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How Thin Can A Neck Be Made

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I decided to clone the neck of one of my guitars for a new build. The neck I am cloning is very thin; 17mm at the first fret and 19mm at the 12th fret. That is including the fretboard. My truss rod is 9.15mm in depth.

How thin can I go on the back of the neck with out taking too much of the neck wood off?

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You need to leave 1/8" of wood behind the truss rod.Everything else can be played with,so choose the thinnest double action truss rod you can,make the fretboard no more than 3/16" thick at the center of the radius,and even choosing less tall frets can make the net feel thinner.

I put a volute on my necks to add support behind the adjustable end of the truss rod(it is always bigger than the rest of the rod).FYI most double action truss rods are 3/8" tall and 1/4" thick.I have used these before and they work well.That makes the neck capable of being 1/2" thick not including the fretboard,which is very thin.


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17mm with an allparts double action trussrod and a 4.3mm fretboard. (my 1987 RG has a 17mm neck)

So in english the ALLPARTS/ALLIED/WD rods are 3/8" and add the 1/8" the neck blank has to be 1/2" with the rod recessed all the way. The fretboard needs to be thick enough to still have about 1/16" under the fret tangs.

I usually stop between 18mm and 19mm because it is thin but still comfortable to me. I have never understood why guys want a neck 17mm up to the 3rd fret that transitions to 20mm at 12th...

Some guys have actually recessed the trussrod into the fretboard a hair to sneak out a little thinner. You can also grind the blocks on the the trussrod a hair to eek out a few more hundredths.

Forget any of this with that piece of crap Stew Mac sells as a trussrod.

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Yeah the SM "Hot Rod" is well built,but 1/16" taller and takes an oddball size router bit(which of course SM sells and is expensive),and meanwhile they have been sitting on their asses for the last few years while everyone else has started making rods just as strong for less money that fit in a 1/4" rout and are 1/16" less tall...

1/16" isn't much,but it really makes a difference in a neck...of course,half of the guitar building world thinks a thick neck means better tone and fits a hand better,but the other half of us know that to be bulls*** :P

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A low-end signature model Washburn....hmmm....I suspect that it is of Asian manufacture more likely than as not. RestorationAD's info is on the money as usual. The rod used will be more like the low-profile rods available from LMII, Allparts, etc. however you will have the opportunity to specify a good quality one. Not sure of the specifics of Washburn rods but they should be better than as not. The Allied Lutherie double acting rods are of high quality, often better than those in commercial instruments. Cheaper rods tend to be a bit rough around the edges and the welds usually need filing or grinding back to square up the end blocks.

Yeah, as RAD said the real trick is getting the fingerboard to optimum thickness so you're not shaving the neck thin to compensate and not using massive wires as Wes mentioned. If you need a good guideline to work from with specs that are commonly discussed and available, check out the Ibanez forums and specs of instruments like the Sabre and RG with the thin Wizard necks (Wizard 1?). These can feel ridiculously thin like yours sounds like it is, namely 18mm to 20mm on the most slender models.

You would do well to measure the fingerboard radius and the true thickness of the fingerboard from the glueline to the zenith of the radius. The rest is a lot of care and patience.

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