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First Neck Build


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Well,

It only took me about 2 years and 3 tele's later to get up the nerve to build a neck. Additionally, having a full time job and a 2 1/2 year old limits my time.

I spent the last two days making sure that my template was the right dimensions - and making marks on the limba blank. This morning I decided to give it a go, but not until I asked Mattia another question about the positioning of the truss rod.

The neck will be a T style 25 1/2" with either a nice BE maple fret board or a rosewood. It will be 22 frets with no overhang on the fretboard. Rather, the neck will be extended just a hair. I was lucky enough to get several preslotted boards from a friend, not to mention a pretty good Luthier, Ron Thorn. A few months back we were talking about my first neck build. He mentioned that he had several boards around the shop. Next thing I know the Fedex man shows up with 10 preslotted boards - pretty cool.

So back to this morning: After marking the location of the nut and the end of the neck. I marked where the truss rod should start and stop. For this project I decided that I wanted the adjustment to come from the head side.

In order to route the truss rod channel I used two pieces of mahogany as fences:

Pre route set up

Pre route #2

The truss rod is a LMI double action rod - does not require a special bit 1/4" wide .

The route went well - had one small tear, but overall a very tight fit. In fact i have to tap pretty hard to get in in place. Here are a few more pics. I will post more as I have the time to work on it.

Test fitting as I went along

Shows tear out

View down the neck

neck-build015.jpg

Bill

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Looking good!

However, re: tearout, you really shouldn't have that kind of problem with cutting a truss rod slot. Is your bit sharp? Not taking more than 1/8" bite per pass? Router at full speed?

and, importantly, which side is the guide/fence on when routing?

There's this nifty little rule I learned from a guitar builder (Sylvan Wells) last year, when visiting his shop: Routers Go Left.

This tendency to go 'left' is relative to the router's movement: the direction you're moving the router is 'forward', and it has a tendency (due to bit geometry and rotation direction) to want to move towards the left, relative to that staight direction. The importance of this? It tells you where to put your fence: to the left of the router. Because the router will then push itself into the fence, and you get a nice, accurate cut.

For a less rambly explanation, the reasons, and other ways of harnassing this property of routers (they go left. Unless they're in a table, at which point they go right. But anyway), see this article:

http://www.tools-for-woodworking.com/index...on=Custom&ID=68

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Looking good!

However, re: tearout, you really shouldn't have that kind of problem with cutting a truss rod slot. Is your bit sharp? Not taking more than 1/8" bite per pass? Router at full speed?

and, importantly, which side is the guide/fence on when routing?

There's this nifty little rule I learned from a guitar builder (Sylvan Wells) last year, when visiting his shop: Routers Go Left.

This tendency to go 'left' is relative to the router's movement: the direction you're moving the router is 'forward', and it has a tendency (due to bit geometry and rotation direction) to want to move towards the left, relative to that staight direction. The importance of this? It tells you where to put your fence: to the left of the router. Because the router will then push itself into the fence, and you get a nice, accurate cut.

For a less rambly explanation, the reasons, and other ways of harnassing this property of routers (they go left. Unless they're in a table, at which point they go right. But anyway), see this article:

http://www.tools-for-woodworking.com/index...on=Custom&ID=68

From looking at the pictures he had, looks like he had a guide on each side of the neck when routing the truss rod slot. It's not me, but I have better results just using a router table setup. You might not have access to a router table though. Mattia's tips on using the router is right on... But it was a good thing you decided to use a Robo-Sander to do the neck, at least around the headstock, especially if you was having problems with tearout.

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Great job so far! I often read the forums and I don't understand why so many folks don't make there own necks. I feel that it's the most rewarding part of building a guitar. It's like any other part of building a guitar once you do it you realize it's a piece of cake. Just take your time, take your time, take your time. Check the trussrod nut before installing because removing a fret bord really stinks. Keep it up.

:D Tom

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Thanks for the tips on the router direction, etc. I thought about using my table, but I felt and still feel better routing most things from the top (just my opinion). The router was real tight in between the two pieces of mahogany (at some point I hope they are necks for an LP style - 1 thing at a time).

The tear out was my fault - as I was repositioning the router (putting it back in the slot after lowering the bit) I hit the go switch. Again - the tear out has no affect on the tightness of the fit. Heck with the fretboard - my guess it will never be seen. :D.

Check the trussrod nut before installing because removing a fret bord really stinks. Keep it up.

Already checked - several times!

Again thanks for the advice - I hope to get some work done on the gluing of the fretboard and shaping later this week (time permitting).

Bill

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