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"thinning A Neck"


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I have a question about potentially making a neck thinner than the way it was produced. I have a BC Rich Bronze Warlock that I would like to make the neck thinner. I'm thinking this is going to cause issues with the trus rod as mass from the neck is being taken away and can't support string tension like it used to. I also assume the adjustment to the truss rod would be needed, but are there any other affects thinning the neck out could have on this guitar. Also, what would be the most optimum thin neck in dimension? You read about these guitars that have ultra thin necks such as the Wizard II ibanez neck but I'm not sure what the dimensions are. I know Fender Strat necks are a lot fatter than the BC Rich neck, so how far could you thin a neck before it will become unstable and not be able to support tension?

Alex

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The biggest issue is not carving right through to the truss rod - there is not usually much wood you can remove before it pops right out of the back so without an x-ray you wont know how much wood you can safely remove.

I find that taking wood off the cheeks of the neck rather than the centre line can sometimes be enough to make the neck feel thinner and its a lot safer

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The very first acoustic I made had a fat neck like hanging on to a 2x4. Idrilled a tiny hole 1/16" in the back of the neck to see what depth the truss rod was at by poking the drill bit in and measuring off it. I figured as long as it had about 3mm / 1/8" it would be fine. I released the truss rod tension and clamped the neck down to at the heel and headstock and had the rest of the guitar overhanging my work bench.

I set up some thick rails so the router base could sit over the top of the neck and routed off about 6mm 1/4" from memory going as far each way before the router base hit the heel and headstock.

Next I clamped the guitar so the neck was overhanging the bench and with my trusty spoke shave reshaped the neck.

The finished neck felt great and not huge and chunky any more. The tiny hole was filled with filler a matching colour.

I needed to refinsh it so I used paint stripper and scraped off the old finish and sanded it. Then I used my old electric kettle to steam out some dings in the soundboard and laquered it. Came out awesome but I dont really think it sounded any different with a thinner neck or finish but a lot nicer to play.

I aim for a neck thickness overall of 21-22mm aprox 13/16-7/8" including fingerboard.

As for electric necks there is a very low string tension in comparison to an acoustic so thickness for strength is not an issue.

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