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Bail Me Out! Guitar Project Gone Bad...

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hey guys, i started the guitar project of my dreams a couple years back and it was going well, and i did as much research as i could, and when it came down to it, i didn't have the tools, or the experience/know how/time to get it done right. if someone here who does have the experience/know how/time to fix my issue here, i will pay money to have you do it! so heres my issue...

#1: the neck pocket is too big for the neck i have (and i've been advised to wait around for the right body for it, but i don't want to settle so i'm stuck with this)

i tried filling it with a block of maple and re-routing, but i just couldn't get it figured out and i messed it up.

#2: my somewhat experienced friend helped me figure out that we may need a neck extension to make the scale right, well that didn't work and now the neck isn't exactly true.

so, basically, this body and neck have to somehow match up, and get the correct scale length.

i will send pictures so you know what you're getting into beforehand, and please send me quotes! i don't have the money to have this guitar built by some fancy well-known custom builder and i want to finish it myself (once this issue is cleared up)....so if someone would be kind enough to give a quote to bail me out of this mess it would be very much appreciated! thanks guys!

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You might consider trying again with another block, and reroute the neck pocket again.

Just a matter of routing a few straight lines and cutting a piece to fit, which isn't too hard to do if all the lines are straight and all the angles are 90 degrees. Then reroute the neck pocket.

Then since you're already going to be making a new neck pocket, it shouldn't be too much of a big deal to put it in the right place in relation to the bridge for the correct scale length. If needed, you could also relocate the bridge.

Can you post a pic?

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I agree with Rick; this doesn't seem like something you couldn't fix on your own with a decent straightedge.

But before shelling out money to strangers to fix your problems for you, you could spend some time reading up on free information right here on our forums. It sounds to me like you jumped right in without knowing the first thing about what you were doing. Bridge placement in relation to your fretboard, for instance.

One tip on not making a neck pocket too big: tracing the shape/dimensions of the neck you're using before routing out anything.

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holy crap!

a couple of years;

i was gonna say slow down and plan your aproach more, but i think you just need a lesson in making templates.

in the time it took you to route the pocket and fill it ,just to route it agian, you could have maade templates for every aspect of the build;

search some in progress builds and steal some ideas, its not that haerd to get a pocket relativley close as long as your methods are resonable;

read and succeed! (patent pending)

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hey guys, i appreciate your replies.

i will post pics tomorrow by the way.

First off, the neck pocket was too big to begin with. I thought of filling it, but i wasn't totally positive on how i should clamp it, so i just tried it out, and it didn't turn out well at all. Not only am i new to working on guitars, i'm new to using woodworking tools other than a skillsaw, a wrench and a hammer. So bare with me.

So exactly, how should i go about filling the pocket? my guess is obviously, cut out a block of wood the same size as the neck pocket. glue it in with titebond. and clamp it somehow? are there any other tips you may have for a project like this?

assuming that turns out well this time, are there any tips on tracing the neck to the body and getting it at a perfect 90 degree angle? do i have to worry about the neck pocket angle?

i don't have a template bit, unfortunately. and i don't have very good tools, so thats a major setback for me. Also, i play in a fulltime band and i've been dying to get this baby finished and on stage, but its killing me!

thanks guys, your help is much appreciated!

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Can't help you with a lot of your problems, just one. You don't need a template bit. Buy a bit with the same diameter on the shaft and the cutting part of the bit (I use one with a 1/4" shaft and 1/4" cutting diameter). You'll need to cut a little faster to avoid ruining the template. If you start out with maybe a 12mm bit, or maybe even drilling out all the excess, this method works fine.

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First of all, FIND THE CENTERLINE. That's key. Take all the hardware off the body, and find the centerline. Score it on there nice and deep so you have something to work with.

If the neck pocket is too big, you most likely bought an incorrectly-sized neck. Measure the dimensions (L*W*D) of the neck, and draw the footprint out fullsize on your body, after you fill in the neck pocket. Remember, after you route it out, you're going to have to redrill the holes.

If it fits, buy one. And Bygde is right, you don't NEED a template bit, but it will help. And the larger diameter of the cutting edge, the less stress on the router, and cleaner the cut. I got a carbide but for $22.

I don't really see how clamping a piece of wood in the neck pocket is so difficult. My courtesy 1-minute Google search brings up "clamping guitar neck" Just replace the neck with an appropriately-sized block of wood.

But honestly, it sounds like you don't know the first thing about any of this. Read the forums, day and night, if you expect this to get off the ground at all.

You might even be better of just buying a chunk of wood, a template, and a good template bit.

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My advice is--

Fill the neck pocket: Route out a rectangle just big enough to leave you with all straight lines, 90 degree corners (clean up the round corners left by the router bit with careful use of a sharp chisel). Cut a block of hardwood to fit. Glue it in. It should fit snugly. You can clamp it from the block to the centerline at the bridge end of the body, and from the front of the block to the back of the body. When it's dry, take the surface down so that it's flush to the surface of the body.

[Edit: If you want, you could always make it a design feature, and use a block of contrasting wood, taking it all the way from the neck end through the bridge end of the body. That would also eliminate the need to square up round corners left by a router bit.]

Draw a center line on the body (through the block as well).

Make a template of the neck heel: Mark a center line on the material you'll use to make the template. Doesn't actually have to be in the center of the material, just a straight line really. Mark a center line on the neck. Place the neck carefully along the center line of the template material, and trace around the heel. Cut the template. Take your time and get it as close to perfect as possible with a file and sandpaper stuck to a flat block. Fit the neck heel into the template to check for fit. Adjust as necessary.

Cut the neck pocket: put a couple layers of masking tape along the template surface where the router bit will ride. Double-stick tape the template in place (use the center lines on the template and the body). Use a big drill bit (Forstner bit if you have one) to get rid of most of the waste wood from the neck pocket. (You can do this before you attach the template; just put the template in place and trace around it, then remove the template and drill out the waste.) Clean it up with the router, routing no more than a quarter inch deep per pass (preferably even less). Take your time.

Test fit the neck in the pocket. It should be really snug due to having made the template a little smaller with the tape. If it's too snug, take a layer of tape off the template and route again.

Edited by Rick500
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I don't see how anyone can give you advice until you've posted pics. Not from what you describe. (edit: oops! I'm not trying to come down on people trying to help! )

Seems to me, anyone who would build a neck 'extension' to fix a scale length issue doesn't know enough to help you out. If you/he have modified the neck, then you'll definitely want to post photos of that.

In the meantime, I'd suggest you start reading up on the subject-- tons of information in this forum, especially in the tutorial section. That's going to help you figure out more about what you'll need to fix this.

If it ends up being fixable.

(double edit: rick500 --empty your inbox!)

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