how do I straighten wood?

it's me again and I'm finally gonna get started on my bass project soon after I'm done with my first semester of college. I found all the wood out in the desert and I'm ready to build. I do have problem though when I found the wood it was straight-ish but good enough to work with. I picked up the wood I like most of it mesquite. I brought it back to las vegas and had to ignore it for awhile because I had two weeks of school left and of course I have to study for finals. so now its already getting cold (what a surprise) and the wood was still outside in the cold which I now know is a NO NO. so now I have a few days of school left and my wood is bent and some parts are twisted. not severely but not straight enough to carve.
so now that you've read my rambling do any you fine weirdos and robots know a way to straighten out wood?
sorry I don't have a picture of the bu I do have picture of the concept.

Picture of how do I straighten wood?
guitarosaur.gif
use iron wood or osage fer th' neck and th' mesquite fre everything else
paganwonder8 years ago
Short answer- you can't straighten wood.  It grew in such a way as to make it crooked once it dries- ANY effort to straighten the entire piece will be wasted effort because it will always seek it's original shape.
That being said- when I work with wood as convoluted as mesquite I break it down into small, thin pieces and laminate them to a stable substrate (wood).  With the neck of any stringed instrument the stress incured by tensioning/tuning the strings dictate that you use strong straight wood.  You can laminate thin strips of mesquite for the fret board.
Alternatively- you could carve the neck from a large piece of mesquite after it has dried for about 2 years (1 year/inch of thickness actually) in a stable environment-  seems like it would be really heavy for a bass neck, IMHO. 
jtobako8 years ago
Wood expands and contracts depending (mostly) on moisture, and different parts expand or contract different amounts.  If you look at your piece of mesquite, I bet it has a really neat, twisted and knoty grain to it-well, that means that the wood will twist and contort every chance it gets.  For something you want to stay stable and strait, you want strait, even grain.

Two ways to try to get the wood straitened out (but neither is going to last long).  The first is to cut to shape AFTER the wood has stopped twisting (the moisture content has stabilized).  The other is to get the wood hot, usually with steam, and bend to shape gently but with great force, and hold it there until cool.  Not so easy to do with a piece the size of a guitar neck, because the inside has to be hot and the whole thing has to be clamped.
Re-design8 years ago
There's a reason why some wood isn't used for things that need to be straight.  mesquite warps and twists too bad to use for the neck.  you could probably use it for the body.

Maple makes a good neck.

If you get it dry and inside so that it stabilizes then you can cut it down and shape the body.  But it has to be dry.  That could take a year of more.  Wood sold for furniture and guitars is dried down to about 15 - 19% or so.