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Is There Anyone Here Who Could Rough Out A Neck


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I was wondering if there is anyone here who does work for others. I would like a neck without fretboard roughed out and I would complete it. It's just that I don't have the time or tools to do it completely from scratch but would like to do some of it. Just a bolt-on maple neck. If someone could give me some ideas I'd appreciate it. Or if there is someplace online that sells something like this. "For the half-ass guitar builder."

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No offense to Doug, look at his gotm, he knows what he's doing - but why not rough it out yourself? Marzocchi's right in that if you have the tools to do a body you have the tools to do a neck. My personal opinion being that the real finesse of a neck is in the fine tuning anyway....

Your call of course, just my thoughts on the matter.

Nate Robinson :D

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Yeah, I think you'd be missing out on the really fun part of the neck build--shaping it to fit your own hand.

On the other hand, if I can find someone who's willing to do the fretwork for me, I'd be willing to make my own neck. Fretwork is much more technical--not within my realm of ability!

Anyone know where you can buy a pre-fretted fretboard?

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Yeah, I think you'd be missing out on the really fun part of the neck build--shaping it to fit your own hand.

On the other hand, if I can find someone who's willing to do the fretwork for me, I'd be willing to make my own neck. Fretwork is much more technical--not within my realm of ability!

Anyone know where you can buy a pre-fretted fretboard?

Seriously, fretting isn't THAT hard, and even pre-fretted necks require doing the 'difficult' bit yourself: levelling and re-crowning. And a pre-fretted board would DEFINITELY needs some.

Practice is cheap: get a trash guitar neck, a bunch of fretwire, and practice fretting, pulling frets, adding more frets, various fret dressing methods.

If you can shape a neck to fit your hand, you can do an adequate/decent job of fretwork (by which I mean basic mid-range factory guitar standard fretwork. ie, better than average current Gibson fretwork ;-) Factories don't spend ages and ages doing it, and pre-bending fretwire = not that hard. Tapping it in with a hammer = not that hard. Making a fret press doodad or buying one = not that hard, and gives you more reliable results. Fretwire = not that expensive. If you mess up? Refret = can be annoying, but isn't THAT hard.

If you want your head to spin around at the possibilities of truly top quality fretwork, get Erlewine/StewMac's Fretting: Step by Step. I still consider myself little more than adequate when it comes to fretwork, but creating a fretjob that looks good and plays comfortably is certainly within your abilities, I would wager.

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He might be too busy to do it, I don't know. But ever since I saw GuitarFrenzy's photos of how he roughs out a neck with his copy-carver machine, I thought he could offer doing that as a service.

(GuitarFrenzy, please forgive me if I'm mentioning something you really don't want to do ).

He might not even have the copy-carver set-up right now, and he also hand carved his JV-1 neck, which I think was his latest project

I can relate to not wanting to do certain things in building a guitar. It's important to follow your gut feeling about what things you REALLY are interested in doing, and those you want to "source out". I mean we could say "why not make your own ?" whenever someone asks about what pickups or what bridge or pickguard to get. I know the tools involved are a huge factor, but *motivation* is an even bigger factor.

By the way, I make my own fret-wire by digging up the required metals out of the ground, and melting and forging it into shape. :D

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I totally agree about focusing on what you want to do, but I think to many people avoid necks because they are convinced that they are to difficult to make.

Drak is a good example of somebody who could make a neck, but simply isn't doesn't. That's fine by me, since it's obvious that he is simply more interested in exploring finish/dye/glamour work on bodies - that's what fires his engine, rather than the 'donkey work' or neck construction.

However, there's a whole slew of people who want to make necks, but are intimidated - hence wanting necks which they can customise, without having to undertake the 'difficult' jobs. That's why it can't possibly be overstated how totally, utterly *not difficult* those tasks are.

Scarf joints = easy

Fretting (to a basic, but sound level) = easy

Installing the trussrod = ridiculously easy (route 1 staight line!!!)

shaping the back of the neck = easy!

Yes, you can screw up any of the steps, but you can screw up routing a pickup cavity, or drilling a wiring channel - there's no difference, except a neck blank is *much* cheaper than a body blank!

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Well, I've never built a neck ( but made fret-boards from scratch for a couple).

But the ideas in my head for how I want a neck, seem to make it more complicated :

I want it G&L style, two piece, with radiused t-rod channel routed half-way into both halves before they are glued-up. In other words, no seperate fret-board, no "skunk stripe", and only a vintage Fender type truss-rod. Just a few reasons why I'll probably never dive into neck building. Being a lazy SOB doesn't help either.

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No I can't make a body either. Nor do I have a router, scraper or rasp. I have assembled guitar parts before. Never made a guitar from raw wood. Though I think it would be fun, time does not permit.

What I want is the heel and neck without fretboard but with truss rod channel routed, and the back profile fairly close.

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Scarf joints = easy

Fretting (to a basic, but sound level) = easy

Installing the trussrod = ridiculously easy (route 1 staight line!!!)

shaping the back of the neck = easy!

Yes, you can screw up any of the steps, but you can screw up routing a pickup cavity, or drilling a wiring channel - there's no difference, except a neck blank is *much* cheaper than a body blank!

Setch - I concur!!

However, from the last post it's clear Mr. Rocket lacks tools. This may make it difficult to complete a partially constructed neck.

-Doug

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I want it G&L style, two piece, with radiused t-rod channel routed half-way into both halves before they are glued-up. In other words, no seperate fret-board, no "skunk stripe", and only a vintage Fender type truss-rod. Just a few reasons why I'll probably never dive into neck building. Being a lazy SOB doesn't help either.

Honestly, this only sounds like it requires good gluing skills (bit of practice with dosing glue, and 2-3 brads to line things up and you're fine) and making a single curved router template. Beyond that, it doesn't strike me as all that complex. Certainly easier than a skunk stripe approach, in my book.

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However, there's a whole slew of people who want to make necks, but are intimidated - hence wanting necks which they can customise, without having to undertake the 'difficult' jobs.  That's why it can't possibly be overstated how totally, utterly *not difficult* those tasks are.

Scarf joints = easy

Fretting (to a basic, but sound level) = easy

Installing the trussrod = ridiculously easy (route 1 staight line!!!)

shaping the back of the neck = easy!

Yes, you can screw up any of the steps, but you can screw up routing a pickup cavity, or drilling a wiring channel - there's no difference, except a neck blank is *much* cheaper than a body blank!

Exactamundo. YES to all of that. 10 bucks, even here, can get you all the wood you need for a neck. The last two necks I built (matching pair, one for a strat, one for a tele, identical) had a wood cost of about 5-6 dollars: large board with enough for 3 full-size fender necks and leftovers for at least 1 full laminated blank, rock maple, slight figure, 25 bucks. Fingerboards, good East Indian Rosewood: 4 dollars, ish.

Honestly, the neck reinforcement (2 x CF rods) and truss rod (StewMac HotRod) are the 'built in' bits that cost money, amounting to about 30 dollars per instrument built, regardless. I could leave the CF out, or make my own truss rods, but one's cheap insurance, and the other, well, I can't be bothered to make my own truss rods. Other parts of building are more fun :D

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He might be too busy to do it, I don't know. But ever since I saw GuitarFrenzy's photos of how he roughs out a neck with his copy-carver machine, I thought he could offer doing that as a service.

(GuitarFrenzy, please forgive me if I'm mentioning something you really don't want to do ).

He might not even have the copy-carver set-up right now, and he also hand carved his JV-1 neck, which I think was his latest project

At the moment the wife and I are in the process of moving 45 miles to a different location, so every afternoon this week I've been working on packing things up. This weekend will be full blown fun.. lol I'm going to be off Friday to get a head start, and I have a gig that night... yikes.. So you can see right now I don't really have the time to do anything like that. I did hand carve the neck and top on the JV-1, because I still like using a surform sometimes, it's very fun carving a neck by hand and I missed that. It's sorta like how you could buy fretwire, yet you choose to use raw minerals, melt them into shape, and hammer them in with a sledgehammer.. Sure there are easier ways, but sometimes they aren't as fun.. :D Just to let everyone know.. um that was just a joke.. lol

I totally agree about focusing on what you want to do, but I think to many people avoid necks because they are convinced that they are to difficult to make.

Drak is a good example of somebody who could make a neck, but simply isn't doesn't.  That's fine by me, since it's obvious that he is simply more interested in exploring finish/dye/glamour work on bodies - that's what fires his engine, rather than the 'donkey work' or neck construction.

However, there's a whole slew of people who want to make necks, but are intimidated - hence wanting necks which they can customise, without having to undertake the 'difficult' jobs.  That's why it can't possibly be overstated how totally, utterly *not difficult* those tasks are.

Scarf joints = easy

Fretting (to a basic, but sound level) = easy

Installing the trussrod = ridiculously easy (route 1 staight line!!!)

shaping the back of the neck = easy!

Yes, you can screw up any of the steps, but you can screw up routing a pickup cavity, or drilling a wiring channel - there's no difference, except a neck blank is *much* cheaper than a body blank!

Right on Setch.. it's not that hard to make a neck. Well, not having enough tools to do so, would be a problem, but with some minimal tools you could build a neck if you wanted to. Like you said, each one of the steps aren't hard if you have enough information, patience, and the right tools to do it with.

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Exactamundo. YES to all of that. 10 bucks, even here, can get you all the wood you need for a neck. The last two necks I built (matching pair, one for a strat, one for a tele, identical) had a wood cost of about 5-6 dollars: large board with enough for 3 full-size fender necks and leftovers for at least 1 full laminated blank, rock maple, slight figure, 25 bucks. Fingerboards, good East Indian Rosewood: 4 dollars, ish.

Honestly, the neck reinforcement (2 x CF rods) and truss rod (StewMac HotRod) are the 'built in' bits that cost money, amounting to about 30 dollars per instrument built, regardless. I could leave the CF out, or make my own truss rods, but one's cheap insurance, and the other, well, I can't be bothered to make my own truss rods. Other parts of building are more fun :D

Like you said the wood isn't that expensive to build a guitar if you cut everything out yourself. Now if you go out and buy a $35 warmoth maple blank (because you want to avoid scarf jointing), a $25 preslotted fingerboard from Stew, etc. Yes, you would be getting into a lot more money. In comparison, I just bought a 8 foot, 3/4 board of hard maple 3" wide that only cost me a little over 20 dollars. So you can see how much money you can save by preparing your own wood.

As far as Carbon Fiber Rod's go, I only know of one builder who makes their own and it's Joe Driskill at Driskill Guitars. Would be nice to be able to make your own, because they are slightly expensive to buy, but I won't build a neck without them.

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As far as Carbon Fiber Rod's go, I only know of one builder who makes their own and it's Joe Driskill at Driskill Guitars.  Would be nice to be able to make your own, because they are slightly expensive to buy, but I won't build a neck without them.

I'm also considering trying out David Myka's CF tube method (much cheaper from kite supply places), but I haven't found the right size/router bit combo quite yet. There have been a few threads on the MIMF about 'simply' laying up CF tow fibers directly in a slot, with epoxy, which looks doable. Driskill's method sure is elegant, but I don't want to think about the tool costs for cutting that stuff: carbon fibre is hell on tools, and the dust is nastier still.

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I'm also considering trying out David Myka's CF tube method (much cheaper from kite supply places), but I haven't found the right size/router bit combo quite yet. There have been a few threads on the MIMF about 'simply' laying up CF tow fibers directly in a slot, with epoxy, which looks doable. Driskill's method sure is elegant, but I don't want to think about the tool costs for cutting that stuff: carbon fibre is hell on tools, and the dust is nastier still.

Yes it would be worth looking into no doubt. I'm sure there are cheaper places to purchase CF rods than Stew Mac. It would be hard to get a setup like Driskill has to even make your own, but it is possible, even though probably not very feasible to many builders. It's definitely not safe to breath after it's been cut.. :D

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I had to cut a cf rod on the neck through I recently built. What I did was soak a paper towel with water, wrap it around the rod, and cut it with a grinder equiped with a cut off wheel. I also still wore a dust mask(can't hurt to have the added safety). This method yielded a very clean cut and the wet paper towel caught most, if not all, of the dust.

peace,

russ

Edited by thegarehanman
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Yes it would be worth looking into no doubt.  I'm sure there are cheaper places to purchase CF rods than Stew Mac.  It would be hard to get a setup like Driskill has to even make your own, but it is possible, even though probably not very feasible to many builders.  It's definitely not safe to breath after it's been cut..  :D

You'd be surprised...if you buy by the dozen to get slightly better prices, I've yet to find a supplier that has significantly better prices than StewMac or LMI (who have very similar pricing structures). Even specialist suppliers have prices very much in line with StewMacs, and frankly, StewMac has great service, prices (also on FAST international shipping) and I order stuff from them anyway. It'd need to be more than 1 or 2 dollars less to make it really worthwhile.

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Honestly, this only sounds like it requires good gluing skills (bit of practice with dosing glue, and 2-3 brads to line things up and you're fine) and making a single curved router template. Beyond that, it doesn't strike me as all that complex. Certainly easier than a skunk stripe approach, in my book.

I wish that was true. For me, It's carving the back that I'm not interested in doing by hand . Much like when I want a pickup rout, I want it done perfectly with a machine. I didn't inherit my great-grandfather's exceptional hand-tool skills. I do have an idea for a router jig for roughing in the back of a neck, but it's not something that can slapped together in my spare moments. And then there's the problem of me working on guitars almost every day, but how many days do I work on MY guitars ? This year, just one day; on my birthday, I put new tuners on my main guitar.

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