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Need some critique on set-neck Tele workflow

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I always like to work out all details before I start a project. I am about to start a Tele with a 1/4' maple cap and I decided to make it a set neck because I hate the Fender neck joint with a passion and want a comfortable heel. My plan is to route the visible part of the neck to the usual spot and have a "tenon" extend to under the neck pickup hidden by the pickguard. It will be 22 frets so there will be a bit of fret board overhang. Also the neck will be natural color while the body will be tobacco and vintage yellow. I've made a workflow list and would greatly appreciate if anyone would like to critique it. The first 5 are inconsequential to the critical flow that I need advice on. I've included a pic I found that comes close to the neck joint I want. Thanks in advance!

Telecaster workflow:

  1. Setup band saw
  2. Build router table
  3. Modify neck pocket on template
  4. Copy templates in ½” MDF
  5. Create 2nd set-neck pocket template
  6. Thickness plane body blank to 1 1/2"
  7. Measure and trace templates
  8. Route truss rod channel
  9. Cut out shapes with band saw
  10. Route neck and body outsides with templates on table
  11. Drill tuner holes
  12. Drill headstock hole for truss adjustment access
  13. Glue maple cap halves
  14. Glue maple cap to body
  15. Route neck pocket and neck pickup
  16. Clamp neck to body
  17. Carve neck and carve neck joint
  18. Level neck tenon with body
  19. Glue fret board
  20. Route fret board to neck
  21. Inlays
  22. Sand and level fret board
  23. Dye fret board (Ebony)
  24. Stain and seal neck
  25. Route body cavities and drill jack hole
  26. Stain and seal body - Faux binding
  27. Glue neck to body
  28. Install and level frets
  29. Install nut
  30. Lacquer, lacquer, lacquer
  31. Wet sand, polish, and assemble


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Do I understand you correctly if I assume that your plan is to have the fretboard flush with the body? If so I'm a bit concerned that the string action might be to high. Most fenders have the bottom of fretboard about 1/8" above the top of the body (someone will have the exact measurement...). If you look at the picture you posted you can even see a small amount of maple between the top and the fretboard.

Personally I would not bother with a tenon. I would route the full with of the neck as a neck pocket and glue the neck in at the correct height. If you trust your routing and template making skills (no significant gaps between neck and body) there is no need for that extra step. The only reson is, as mentioned to cover up sloppy joints. Or for reasons like "I need it to be a Gibson style joint". Witch is fine, but a bit overkill IMHO

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No, I was planning on the gap between the fretboard and body and the full width of the neck was going to be extended. That's where I was running into issues on what to do when. If the standard neck pocket is enough for a secure bond then that saves a lot of headache and I can just glue the neck right before I spray lacquer.

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