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Flat Necks

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I'm building a neck with a blank that was dead flat, but has moved a tiny bit since I rough cut the contour of the back of the neck. (To be expected.) The neck is still dead flat from the nut to about four or five inches from the body end of the neck, where it drops off a tiny bit, and I mean a tiny bit, maybe 1/64".

I'm inclined to leave it that way since I would have sanded a little bit of a drop off between the end of the fretboard and the 17th fret anyway.

The fretboard is already radiused, and is dead flat, so I'm thinking that it'll be fine as-is. And if not, I'll be hitting it with a radius block anyway.

The only thing I can think of that would possibly cause any issue, and I doubt it would given the tiny deviation of the neck from flat, would be that a fret slot or two might open to a thousandth or two wider than .022", where the neck starts to drop off.

What do you think?

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Which way is truss rod setup? Through the headstock or through the bottom of the neck? From the bottom would be perfect for fixing that I would bet.

I rough cut my neck prior to fretboard as well and had a decent little movement, which took fixing by sanding flat again. It was at that point I was sold on the early carve method. Yeah, its a pain in some respects trying to clamp fingerboards, but perfectly doable with the right neck support cauls and those cool little twisty ziptie looking clamps stewmac sells, they also worked great for indexing the set pins for fretboard alignment. I took pics and with just two of those little things my fretboard looked perfectly glued on and ready to go. Anyhow, best of luck and keep us posted on how it goes. BTW-how long have you waited for movement?? I don't think mine actually moved until maybe a week or more later, or at least thats when I noticed, who knows. J

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Personally, I would set the neck back to dead flat. That is the idea behind pre-carving and allowing the neck to release any tension. I want my neck as tension free and the fretboard as perfectly surfaced as I can prior to fretting. If attaching the fretboard somehow pulls it back to straight, then you are building in tension. If it has drop off built in due to the neck moving, it is not going to be spot on (it is just whatever you got from the neck warping). If you want a bit of fall off I would start with a true fretboard, and surface the fall off in (control it properly). That is my take.


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It won't be too much effort to do a little sanding, so I think I'll get it as flat as possible again before I put the fretboard on.

Thanks, guys.

Edit: jmrentis-- The truss rod adjustment is at the headstock. It's been a couple weeks since I last did any cutting on the back of the neck. I'll have to look into those flexible clamps.

Edited by Rick500
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