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Guitar Necks, Whats There Whole Deal?

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as you might have noticed on my other threads, im building a guitar.

so its going pretty good and ive sourced some great parts and i cant wait to show it off.

but one thing has been holding me back the whole time is the guitar neck.

so far this project has cost me about £70 and the neck is all i need to complete so some might say if this guitar is any good then it is well worth £70!

problem is id like to continue the trend and keep it cheap, so a cheap guitar neck is a must, but all the guitar necks ive seen are well over a £100!

i could buy a guitar for that and ebay the rest of the parts making back most of the money. something ive not yet figured out....?

a neck is simply too complex for a beginer like me to take on, so buying a neck and altering it seemed like the best idea for me, but when i approached a retailer all he had was pine coloured fender strat necks for over £100. when i asked about getting mybe a gibson or another symetrical style neck he said he didnt have a lisence to sell them and id have to buy direct, something gibson have told me they dont do (so where do you buy a replacement gibson neck?).

i suggested to him that id buy a gibson neck and simply alter the head to suit my guitar. at this point he became quite irate and started saying id be prosecuted for trying to pass off my guitar as a gibson. i dont quite think he understood the first thing to go would be the gibson logo, all i wanted was a finished neck that would look good on my guitar without having to buy a million pounds worth of tools and craftsmanship lessons to get. yet he says thats illegal. a les paul style would do as theres enough wood there to cut iot into my chosen shape.

1) where do i stand on altering a neck? personnaly i wouldnt think anybody would care, if i buy a neck its mine to do with as i please. im not trying to pass it off as something its not.

2) where the hell can i get a symetrical black neck (similar to the gibson flying v) or a paddle neck that i can customize myself without having to fork out a fortune?

any advice/tips/sites are greatly appreciated. :D

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Ok, from what it sounds like, you wont be able to get a replacement neck to alter without spending big bucks

In my opinon, your best bet would be to go to a pawn shop, check ebay, and just have a look around your local music stores for scrap parts and such

If you have access to a bandsaw,glue, clamps and sandpaper, you can make you own neck, providing you buy a preslotted fretboard, some place like warmoth sells them, and then to fret it just press them in

So, its all up whether you trust yourself enough to make a neck, or if you have enough money to scrap together and buy one


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I assume you're going with a bolt-on neck, correct?

There are all sorts of bolt-on Les Paul-style necks floating around on eBay; you don't need to pay the big bucks for a Gibson neck. You can also get paddle-type necks from Allparts, Stewart McDonald, Warmoth and USA Custom Guitars (by request), fretted and (nearly) ready to go. They come in various stages of finish (some in the raw, some with just sanding sealer, some completely finished).

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make sure you know the scale of your guitar. you cant just put any neck on any body - oh lord if it were that simple *drools* haha.

-Jamie :D

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cheers guys.

im in the uk, so these american stores are no good, £20 postage and theres no guarentee it'll survive.

bolt on indeed! ive been scanning ebay vigorously for necks, not a lot in the uk.

oh dear, i didnt know there would be a problem with scale length? i thought that it would be ok to follow a guide of what scale length other guitars used in corolation with their necks. the bridge and pickups arent in yet.???

so can i cant i just copy the positions from my other guitars?

will go through those shops and have a good look at the prices, i know im being a stingy bugger with this, its just im totally shocked at replacement neck prices in comparision to buying a whole guitar. :D

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£20 postage and theres no guarentee it'll survive.

No worries here....I am in Germany and I order most of my guitar stuff from USA & Canada and NEVER got a damaged package so far. As long as the seller puts the neck in a proper package you won't have any trouble additionally you will only pay about 30-40$ shipping for a neck.....

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Build one.

I'm doing my first guitar and I've built the neck. I really didn't find it as hard as I thought it was going to be. I think the laminates cost me about £15 from craft supplies in Buxton.

Whats the worst that could happen? You could balls it up and have to sped anothr £15 on laminates. You've just got to make sure that you have the right tools, I used:

Clamps to glue the laminates (stolen from my old man)

A very dodgy handsaw for the scarf joint (given to me by my old man as it's useless)

A half round file for shaping (about £3 from Homabase)

Loads of sandpaper (Don't get this from Homebase it's expensive)

A sanding block made out of an old block plane

A small sanding block made from scrap wood

Truss rod from Touchstone Tonewoods (£8)

Router for russ rod channel (swiped of a friend)

Workmate (again swiped from the same friend)

I didn't have to do the tennon though, as mine is a sort of neck through.

Have you looked at Craft Supplies as I think they have cheep necks with a blank headstock to shape?

Where abouts in the UK are you?

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you make it sound so easy...

i guess im really put off by the idea of fitting the frets, i have a great book on how to build a guitar and says you need a lot of tools like "crown shavers"? and special rulers.

im constantly learning and youve put a little spark in the back of my mind and now im thinking maybe i could make one... yet for my first ever guitar id still rather buy one.

im in angus in bonnie scotland.

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Bet it's cold up there!

For the frets, I'm using a Japanese Microsaw from Touchstone Tonewoods (£18) and the 5 meters of fret wire (£9 - should get a few necks from that), Then I'm going to be using a pair of pliers and some hard graft with a grit stone.

I'm building my own mitre board to get the fret slots straight, hope it works :D

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it sounds like a lot of hard work and most of what your saying is going over my head so i know im not ready to build a neck yet. :D

what if one of your frets is out? shave the rest? and before you know it... youve got a fretless guitar!

its freezing up here!

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Build your own man. Scots are supposed to be brave B)

I've been doing my axes in dribs and drabs because I'm skint and got no tools. If you take it slow then you should be alright on the tool front. Hell, mines taken a year so far and now I'm having to wait until bonus time to get myself a drum sander. :D

Alternatively, the pawn shop would be a good place (not as good as the porn shop obviously) just like Curtis said. Try Craft Supplies in Buxton, they have unfinished necks or I'm sure you can come to a deal with someone else on the forum, someone more experienced than me.

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what is this universaljems and how can i get them to sell me a neck dagnammit!!

hotrock, ive sent too long on this guitar, ive just joined a band and NEED this custom made jobie as soon as we start gigging, one day when my confidence is up i'll attemp a neck.

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hey there, have you tried www.guitarpartsusa.com (sorry dont know how to link sites an stuff) they've got a variety of fender and les paul neck copies of varying quality. the best part is they're bloody cheap. As a scotsman i dont like spending money :D and these are cheap about $70 dollars, which is 38 quid according to my currency converter! I hjave used a couple of them and I was happy enough with the quality, although I shaved them anyway, so it didnt matter much what like they were like anyway! I'd say have a look anyway and see what you think. B):D

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sepultura999 noted-

make sure you know the scale of your guitar. you cant just put any neck on any body - oh lord if it were that simple *drools* haha.

Exactly, and How-So!

There are several things to consider too (beyond this). First and foremost, if you have a body & a neck that are made by different companies...don't expect a perfect match. I know this from experience. A lesson very recently learned, as I'm fairly new to this stuff (though I have "assembled" a Carvin Bolt-On Strat-style Kit).

Right now I have a Telecaster-Copy body from "Musikraft" (in New Jersey) who's reputation is Very Good...in terms of *stock (Fender)* Tele-necks fitting like a glove. However, I ordered & received a "Mighty Mite Tele-Style" neck off eBay and am currently facing that---the body & neck aren't a Perfect Match. So I'm working on how to resolve this dilemma...first. The neck is too wide at the heel....

Someone else mentioned something to the effect that:

"....Les Paul necks are all-over eBay...."

The fact is, no they aren't!

In the Luthier's Section you will come across (occasional) replacement necks for Les Pauls, which are the Glue-In (standard) LP necks.

As far as "(quote) Bolt-On Les Paul Necks (unquote)"....these are few and far between on eBay (and elsewhere) as Bolt-On-Necks are NOT *standard* with Gibsons. In a word, they're Copies.

Many an eBay seller lists these necks as "Les Paul." But they almost always never give any dimensions...and do not reply to questions. (Advize: Steer-Away from any of this sort of thing by avoiding it altogether)!

I did manage to find an "LP-type bolt-on neck" on eBay which I have on order & is due any day now. The eBay seller was a "builder" and answered all of my questions to my satisfaction; so I bought it. (I also have a couple LP bodies on the way as well...one is not routed at the neck)...so I figure "I'm covered" as I can make the thing fit---one way, or another!


With any kind of "(so-called) Les Paul Bolt-On Neck"; I'd recommend getting a body to match from the same company and/or seller who can guarantee a "fit." If they don't give Specs, avoid em At All Co$t$, IMO! (Or you'll pay)....

Edited by rick_here
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