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Making A Neck - Help Me Out!

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I've read numerous guides on the meticulous process of making a neck; the main tutorial by Steve on the PG site, and the entire section in 'Building Electric Guitars' by Martin Koch, and yet I still don't have a clear idea of how the process is going to go.

I bought a neck blank and a fretboard from Stew Mac, can anyone please provide me with a clear list of steps? Even if they are vague, I just want to know what order to do things in.

Thanks much!

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Well worth the purchase price is control freak. Just pm Jehle and ask him about it. Its a multimedia cd that show the process he used for building guitars from kits and scratch. Then you get the music he recorded with those guitars. I read martins book and melvyns book, and stilll bought Jehle's Cd because I learn faster watching it being done than just from books alone. Was a tremedous help. Or you could just use a search engine and look for Bill Jehle Control Freak and get it right off his website. I dont remember the address or I would just give it to you

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It really might help if you told us:

1) what kind of neck you want to build (bolt on, neck-through, set)

2) scarf joint or not/angled headstock or not

3) what exactly is confusing about it.

Honestly, Melvyn's description and pictures were more than enough to get me started; if you're worried about carving, make a dummy neck and practice on that. If it's a strat neck, check GuitarFrenzy's strat tutorial.

As for order, it depends on preference; some profile fingerboard to fit the neck, others do it the other way 'round, etc. For the sake of clarity, my basic process for a non-neck through neck:

1) Thickness and square up blank, parallel sides, flat top

2) scarf joint headstock on there

3) plane headstock to thickness

4) mark centerline

5) route truss rod channel (StewMac HotRod) and 2x 1/8" wide x 3/8" channels for CF rods

6) Glue in CF-rods, clean up any glue squeeze-out

7) Mark out fingerboard position/shape of neck from top view, including headstock; if it's going to be a set neck, mark that out carefully

8) Rough-cut (1/8" margin all 'round for me) headstock shape, neck profile

9) Template+router+sander to finalize headstock

10) if it's a set neck, fit the M+T joint. If it's a bolt-on, template route the neck so it matches the profile

11) mark out and taper fingerboard (I use a handplane, accurate, easy, quick)

12) Put truss rod in neck, glue on fingerboard

13) Carve heel area and volute/headstock transition are with rasps

14) rough in shaft of neck, removing wood by whatever means preferred until it feels neck-like.

I personally tend to let the fingerboard taper define the neck taper, and carve down to it, rather than template routing the neck profile, because that's what works for me. I don't build many bolt-on neck guitars, and I don't build many guitars with the same neck profile, period. Not having to make a template for each neck neck shape makes things easier, and I'm not in a production setting here, trying to make a living at this.

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Hello there, thanks for all the help everyone.

I am building a strat neck, so probably non-angled headstock (unless you think doing a scarf is a better idea... I was thinking about it), obviously bolt on.

This is going to function as a practice neck; I'm building it for my Squire. I'd like to make it a real nice neck, although it doesn't matter as much as the Ibanez Jem neck I will be building later on. :D

Thanks for all a'the help!

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