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Build 4 - Semihollow Prs Shape


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Some updates. I got the neck pretty much finished with the tuner holes drilled. I then routed the neck pocket and immediately realized that it was looser than I would like (about 1-2 mm of slop). Posted in the solid body section and got a great suggestion to glue in a block and reroute. Did the reroute today with about 5 layers of tape on the template and it's much better. A little more sanding and the neck should wedge in there very nicely.

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First neck fitting tonight. It is very, very tight. I had to really wedge it in there. I think the glue will lubricate it a little bit and make it go together smoother. Anyway, I'm very glad I redid the neck pocket.

I missed the center line of the guitar by about 2-3mm at the bridge, but if that's the worst mistake I make I'll be thrilled.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I may have a problem that I need advice on.

I checked my neck angle before I glued it up and it looked good. I wonder if the neck did not quite seat perfectly because the angle is now slightly too low. It may be okay, but it looks like I'll have to bottom out the bridge to get decently low action. My guess is that once there is relief in the neck it will need to go any lower, so this may be a problem.

So I'm thinking this is a good time for a recessed bridge. Any suggestions/comments? I want to make sure I have some margin for adjustment in the future, and I think a recessed bridge is the best way to get that.

In the photo below I propped up the bridge to where it would be without recessing. The action would be about right, but again, I couldn't go any lower.

Thanks in advance.

Mike

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First string up! First impressions: plays better than any guitar I've ever owned.

Action and fret buzz were fantastic with no adjustments. Love it.

Now the one issue I have:

The neck is slightly too big and about 1/16" too wide on each side. I'm sure that I can just thin the neck out from the back, but can I use a file to retaper the neck at this point? As you can see, the extra space on either side of the E strings is pretty constant down the neck, and it's just too much. If I could just shave some off the edges of the neck this guitar would be a dream. If I do that I need to figure out how to transition from a skinnier neck to a thicker neck at heel.

Is it possible to retaper a fretted, set neck?

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Sure, pretty much anything is possible with the proper planning, execution, and care. You can file the edges and re-bevel and dress the fret ends. Be prepaired to clean up some nicks in the cutaways. How are you going to finish the body? You will expose some neck material at the join when you narrow the fretboard.

I'm assuming the string spacing is where you want it at the bridge and simply making a new nut with wider gaps won't do what you need?

SR

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That's right, the bridge spacing is great, so changing the nut won't make much difference.

My plan was to taper the neck up to the 20th fret and leave the wider fretboard on the last two frets, but I like your idea of removing just the fretboard part at the body. I'll have to think about that.

Thanks for the input!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update. I ended up getting some good advice over in the Solid Body Chat forum and I belt sanded the neck to a slimmer taper. After that I have just been sanding for a few hours to go through 80, 220, and 320 grits. I then wet the guitar to raise the grain and resanded to 320. Today I put on Timbermate to seal the mahogany grain. I'm planning on starting the Tru-oil finish in a couple of days.

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  • 1 month later...

Finished the Tru Oil process and wired it up yesterday. Plays like a dream. Completed pictures coming soon.

I'm still considering shaving the neck a little more since it is slightly thick, but I'll play it for a week or so before I decide. Pictures to follow.

It was nice to do some simple wiring since my last guitar was ridiculously complicated (sustainer, kill switch, coil taps, etc.). This one is just two volume pots with a push/pull coil tap for each pickup and a selector switch.

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Finished this build this weekend!!! I may thin out the neck slightly in the future, but that won't change the photos, so you guys can consider this one done. Overall I am really pleased with this one.

Good things I learned:

- Attention to detail is by far the most important thing in the quality of a guitar

- Take your time

- I like zero frets

- I like roller bridges

Lessons learned:

- Plan your neck taper, not just your width at the neck. I can't believe I missed this one. Still not 100% pleased with the fix, I may work on it more if/when I slim up the neck.

- I will probably fine sand/oil the fretboard before fretting in the future. This fretboard looks a little rough for my taste.

Overall, no major mistakes, thanks to all the help on the forum and the countless In Progress threads that detailed all the jigs and processes.

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