How To Repair a Warped Neck

by
Brian Calvert

This is a supplemental tutorial since you will have to both remove the fret board and also reattach it.
 
It can also be used as a way to make sure your neck and fret board are flat, level and clean if you had a messy time doing a fret board replacement and your neck is less than perfect when you removed the old board.
You will need the following for this project: A flat working area that is accurately level such as a planned board
  Crafter's spray adhesive
  Sand paper in both 120 and 220 grade
  Compressed air to clean your work area often
  A flat bladed steel file
  A small bench vise
  A wood planer (optional)
If your working on a warped neck start out by removing the fret board first since what you'll need to do to correct the problem is level the edge's that are high and low following the tutorial below.
 
If you do not have a verified smooth flat area to work with at least the length of your neck start by planing a piece of 2x4 or any really good thick wood to have a base area to work on. If you do not have access to a wood planer that's OK just take a long straight edge to the hardware store (you can always borrow one of theirs while your looking for the wood) and pick out a piece of wood that has at least a 24"long, level and straight.
 
Whip out a sheet of 120 grit sand paper and cut it lengthwise so you have two equal piece's, take your can of spray adhesive and give each piece a light coat on the back and you should have a nice work area as shown below.
Notice there is a small gap in the middle between the sheets, this can be to your advantage since the sand paper will load up really easy.
 
Get started by sanding lightly the full length of your neck facing it down on the board and moving it back and forth. This is where you will need to have plenty of patience and also compressed air is a plus to help clean and clear the buildup on the neck and sand paper. Start with the 120 grit as stated above slowly moving your neck back and forth along the full length of the sand paper (Do not use the head stock to apply down pressure). Once you have inspected and see that your neck and or fret board is smooth and level using the 120 grit peal it off and apply the 220 grit paper.
Inspect your work often and also see how both piece's match up together. If it doesn't match completely continue and have patience, you really do not need to apply heavy pressure to this type of sanding, just take your time and clean off the build up often. If you find it has become to clogged to blow off with compressed air then replace the paper as necessary.
 
Chances are with manufacture tolerances they way they are, your going to end up needing to either reroute the channel for the truss rod or file down the end blocks since you have sanded away some of the depth of the original channel. I would recommend filing a little off each of the four edge's of the rod's blocks as pictured below to start it can save a lot of time. If that doesn't work then measure the extra depth needed and reroute the channel.
Place your truss rod back into the neck and check to see that your fit is level and no light passes through when the fret board is laid on top them follow up with attaching it using the "how to Attach a Fret Board" tutorial.
Everything fit's perfectly together now? If no, go back and work a little more! If yes, then move on to the Attach a fret board tutorial.

 

 


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