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Ideas On Neck Shaping?

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I was playing around with the idea of a neck profile being more or less a section of the surface of a cone, or at least that shape would fall close to a final shape for subsequent finishing. Given the example of say a pair of 5-string bass necks, mounting a pair of blanks symmetrically to a central workholding "wedge" jig - tapered to create the conical section and neck thickness taper - it should be possible to rough in an approximation of a neck carve.

So - any experienced turners on here? Despite the unwieldiness of a pair of scarfed neck blanks running around at speed this seems quite plausible. Short of a duplicarving setup or CNC creating "roughnecks" as Doug is doing, this would seem a relatively simple method of cutting in neck carves on a repetitive and reproducible basis.

Incidentally, how have neck carves been done in a manufacturing setup over the years? I'd be interested in hearing how Fender used to carry this out before CNC since Leo is of course the father of manufactured instruments.

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i think fender had a belt sander set-up that was the same length of the carve and rolled the whole thing in on that without rough carving first

they were quite round up until a new member of staff started in 57 who did it a bit differently and the V-profile was born, not on all guitars and not for very long - just the ones carved by one member of staff whilst he was learning as far as anyone can tell. if it wasnt for clappo they probably never would have made a comeback

I have actually played what is believed to be one of the first 57 V necks and it is so pronounced you would have thought they would have scrapped it - but it did feel good and changed my view on V profiles - at least for chord work.

anyway, the point is that whatever they were doing allowed for a lot of variation and the style or carves, particularly at the transitions, does point towards a large belt sander. they may well have roughed in with a duplicarver but i dont think you would get as much variation if you were just sanding off the duplicarver marks. i do believe that is what gibson did though.

now onto the turned neck idea, I am sure its been done and i think it may have been one of the british builders like shergold or similar. I believe it was 2 necks in a single blank, turn the shaft then split down the middle, route a truss rod slot and attach a fretboard. I wish i could remember for sure, but it always seemed like a very silly way of doing things to me

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Not a turned neck, but I think the idea in this video is quite neat. You could make your own repeatable neck profiles by changing out the "pucks" he talks about in the vid.

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The Travis Bean Aluminium neck were turned, split and then holowed out.

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After a certain amount of coffee and thought today I decided that removal of the most stock in the least amount of time is of primary importance in neck manufacture, with fringe benefits such as making more than one neck at a time (Gibson's carved top duplicarver springs to mind) and closeness to the final shape being advantageous. This puck/template based approach is certainly a good one as it allows for asymmetrical profiling and easy setup. I think that with a bit of thought this could also be extended to radiusing fingerboards - even compound radii. Didn't a member on here make something along these lines?

My initial idea about turning profiles is not a quick method (it can be if you like danger I guess) plus it always ends up with any cross-section along the profile being a circular arc. Not very flexible. Duplicarving is something I've wanted to try for a long while, even to the point of my having bought a bunch of pillow blocks etc. a few years back. For the moment I think this puck/swingarm idea sounds excellent, and there isn't a massive difference between it and most of the swingarm radiusing jigs luthiers are familiar with anyway.

Thanks all!

PS. Were Travis Bean necks profiled more like conical sections? Sounds pretty chunky and un-ergonomic if so for the reasons mentioned. Still....short of CNC this makes sense given the amount of metal needing to be removed.

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I did necks on a lathe for about a year. 2 at a time, cut the rear profile for 2 necks as a single bat/log. then run it thru the bandsaw to split them apart.

By the time Id clean up the board faces, route for the rods, attach the fret board & profile the headstock/heel bla bla bla, it did not realy save me any time.

Iv ended up using a router table with a 1 inch roundover bit if I want to just rough out a few necks now. Attach the blank to a template & run it down the neck as far as I need on each side. saves a lot of time & is much less hassle. Or just carve them with a spoke shave & rasps (I do this mostly) If time is not realy an issue.

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I've tried various methods, everything from using a band saw to rough off the excess and then the most extreme using a copy carver (which I've sold since I no longer used ir for anything)

These days I dont even use the band saw to remove the excess. I just clamp the full/square blank on the bench and use mostly a rasp, starting it off with a spoke shave. I just find this the quickest and less chance for screw ups.

I was discussing this a couple weeks ago with a very well known USA luthier - he confessed that these days he uses a round over bit with a bearing guide and a tempate to start his necks off...

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Re: the Travis Bean neck I'd say that they were pretty "normal". More so than you woul'd expect from a guitar with flat radii fretboard... I think that you can get a leaner neck profile by removing more wood along the *"split line" making the half circle more into a shallow C shape. However the Scheltema jig is realy interesting. I will need to play around with it in CAD to see if I can make it work with my angled heads.

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This is exactly what I was planning on doing also Peter. My intention is to fashion some device which can be used for blanks with straight and angled headstocks, plus catering for the extension of a set or through neck. Those obviously complicate the template puck bearing surface locations and workholding methods.

Incidentally, I found a machine virtually identical to this in one of the shop's corner the other day:

http://www.woodworki...er_Linisher.jpg

...in that respect it would make the task of radiusing fingerboards much easier so I could happily strike that "function" from the carving device. For those that don't know how these work, refer to these Japanese factory videos:

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