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Neck - Thru


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I'm looking for opinions from people who have built neck-thru guitars with drop tops.

This isn't my first guitar but it will be my first neck-thru (or at least the first one I will have completed). I have the neck built to the point where the taper has been formed and the truss rod channel is complete. I have not cut the neck thickness yet - it's about 2 1/2" thick as it is now.

I was considering cutting the neck to thickness (the body portion first) next. Once that is complete, cut/rout the area where the drop top will sit.

I'm not sure how the top will go on though. Do you normally bookmatch it first and rout the neck area before it is glued to the body? I know this is the way it is done for bolt-on's but not sure about neck-thru. The area that surrounds the fretboard is what is bothering me (frets 16 to 24). If I bookmatch it first and I have an overhang on the fretboard, will the top still go on?



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My fourth guitar was a 3/4 tenon neck where the tenon goes all the way to where the bridge studs are located.

I glued up my bookmatched Walnut top and routed it to fit using my body template. I then used a paper template to figure out the area on the Walnut top that needed to be removed for the fretboard overhang.

Then carefully removed the wood until the top fit snugly without gaps. I used toothpick dowels to keep the top from shifting while glued up in my glue press. Also, with my glue press I could have glued up the bookmatched top while glueing the top to the body but prefer having the top ready first.

Good Luck!


Edited by six_stringer
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There are three ways of going about this(that I know of). First maintain the neck height under the fretboard to the end of the board (requires notching). Second use a tall enough top to fill the void under the fretboard ( no notching of the top). Third add a shim under the fretboard to fill the small void without notching the top. Personally I can say it is challenging to get the notch in the top cut just right. I have never used a shim, although I see nothing wrong with the idea. My personal choice would be to place the fretboard on the top (just plane it to the neck plane (or pickup plane)). The fit will look clean and tidy without the awkward notching.


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