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building my neck through guitar


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i started today on building my next neck through and i will chronicle my process for those of you interested.it may not be the best way,but it is how i do it.

routing%20truss%20rod_0004.jpg

this is how i routed for the truss rod and reinforcement rods.i put the edge guide on and set it for the proper spot,using passes about 1/8" apiece,until i reached 7/16" for the truss rod(stewmac hot rod) and 3/8" for the carbon rods

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notice how i used a wider bit(i used 1/2"...you could use 5/16" or 3/8" to leave more wood) for the truss rod access....i routed it as far up the headstock as i could so that when i cut for the angled peghead...

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this is what i ended up with...i don't want a truss rod cover at all so that is why i did it this way...more decorative i think

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this is how all the channels looked

when i routed the carbon rods i set the edge guitde for one side,cut the pass,and turned the router around to do the other side...this way i only had to set the edge guide once and only had to reset the depth 3 times to get to the same depth on both sides

it will be next weekend probably before i can do more...although i may go make my fingerboard right now

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this is me measuring out the fret placement using printouts from the online fretboard calculator...about a year ago i printed them out in all popular scales in a 36 fret model....that way i am sure to always have it when i need it...i keep them in a folder especially for that

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this is how i cut the fret slots...cheap ace miter box and a stewmac .024 saw...works well but care must be taken.

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i use nails to hold the board in place while glueing...they are in the part of the neck that will be cut off...they are not in the board,only the neck

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better view

glue%20on%20fingerboard_0003.jpg

you can never have too many clamps :D

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went ahead and cut my fingerboard....

fingerboard_0001.jpg

my block of bocote...

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turned into 1/4" fingerboard

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with the help of my 9" bandsaw and my 13" surface planer

this week i will slot the fingerboard and glue it onto the neck so i can cut and taper the neck next weekend

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about 30 minutes to mark,another30 to slot.

it is accurate.i measure for a living so i can take accurate measurements...BUT this is more of critical importance than what i usually do...i rechecked it after slotting..every one is within 1/10 of a mm or so

i reallydon't know how far off you can be and still intonate properly....anyone?

how do you do it,derek?

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okay...warning......make SURE to completely flush out the carbon rods and glue them in and let them dry before glueing on the board.

i didn't realize the glue was forcing my rods back out of the slot...and they cracked my fretboard....now i must make a new one...and i was going to taper and cut the neck today :D

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about 30 minutes to mark,another30 to slot.

how do you do it,derek?

i couldn't find a good enough miter box to hold such a skinny saw, so i just went ahead and baught the stew mac miter box + saw combo, and i ordered the 25.5" & 25" scale templates at the same time. Took me a couple hours to get the adjustable miter box (made of steel) perfectly square, but it's dead on now, and the templates make it almost tedious. Takes me about 30 mins to slot a board with the template. It's almost more of a work out the work B)

i guess i'd just rather have a template for something like the fretboard, where it needs to be repeatably accurate, especially for those days when you just don't want to stare at another ruler!!!. but i'm sure if we compared boards we'd need a magnifying glass to find any differences,

got any pics of the busted board!!!!!!!!????????? i wana see that puppy! :D

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okay new fingerboard

new%20fingerboard%20attached_0001.jpg

i have never done binding before so this is the way i am doing it...i cut the fretboard 1/4" narrow so that i have room for nice thick 1/8" bocote binding on both sides

new%20fingerboard%20attached_0002.jpg

glued on...notice the glue line...you need that to tell you that you had enough glue ...make sure you spread it evenly...brian covers it in many of his tutorials

new%20fingerboard%20attached_0003.jpg

make sure you clean the excess off now...much easier before it is dry

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neck%20shaping_0001.jpg

okay this is the fretboard and binding glued on(with titebond)

then i draw the taper on by measuring out from the center at both ends of the fretboard and connecting them with straight lines....making a straight line on a bandsaw is one of the toughest things for me...my eyes start to cross after about 5 minutes

neck%20shaping_0002.jpg

this is after the taper is cut.the binding i made wider than needed so that when i cut it it all cut together

neck%20shaping_0003.jpg

i just roughly shaped the headstock...i left extra because i will have to glue wings on to fill out the shape

neck%20shaping_0005.jpg

then i do my measurements freehand because every guitar i build is different and i draw on the neck profile(profile is not really the right word...but in a way it is)

neck%20shaping_0006.jpg

notice the large dropoff i drew on at the end of the fretboard...it is 1/8" for the height needed for the floyd i will put on it,plus an extra 1/4" forthe maple top i will be using

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this is after the cutting...best i can cut with a bandsaw

tomorrow i have a LOT of sanding to do :D

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wow looking great, i really dig the natural wood binding.

any leaks to electronics setup?

also, how thick will the body be, including the maple top?

:D

Roman

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Guest AlexVDL

Looking absolutely amazing Wes... I already love it!!!

But I see you haven't radiussed the fingerboards yet... did you realise that when you radius the fingerboard, the side of the binding will get lower? I mean from the side the binding will look a lot thinner/smaller. Was that your intention?

All in all it looks baddass Wes!!! :D

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Wow.. good...

what do you forecast, your neck sound?

i wonder what kind of sound is make your new Guitar..

nice Working is continue... westhemann

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Looking absolutely amazing Wes... I already love it!!!

But I see you haven't radiussed the fingerboards yet... did you realise that when you radius the fingerboard, the side of the binding will get lower? I mean from the side the binding will look a lot thinner/smaller. Was that your intention?

All in all it looks baddass Wes!!! :D

yeah alex it is 1/4" right now...when i radius it (10")it will be about 3/16" tall...which is fine for what i want.

hyunsu...i have no idea what it will sound like....honduran mahogany and walnut are the woods

i think it should be stable enough,jeff.the neck profile is 5/8" thick(w/o the fretboard)plus it is a 3 piece plus all the pieces are quartersawn and the grains are reversed plus the 2 carbon rods and the hotrod.

it should be at least as stable as a scalloped wizard neck

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wow wes, that's beautiful man. B)

i appreciate you posting your progress, because i am currently building a neck-thru body my self. thanx for letting us see how it is done. :D

hey page...the most important thing is to do everything in an order that makes sense with the tools you have.

like glueing the wings onto the neck before profiling if all you have is a drum sander and a bandsaw(like me)

then you would be screwed (which is why i have not completed my beast)

i will be getting sureforms to finish that

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more_0001.jpg

okay i profiled my neck...so i was ready to build the wings

more_0003.jpg

i use posterboard...i line it up along the centerline and

more_0004.jpg

trace out the neck...then i place it on the wood i will use for the wings(after it is planed and jointed)

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and i....

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cut them out and use the drum sander to shape it

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as you can see the fit is tight...the lines in the last pic that looked crooked actually aren't...the camera is just low resolution.

if i had the neck fretted i could glue the wings on at this point...but i need to order a tang nipper,so it will be next weekend before i can fret it

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