Steam bending mahogany to achieve headstock angle?

So I'm looking at the headstock on my '69 Les Paul Deluxe (gold-top) admiring the lacquer cracks when BAM, it hits me, there is no scarf joint!

Did Gibson or any other manufacturers steam bend their neck headstocks? I think I have heard of this somewhere but googling reveals nothing. This neck is a 5 piece mahogany jobber, 3 for the neck plus 2 for the headstock wings.

The grain is visible and clearly runs parallel down the course of the neck and bends at the transition to the headstock, and is parallel to the headstock as well.

The gears are turning, I am envisioning an old coffee maker, some ball screws, and clamping fixtures. Maybe a large inductive heater.

Please help me get this out of my head!

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I think its bandsawed from a thick piece and the wings are added after, parrallel to the face of the headstock, so it create the illusion of a continuous grain, actually its short grain mainly.
Hi Mac- with the limited info that I have on the model that you are talking about, I think that the necks are machined out of one piece of wood rather than put together with multipal pieces. (correction requested)
I have always been told that they are cut from one piece which causes the short grain right through the area where the truss rod adjuster nut protrudes. This is why you really don't want it falling over and smacking the peghead. Sure see a bunch of repaired ones. Same story on the ES 335 and related models.
You hit the nail on the head Cliff They are made out of one piece of wood. Bill."""""""""
Thanks guys, I see it now, where the grain shortens on the inner three pieces starting at the curve (there is no volute).

Its the outside 2 wings that threw me off, they are parallel to the headstock face.

That and the massive crack running throught the headstock from a previous hack repair.....
hi Mac, the Les Paul Necks are indeed bandsawn from one block of wood, the use of laminated necks (three piece) happened from time time to time along with the infamous 'pancake' laminated bodies made by putting two inch slabs together separated by a maple laminate (inch timber was cheaper and easier to get when the bean-counters had this stoke of genius) - same goes for the necks. Interestingly (to me anyway) the body lamination was simply a cheap shot while traditionally, three piece necks are desirable from a stability point of view with the centre laminate cut from the same board but reversed to provide opposing force to any movement that the outer parallel laminates would apply due to movement in the wood.

Gretch unfortunately used two pieces of unrelated wood in their necks and they show a crack and line quite commonly where the wood moves in an unrelated manner. Quite common for the peghead to actually split down the middle seam in the older instruments. Les pauls/ SGs and others have also come with one piece or laminated Maple necks from time to time.
Rusty -

On the Gretsch necks, you use the term "unrelated wood". Do you mean same species cut from different boards, or use of different species?

Hi Mac, unrelated by way of which board and orientation they came from - same wood, just not done with any acknowledgment of fundamental rules with respect to building with wood. There really is no excuse for this and I sometime wonder about our business. Same goes for three piece necks built out of different timber types with quite dissimilar properties - look good but age badly. Rusty.


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