterscotch coloration. Here is the headstock of my neck:


Because it is a hardwood, no finish is needed and indeed this neck is not finished. As a result, it is very smooth.


And for a long time, I haven’t built any new guitars because I simply haven’t felt it.  And then one day it hit me out of the blue: this neck would look great with a darker, forest green body, in a satin, not glossy, finish. So that’s what I am going to build.

With this project, I will not use a pick guard and I will not use a control plate – the guitar and neck will be prominently on display and the body adornments will be minimal. And to make it a little more interesting, I am even going to forego the standard Tele pickup selector switch. I found a duel potentiometer sold by Stewmac which I will use so that one of the two standard Tele knobs will smoothly pan back and forth between neck and bridge pickups while the other knob acts as a volume control.

I even drew the schematic for the wiring – it’s very basic.


I will use Seymour Duncan pickups, as I always do, and I will go with traditional Tele single coils for both spots.

And the butterscotch neck will finally end up on a guitar – progress updates as they happen. Cheers.




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