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Anyone Want To Make Me A Neck?


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I contacted a UK guitar builder about making a custom neck for a guitar that I'm building, got a quote, discussed all the options, sent payment & waited....& waited.....& waited....got an appology, he was in the process of moving house & workshop but he would definitely get started on it on Monday......Monday went.....then another went.....sent an email, left a message.....My birthday came & went (it was a present bought for me by my girlfriend)....left another message, sent another email.....finally my partner got hold of him (not literally thankfully, could have been messy!). He has had a breakdown & this has happened & that has happened...blah, blah, blah....

I don't want to sound un-sympathetic but if he has had a breakdown, it happened after the neck should have been finished anyway & why haven't I been contacted :D grrrr!

Right, so what's happening is that he's going to get to work on it this week :D .....now I've already been told this so I don't hold out much hope. If I don't start to get some progress pics by the end of the week I'm going to get my money back & try elsewhere.....which is where you guys come in!

I'll leave my specs here & if anyone's interested in making the neck for me could you PM me with a price & build time? thanks.

>> Wood: Rosewood neck & board

>> Scale length: 25"

>> Nut Width: 1 11/16"

>> Bridge is to be a wrapover style with 52mm (Gibson) E-E spacing. I'm

> waiting to hear about a Graph-Tech piezo bridge so I can't say for

> definite what make the bridge will be but the spacing will be the same.

>> Frets: 22, medium jumbo, stainless.

>> Position markers: same as side dots, towards the top of the board.

>> Headstock: 3-a-side, angled back slightly.

>> Tenon: I'd like the neck to extend into the body for a PRS style bold-in.

>> Shape: I've got quite small hands but like a round neck so something

> like a cross between a Fender C & D. I don't know whether you've played

> a Godin LGX but that's the kind of shape I'm thinking. I'm much more of

> a funky, bluesy, chordy player than a widdly, widdly one so comfort is

> more important than speed.

Here's a link to the guitar mockup

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So, you've had trouble with a professional luthier, and now you want to contract someone off a forum??

You do realise you will most likely be swamped by people who are desperate to take your money so you fund their trial and error, right??

Shall i show you a bunch of links that will make you cry??

I would contact a few local stores and ask for recommendations for luthiers in your area.

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My sentiments follow Perry’s roughly – air on the side of caution with who you pick - I do know though that Luthiers of a professional capacity that would build you a neck to specs are like rocking horse excrement in the UK (either that or they need a crash course in advertising).

Could I suggest that who ever you have to finally do this for you shows you the work before you pay? If he’s a luthier and is satisfied with what he’s done but you are not it’s no loss to him – guitars need necks.

Alternatively, if it works for you, bingo.

The plus side of looking for people here is you can see their work – ask them for detailed neck shots of their recent work.

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thanks for the replys guys.

I have some contact with a very good luthier who lives & works within a few miles of here clicky but he's very busy & expensive (& rightly so).

I thought that I'd ask here because:

1) I can look at previous work that they've done.

2) It would likely cost less than having a "pro" make it but not neccessarilly be any less "pro" in build.

3) I don't have any radius/fretting tools & would rather pay for someone more experienced to use theirs

4) It could be part of their portfolio of "paid" work

As for funding their trial & error...I don't think so. I asked whether anyone would make a neck to my specs, if they don't meet the specs then I don't have it...as far as I'm aware that's a common practice. If it takes 5 attempts to get it right & costs the builder 4 times what they're charging me then that's not my problem.

As for Warmoth necks....no extended heels, no 25" scale, no rosewood necks

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As for funding their trial & error...I don't think so. I asked whether anyone would make a neck to my specs, if they don't meet the specs then I don't have it...as far as I'm aware that's a common practice. If it takes 5 attempts to get it right & costs the builder 4 times what they're charging me then that's not my problem.

As for Warmoth necks....no extended heels, no 25" scale, no rosewood necks

That's exactly where you'll find a problem. No amateur guy here will agree to that. Nobody's got money to throw out the window if they screw up a neck 4 times. Most likely you'll be asked for the funds before the build starts anyway to buy the wood and hardware for the project. We've seen our fair share of angry customers publicly yelling at amateur builders who couldn't get the work properly done and on time before. Do a search on this forum. You're better off looking elsewhere for a pro builder if that's what you expect to get for quality.

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Maiden is quite right: I could do it, but it won't be fast, and it won't be cheap.

When you employ anyone to do work for you, be aware that you will have to choose from cheap, fast, and good. You can pick any two from that list, but you'll never get all three - If someone claims to offer that, be *extremely* suspicious.

Here's a past example of a neck I built for Simo:

http://www.setchellguitars.co.uk/ant/blog/?page_id=20

buffed_out_head.jpg

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FWIW, although I've obviously never played one of their necks, judging from what’s been posted here/ in blogs, as far as I can deduce; Setch, WesV, Skelf, Mattia and garehanman (spelling?) = awesome :D (in order of locality not percived quality)

Obviously that an entirely superficial judgment, but their work looks top notch.

anyway

[/my opinion]

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As for funding their trial & error...I don't think so. I asked whether anyone would make a neck to my specs, if they don't meet the specs then I don't have it...as far as I'm aware that's a common practice. If it takes 5 attempts to get it right & costs the builder 4 times what they're charging me then that's not my problem.

Methinks bilious chose his name with care...I can't imagine how anyone here would want to work for someone with this kind of attitude. Certainly not one of the hobbyist tinkerers here. But what you're saying should be enough to scare away the pros too.

And if you brought that kind of attitude to the guy you hired--well, is it any wonder he's in no rush to get your project done? I'll bet he's making a priority of his non-bilious customers, leaving you for dead last.

Consider making the neck yourself. You can build exactly what you want. And gain a little respect for the building process--and builders--along the way.

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Or if you dont want to build a neck yourself then just get a warmoth neck with paddle headstocks. Warmoth will mill a neck out of any wood you want, rosewood, whatever, doesnt matter as long as you're willing to pay. Tell them you want this contour and this radius and they will do it exactly to your spec, and if you dont like any of their headstock shape, well they got paddle headstocks and you just cut them to whatever shape you desire, with a coping saw or a jig saw... Of course you probably have to drill the tuner hole yourself...

Or build your own neck but realize you will need to buy some templates, tools, tool bits, lots of neck blanks (it will take more than 1 try) and lots of patience.

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Have a look at www.axesrus.co.uk, they sell necks. I think craft supplies also sell them. There's more than likey other places where you can send your money and get a stock neck back. I'm not saying that it would be better or worse, but it would reduce the risk alot.

My luthier mate has some fret king necks that he picked up a few months ago. He got them as a job lot so I may see if he wants to part with one. They're fenderish ones. Fret king, I think, is Mr Wilkinson of hardware fame. I think he also owns Vintage guitars.

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Methinks bilious chose his name with care...I can't imagine how anyone here would want to work for someone with this kind of attitude. Certainly not one of the hobbyist tinkerers here. But what you're saying should be enough to scare away the pros too.

And if you brought that kind of attitude to the guy you hired--well, is it any wonder he's in no rush to get your project done? I'll bet he's making a priority of his non-bilious customers, leaving you for dead last.

Consider making the neck yourself. You can build exactly what you want. And gain a little respect for the building process--and builders--along the way.

haha....it might seem harsh but I'm sure that you would take back a car if the doors didn't shut properly, return a mail-order item if it doesn't fit the description, so what's different with a custom order? I work very hard to give customers the work that I've been comissioned to do....If I make a cock-up then I wouldn't expect the customer to fund it.

"Hi, this is fred from the Fender custom shop....that custom strat that I'm building for you, well I had a lot to drink last night & I've just cut through the top horn so you'll have to pay an extra $1000 for materials & my time to build another!"....I don't think so!

I love your work Setch, you instantly sprang to mind when this all started to go tit's up but I can understand why you're busy. I'm waiting to see what this guy does this week. It would be easier to just let him get on with it, especially as he's already been paid for the build, but my concern is that his heart won't be in it & it will be a crap neck.....I don't want to rush him but I'm also frustrated at how long it has taken. I don't want to name him but he's got a few big names under his belt & was remarkably cheap, which I expect would be the main reason why he's holding back....under-quoted maybe?

I don't just want to buy a warmoth neck or a paddle one (been there, done that)...I might attempt to build one but I'm quite nervous & would need plenty of new tools...& a bad neck=bad guitar no matter what else it is made from.

ToneMonkey: thanks for the offer, I might be interested but not for this project.

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Ask the guy for:

1. You're money back right now, in full, as he has forfeited his right to your money by not living up to his end of the agreement

2. A date the neck will be finished, or your money refunded, on that day, either option, as long as you have either a neck or your money back in your hand that day, and let him know that those 2 options are the ONLY 2 options you will consider.

Personally, at this point, I wouldn't trust him further than I could spit, I would absolutely get the money back and start your search somewhere else. :D

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Doesn't have to be but could make things easier if I needed to check anything during the build or if there's a problem during transit etc. I also have a "thing" about instruments being transported in the hold of an aircraft over any length of time. Not only because of the baggage handlers but also because of the temperature & pressure changes...It might be a bit awkward if some of the frets are hanging out when it arrives & I don't know whether it's down to the builder or shrinkage in the wood...does that sound silly?

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Doesn't have to be but could make things easier if I needed to check anything during the build or if there's a problem during transit etc. I also have a "thing" about instruments being transported in the hold of an aircraft over any length of time. Not only because of the baggage handlers but also because of the temperature & pressure changes...It might be a bit awkward if some of the frets are hanging out when it arrives & I don't know whether it's down to the builder or shrinkage in the wood...does that sound silly?

yes it does. many many THOUSANDS of guitars travel internationally every year, and most of them are made with cheap labour and no concern for exceptional quality, by someone who doesnt even understand why we want to even play a guitar...

If you dont trust the builder enough that you need to "check up on him" while he builds it, maybe you need to learn how to do it yourself. :D

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not check up just check....for example profile or radius to see whether I'm comfortable with it or if I need a little more taken away, that sort of thing.

I know that loads of instruments travel from country to country but most mass produced ones go in crates on ships because it would cost a fortune to send hundreds of guitars in planes. Boats aren't subjected to the same temp/pressure changes that aircraft are. There are also a large number of instruments that need a professional setup before they can be sold because of poor action & loose frets caused by environmental changes during transit. A friend returned 10 Lag guitars last month because they were unplayable on arrival & would cost a lot to make good. I'm not saying that international transit WILL damage them but it can cause a lot more stress than domestic transit which can lead to problems.

As for making my own....we'll see next week I guess...gulp!

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Traditionally, when someone wants a certain neck profile/width/thickness and they're having it built to order, they will provide the builder with some cardboard cutouts(or the like) representing the neck profile, width, and thickness at somewhere near the nut and somewhere near the body. This is a much more feasible way to go about getting exactly what you want than feeling the neck and telling someone ese to change it.

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As for funding their trial & error...I don't think so. I asked whether anyone would make a neck to my specs, if they don't meet the specs then I don't have it...as far as I'm aware that's a common practice. If it takes 5 attempts to get it right & costs the builder 4 times what they're charging me then that's not my problem.

As for Warmoth necks....no extended heels, no 25" scale, no rosewood necks

That's exactly where you'll find a problem. No amateur guy here will agree to that. Nobody's got money to throw out the window if they screw up a neck 4 times. Most likely you'll be asked for the funds before the build starts anyway to buy the wood and hardware for the project. We've seen our fair share of angry customers publicly yelling at amateur builders who couldn't get the work properly done and on time before. Do a search on this forum. You're better off looking elsewhere for a pro builder if that's what you expect to get for quality.

i would do that if i screwed up someones paid for guitar, its the right thing to do. but, i would never do a job that i wasnt familiar with and confident that i could finish it for them.

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As for funding their trial & error...I don't think so. I asked whether anyone would make a neck to my specs, if they don't meet the specs then I don't have it...as far as I'm aware that's a common practice. If it takes 5 attempts to get it right & costs the builder 4 times what they're charging me then that's not my problem.

If you want it done the way you say, then you're looking for a professional, and you will pay professional prices, and a professional will have no problem making it the way you specify, and they will more than likely want their money up front. If you have a problem with it later on, that's called a warranty return.

If you're not willing to pay for it up front, that shows a severe lack of trust on your part, which then begs the question why are you dealing with someone you don't trust in the first place, unless it's because you're trying to get it done on the cheap by someone other than a professional.

Bottom line here, you're not going to get a neck made the way you want it under your terms, just not going to happen. Read this quote again and memorize it, it is dead-on accurate.

When you employ anyone to do work for you, be aware that you will have to choose from cheap, fast, and good. You can pick any two from that list, but you'll never get all three
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Why don't we see more "I got a super cheap custom neck made by *insert name*, and I was extreamly happy with the perfect work". Or..... "I had *insert name* use the parts I bought off ebay to build my dream guitar, and I only had to pay $300 for the work. Fit, finish and playability far better than I could have ever expected. Don't buy that PRS, *insert name* will make one better for a fraction of the price".

Shop and buy smart :D . Shop and buy cheap :D .

Peace,Rich

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