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First Neck...

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This is the first neck I will have built and I'm freaking scared. All I hear is how difficult it is. If anyone could offer me any information on building a neck for a Jem 777, I'd MUCH appreciate it - especially from someone who has accomplished this before! Thanks!

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Ibanez's website says its a 5 piece laminated neck made from wenge and maple. The old Ibanez site used to have all the neck dimensions on it but it seems like they've got rid of that feature now! I'm going to be making my first neck soon and I was scared until I read up on a few methods of neck making. Finding out there were so many differant ways to do it sure as hell made it less scary! I'm gonna be using mainly hand tools (I love rasps). :D go read all the tutorials on the main Project guitar site and then all the ones in the soildbody refrence section!


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Memphetic, don't be so intimidated. If everything goes pear shaped......you only created piece of funky looking fire wood. :D

But if you read up on some of the builds......and having feeling for methods and capabilities......it's actually much easier then you think.

Lessons learned.

1. Failure is an option. And there is nothing against having a second go. B)

2. Safe yourself the trouble and order pre-radiused/pre-slotted fretboard from lmii.com, etc.

3. Be careful routing trussrod channel. More then one person screwed up in this department. (Routing too deep!!!).

Process I used.

1. Buy the wood. Nice maple blank, nice Wenge or Walnut contrasting pieces.

2. Cut maple blank in thinner slabs. (Ask local wood working company with the nice tools to help you out on this one.)

3. Glue blank together.

4. Back to woodworking (or furniture) company and plane the blank.

5. Draw neck dimensions on blank and back to local woodworking company, and for six pack, have a date with their bandsaw.

6. While the fresh cut blank is still square.....route trussrod channel.

7. And now the paths divers. One group of people routes fretboard to shape and uses the glued up fretboard as guide to route neck to dimension (template bit) The other group, routes neck and fretboard separately and marries them up later while scraping sides flush. Some use router, some use drumsander.......

8. Now the real fun begins......shaping back of neck. Get files and rasps out and start shaping rough shape. Check, and shape, and check and shape. Get the files and sand paper out to sand flush.

9. Install side markers, fretmarkers, frets........and you're done.

All in all a very rewarding process.

Best advice when building neck must be...... JUST DO IT!!!!

Don't be a neck virgin any longer. :D

Edited by RGGR
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I felt exactly the same way before my (recently finished) first neck. It was so much fun, and came out so well, it was my favorite part of the project.

I used a microplane rasp to shape around both ends and then a spokeshave for the length. I might have to build a two-necked guitar, it was so much fun.

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You might want to check out GuitarBuildingTemplates' Jem 777 complete templates. Otherwise, your going to have to make your own templates before you start, either by getting them printed off, or drawing them off, before you cut them out of wood. Get the templates right and make sure everything fits before working on the actual guitar wood. It's much easier buying more 1/4" template wood, than buying new guitar wood. I've said it a million times and I'll say it again to you, it's easier sanding the edge of a 1/4" template than it is a 2" piece of hardwood. When you get your neck template ready, then your ready to build. One key word of advice I can give you right off the bat, is to route your truss rod channel first before you taper the neck wood. If not, then you can't use the neck edge to guide your router, be it table or guide, otherwise the slot won't be in center of the neck. Just read everything you can, then read more, then practice on scrap, and finally your ready for the real thing.

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