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Neck Planing


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Hey peeps,

I am planning on building my own bass... and in doing so I am reading a lot and tring to inform me befor I go along and by all the stuff I need.

What I find hard to understand in the neck building, is the planing. I understand the idea .. making the laminates flat and perfectly square .. what i do not really understand is how you do it..

First you glue your laminates together .. once they are dry you plane the laminates .. But how (well I know you can use tools like this

stv28.jpg

But how do you know if it is flat and square..

The tutorials I read kind of miss out on these little (nad maybe trivial) details but to me they seem to be the most important .. It will effect the end result in many ways if it is not done correctly .. i think.

Any tips or references to literature is welcomwe... (i have been reading melvin hisocks book , but could not really find it .. just the information that you have to do this .. not how to do this .. (maybe i missed it though ... )

:D

cheers HJ

Edited by hendrikjan
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OK, you start with square, flat (or possibly squared, flat and tapered) laminates, glue up your blank, once dry you plane one surface even and flat. How do you know it's flat? The same way you know anything else is flat: get yet some good straightedges (or at least one) and a square. Check the face is square to the edges at various locations along the neck, and use the straightedge to check it's straight (no gaps/light) and flat (run the straightedge diagonally across the piece, various angles, again, no light showing anywhere).

A decent square and a good straightedge are indispensable tools for any kind of precision woodworking, and guitarmaking is certainly no exception.

Given the fact you don't seem to know how to define when something is square, you may want to do some reading on general woodworking, and CERTAINLY read up on tuning and shrapening a plane before even considering using one on a piece of wood. Check the library, or use google to find stuff on plane tuning, woodworking, perparing lumber, etc.

This is pretty basic stuff, dude.

PS: you dutch, perchance? If so, welcome, fellow Dutchite!

Edited by mattia
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ja zo hollands als het maar zijn kan .. En tja je moet toch ergens beginnen ; you have to start somewhere ... I have hardly any experienxe in woodwordking .. made a few small windmills .. and skateboards .. but that is pretty straight forward .. doesn't matter if something is not flat or square ..

This is a totaly different story, guitar/ bass building .. I thought about starting of with a pre made neck .. but I figured the neck is just about the entire instrument .. so if I don't make the neck I might as well stop immediatly

I guess .. what I am wondering is, what is flat enough .. and I guess the hardest thing is .. how to make one side flat so that you have a reference for the others (this relates to the paralel sides)

And onwhich side do you start, after gleuing the laminates, do you just asume the outer edges are paralel? What is good enough?

What is prefered a hand plane or a "power" plane..

I guess there are just a lot of insecurities that i run into ... and the only way I will find out is to do it .. but tips are still welcome

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Well, I'd recommend finding a workshop that has a "power" plane. Using a hand plane(unless it is REALLY long)will make it very difficult to make the edge straight. I made this mistake when planing the edges of Mahogany sides that I tried to glue onto a maple neck-thru. It didn't work, so I had to go to my school's workshop, and use their power planing table...

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ja zo hollands als het maar zijn kan .. En tja je moet toch ergens beginnen ; you have to start somewhere ...  I have hardly any experienxe in woodwordking .. made a few small windmills .. and skateboards .. but that is pretty straight forward .. doesn't matter if something is not flat or square ..

This is a totaly different story, guitar/ bass building .. I thought about starting of with a pre made neck .. but I figured the neck is just about the entire instrument .. so if I don't make the neck I might as well stop immediatly

I guess .. what I am wondering is, what is flat enough .. and I guess the hardest thing is .. how to make one side flat so that you have a reference for the others (this relates to the paralel sides)

And onwhich side do you start, after gleuing the laminates,  do you just asume the outer edges are paralel? What is good enough?

What is prefered a hand plane or a "power" plane..

I guess there are just a lot of insecurities that i run into ... and the only way I will find out is to do it .. but tips are still welcome

Altijd leuk om meer Nederlanders tegen te komen. Kom ook eens langs bij het zelfbouw forum bij gitaarnet.nl, zou ik zeggen. Hier vind je wel meer informatie, maar daar is het ook gezellig.

'Flat enough', well, it just needs to be very flat and even. So you don't have gaps or irregularities when gluing things up, or only so much irregularity as very, very light pressure can correct. The 'reference' flatness has to be a straightedge, which you buy, something made of metal. The square (again, buy it) helps you square everything up. If we're talking neck lamiantes, only the bits that need gluing together, and keeping the thing even thickness (or evenly tapered along its length) matters.

I'd reccomend learning to tune and use a handplane, although a powerplane can work. I'd also simply reccomend you start out by getting your blanks planed by a woodworker with the proper machines. Much easier, and if you can watch while they do it, even better. Might even be able to give you some tips about how to do it by hand.

I still get a lot of my stock surfaced for me, because it takes the lumber yard (have a planer there) mere minutes to run through their machine, costs me a few extra euros per board, but at least I know I've got a sqaured, evenly thicknessed, nicely surfaced piece of wood. I could and have done this by hand a couple of times, but if I can have it done, I will. Now, if I had the space for a planer and/or jointer....

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