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Maple Cap On Neck Through Guitar


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Hi everyone. I havn't built a guitar yet (still in planning stages) but I was curious how you would put a top on a neck through guitar. Something like this wouldn't be on my first guitar, but it would be something I would like to do in the future. I don't want to use a veneer because I want the tone of the wood as well. Do you just saw out that section of the neck blank before/after glueing or plane a portion of it? Any help is appreciated. And yes, I did try the search function before posting (I know some forums are strict on that).

Jason

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JJ-Rod (sorry, had to do it) Welcome

There are several ways, you want to be sure to have a good connection between the neck thru and the top. You can cut it like you suggested, but your filing and planing skills would have to be top notch. I would route the cutout, using a guide on each side of the neck to maintain the proper depth. Another option is a dado head on a table saw, obviously while the neck blank is still square and before you mount the fretboard. I never tried this way but I would assume you would need a perfect dado set and would still wind up working to make a perfect fit. Enjoy, and post some pics when you are ready

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I am getting ready to do exactly the same thing. I am assuming that you will cover the lams with the top cap.

In the area of the body, you have to thin down the neck-thru blank by an amount equal to the thickness of your cap. This way, the planed surface of the neck (without fretboard) will be at the same level as the top (once you have the cap on) and you can just lay your fretboard down on top of the whole works.

Then the only thing left to figure out is, how far up the neck to stop with the thinning. You could thin the neck blank all the way up to the body-neck transition (say 16th fret); this way, you wouldn't have to cut a pocket (like a neck pocket) in the top cap, but you will have to have a nice straight cut on your cap (at 16th fret position) perpendicular to your center line so that you have a good tight butt joint; otherwise you'll have a gap that will show in the cutaway. This is what I am going to do.

If you thin less (say, up to the 20th fret) then you need to cut a bit of a pocket into the cap so that it fits tight around the neck blank. These two options won't look any different from the front, but they could look different in the cutaways when looking from the edges (i.e. playing position).

Tip #1: You don't want to leave the neck blank thick all the way to the end of the fretboard, because then it might peek out from underneath if something's off, and if there are any gaps between it and the top cap, they will show.

Tip #2: Ideally, before gluing on your wings, you want your neck blank to be slightly narrower than the width of the neck at the end of the fretboard (assuming that ~1" or more of your fretboard will be sitting on top of the body). This way, you can taper the fretboard, glue it on (straight), then use it as a template to taper the rest of the neck.

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