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Decent Cheap Necks?


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I'm looking for sources of decent but cheap guitar necks. I'm working up the courage to start my own first build but I'd like to start with a neck that I won't cry over if I ruin it. I'm looking at a headless design so there will be some "modification" involved. :D

BTW - Please no ebay. Ebay gives me a rash. I'm not looking to buy someone else's problem. I'd rather pay for my own problem fresh from the factory. :D Thanks!

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The problem with buying a cheap neck is that you'll end up with a guitar with a...cheap neck.

With all the work and effort that goes into making a guitar, it's kind of a shame to end up with something that's going to be less than great.

Your modification will essentially consist of chopping off the neck's head? I don't see any problem with that--there's not a huge risk of screwing up the neck itself, right?

As much as you distrust ebay (with good reason!), there are tons of necks available, many of them new and many from trustable sellers. I've seen a number of headless necks too, although they're rarer...I think there was a headless graphite neck up a couple of weeks ago?

Another option would be to buy a beater guitar with a decent neck, and just remove that.

Or buy a guitar with a neck you like and reshape the body according to your own design.

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The problem with buying a cheap neck is that you'll end up with a guitar with a...cheap neck.

With all the work and effort that goes into making a guitar, it's kind of a shame to end up with something that's going to be less than great.

Your modification will essentially consist of chopping off the neck's head? I don't see any problem with that--there's not a huge risk of screwing up the neck itself, right?

As much as you distrust ebay (with good reason!), there are tons of necks available, many of them new and many from trustable sellers. I've seen a number of headless necks too, although they're rarer...I think there was a headless graphite neck up a couple of weeks ago?

Another option would be to buy a beater guitar with a decent neck, and just remove that.

Or buy a guitar with a neck you like and reshape the body according to your own design.

I agree that a cheap neck will give me a cheap neck. :D However, here's why I would prefer this path. For one, I would like to build up a "proof of concept" and the reason for that is my second reason. I have NO pre-existing skills in this area except for use of some basic handtools and a drill. I'm handy around the house having installed and fixed a number of things but this is my first foray into anything resemblng/requiring woodworking skills. Apart from a general aptitude with the few tools I've held, I have patience and caution on my side. I'm willing to take my time and I tend to measure and measure again.

Brian C., however, has saved the day for me. I got a hold of him last night and it turns out he has a new neck with a broken headstock that he is selling me for CHEAP! I'm psyched. I guess I'm approaching commitment level with this project. :-) I'll leave that for a separate thread...

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I guess I'm approaching commitment level with this project. :-) I'll leave that for a separate thread...

Yeah, you're screwed, you have to go through with it now. B)

You're pretty much in the same place I was a year and a half ago--I'd just started taking guitar lessons and it seemed to me a good idea to learn how to build guitars at the same time. :D

I had NO woodworking skills, didn't even have basic tools. I also lacked patience, caution, the willingness to take my time and to measure and measure again. The people who know me thought I was completely nuts. My wife just laughed...

But somehow I managed...took me more than a year to finish my first real from-scratch project though. You'll probably go much quicker.

I'll say this, I don't hold by the 'proof of concept' idea either --because of all the work it takes to make these things, it's actually much easier to build a guitar you're committed to playing afterward. There will be plenty of moments of frustration during the building process where you'll be tempted to give it up --but the DREAM of the final product will help keep you going. A test guitar just ain't enough. I think the work you're doing now, researching and developing your idea (plus a couple of quick plywood prototypes to test your body shape) will be a sufficient test of the concept.

On the other hand, the most important things I learned along the way were these: Get Your Templates Right (GYTR) and Practice On Scrap (POS). That is, every time you're about to make a new step on the guitar, practice it first on scrap. Once you've got the move down and you're certain you can pull it off, take it to the actual guitar. Your templates are going to help you avoid any guitar-fatal mistakes.

You'll see though, it's much scarier on your end --that is, this period before having built a guitar. Once you've finished your first, you'll know that you CAN do it. In fact, I'm now planning my next build--this time I'm building my own neck....just got my fingerboard in...

Oh yeah, I'm getting pretty good at playing the guitar too (found a great teacher, that helps!). :D

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I haven't finished my second yet, but if the cheap neck sounds crappy then you'll think you're improving on the next one. Don't worry about the first one turning out bad, because you're going to want to build another one undoubtedly, and building a guitar will significantly improve your skills, so you won't be wasting this first one. Don't stress too much over parts and stuff like that, just get the first one done and you'll have passed a significant hurdle.

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Yeah, you're screwed, you have to go through with it now. :D

Without a doubt. :D I think you're right - why bother with a proof of concept? I'd be better served by getting one under my belt, gaining the experience and going from there. I think I've also forgotten to factor the importance of commitment to the project. It would probably be too easy to lay it aside as just an experiment if it were just a proof.

Thanks for setting me straight!

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