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body blanks cut, looking for necks


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Thanks for all the advice. I finally decided to just bite the bullet and do it already. Got two body blanks cut from my slab yesterday. Didn't get the grain match as good as I hoped on the extra piece for the one on the right, but I don't think it will be distracting. That one also has part of the deep crack in the bottom end. We'll see how bad it is once I trim it down to the final shape. I'll stabilize it with some epoxy and see how well it holds. Got a flattening bit for my router on the way, and will build the sled and do that next week.

In the meantime, any suggestions on necks? I can get a Mighty Mite from StewMac and be pretty authentic for not a terrible amount of money. Somebody else I talked to suggested Eden, available on Ebay. That would be much cheaper, but I can't tell if they have a truss rod or not. My search fu doesn't seem to be very good on Reverb, trying to find a used J Bass neck. Any other ideas?

Cheers.

Seth

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56 minutes ago, sethgali said:

Any other ideas?

Get some nice wood and build the necks from scratch! Agreed, that's the most difficult part of the build but it's highly doable and you already seem to have the tools needed, at least most of them. The facet method for carving gives very nice results even for a first timer and you can choose any option you can think of. Symmetric/asymmetric tuner positioning, reverse headstock, flat or slanted headstock; one piece, two piece, striped, multi laminated... Readily cut fret slots are an acceptable shortcut, though.

Edited by Bizman62
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I agree with @Bizman62.  Making a neck isn’t terribly difficult if you keep the first one basic enough and buy a pre slotted fretboard.  Carving the neck is also the most fun part of any build and a very satisfying experience.  It’s also easier than you might first imagine.

theres lots of good resource on youtube to take you step by step and this forum is invaluable for advice.

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afa necks... mighty mite used to be decent stuff back when they were out of korea... but I think they moved production to china and the wood just hasn't been great.  long ago I had a korean mm neck that was solid as a rock... about 5 years ago I bought a p bass neck from them and that thing needed constant adjustment.  other recommendations musikraft is very good.  warmoth - if you look at their 'available now' selection you can find some good deals and they are solid ime.  allparts, wd.  search for those brands on evilbay.  I would avoid the super cheap stuff as you are going to find that the fretwork is crap and the wood is not great so at that point - given the work you might put in, might as well build it yourself.  just my o.

afa flatening bit - what did you go with?  I like the bowl bits myself and use a whiteside bit.  I wouldn't bother getting a big bit because you'll find that you really only want to remove 1/16 depth and about 1/4 bite each pass.  I initially thought I'd get a bit 1 1/4 bowl bit but you aren't going to want to take big bites so there is really no point. 

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I'm steering away from making my own neck from scratch this time for one big reason: I don't actually play the instrument yet so I don't know what I should be aiming for. I don't know what properly leveled frets should look or feel like. I definitely want to try it on future builds though.

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I have serious doubts about the frets being leveled in the pre-build necks! Even entire guitars built by a big name factory usually need some leveling and other adjusting done - something that a good shop does before hanging a guitar on the wall for sale.

Also note that if you build your neck from scratch, you are "allowed" to redo it as many times as you want. Build one, learn to play it, play other guitars where ever possible to find out if you like them better and modify accordingly.

The leveling jig and bit can be used for thicknessing the neck as well as the body.

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14 hours ago, sethgali said:

I ordered the Whiteside 2" bit, 1/2" shank. I thought the larger diameter would help get the job done more efficiently, even though we aren't talking about very much surface area to begin with. Thanks for the tips on necks. I'll check those out.

right on... can't go wrong with whiteside.  I hope that's not 2" diameter and more 2" cutting length.  I don't think you want to run a 2" diameter bit in a hand held.  Either way... you'll find you really are best off overlapping your cuts when planing as you'll get mill mark/lines either way and this helps minimise them.

afa leveling... I can tell you the musikraft neck I bought was either leveled or the straightest neck known to man w/o leveling because my action on it is probably less than 1/16 on a 10" radius neck and zero buzz.  That said... bizman is right to be suspicious of them... warmoth def admits they don't level.  I have bought a neck from them as well and it isn't perfect enough to get minimum action but it is so good that I've never bothered to level it.  IOW you'll be fine with most decent necks for now and can always level them later.  esp if you don't need super low action.

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