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Making A Neck Longer

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Me again with another strange question. Seeing as I'm not confident enough to construct my own neck from scratch, It is my intention to use a factory built one. I found a guy in my area selling an old Ibanez neck; few dings, dead straight, truss rod is good, and it's cheap (he just doesn't want it lying around anymore). Only one problem: For the Jem inspired build I'm doing, it's approximately 20mm too short! Furthermore, this puts it just under long enough to incorporate 24 frets.

So, heres what I was wondering: Can I make the neck longer? My thoughts were to increase the length of the neck by attatching a block of maple to the heel end of the guitar, possibly via a scarf joint, and then continuing the contour of the neck up to the new heel end of the neck.

Is this a bad Idea? If so, is a scarf joint the way to go, or should I use another type of join? My reasoning with the scarf joint is to both hide the old, now visible neck mounting holes and add strength to the join. I've seen it done somewhere before on the internet (although without the scarf join), and its a pretty straight forward procedure, but I'd like to know if this is a bad idea before I buy the neck.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Liam M.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmm, someone with more experience is sure to give a solid opinion but my own opinion would be I'm not sure a scarf joint would do it. You might want to consider a finger joint. WAY more glue surface.

That said, as brian pointed out it may be easier to make a new neck than to make a decent joint.

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One question that needs to be answered is, is there enough fretboard to add the extra frets? If not then I see it as futile to even bother with lengthening the neck. Because now you have to remove the old fretboard and replace it and either buy one already fretted, or have someone do a fret job, or do it yourself. Any of those options are going to make it cost more to make yours longer than it will be to just buy a 24 fret neck.

If there is enough overhang, I don't see why you couldn't add then length, but I think it is going to be much more hassle than it is worth. To get a solid scraf joint, you are going to have a tough time getting your cut nice and flat. I think it would be easier to build a new neck than it would be to add the extra length.

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Actually, the neck could be scarfed from the bottom of the heel without needing to remove the fingerboard. Is it possible? Yes. Make sure the thickness of the scarfed piece will be the same thickness as the heel, also, make sure the angles are precise.

I also agree that making your own neck may be more interesting. But desperate times call for desperate measures!

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