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First build...need some advice

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Hello all,

I've decided I'm going to design my own guitar, but I've hit some issues, largly in the neck area. Stupid crick won't go away.

The question pretty much boils down to fretting. I've no experience, obviously, but I'd like to at least know I can do a fret job. On the other hand, I can but a Stewmac neck and just slap it on.

The guitar's going to be a Tele-style, with twin humbuckers and possibly trem. I've got some nice ash, but it's not quite thick enough(1-5/16"), so I'll be laminating a top with more ash. If I don't buy the neck seperate, It'll be 1 peice maple, including the fretboard.

Now, dear old dad, (I'm a high school student, for those who care to know), thinks I should buy the premade neck, either from lack of confidence in my ability with precision tools, or simply to save hassle, probably both.

Can anyone vouch for the quality of Stewmac necks? Or is fretting alot easier than everyone says it is?


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Hi Alarung,

I have built 6 guitars, and I have to agree with your dad, for these reasons.

1) The neck has to be absolutely correct to be playable. It has to be straight, the frets have to be in the right place, and it has to fit into the guitar correctly. The holes for the tuners have to be right.

2) If the body is off a bit, you can call it a design feature. This is assuming that the PUPs are in line between the neck and the bridge. It may look a little strange, it may sound a bit unique, but you will be able to play it.

As a result of the above, I buy my necks. I haven't the faith in myself to build a neck.

I would suggest getting Melyn Hiscock's book on building guitars. He has a section or two on building necks if you do decide to go that route.

Take care and take photo's.

Guitar Ed

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Not to mention that the tools needed to build a neck are far more specialized and you would find yourself buying a lot of tools just to make the neck.

Since you are just getting started, as a confidence builder, get a ready made neck. I can vouch for the ones at StewMac. I have one and it's very nice. Although, personally, I prefer the one that I got from Carvin. It's far more playable and smooth feeling. Carvin doesn't make a one piece maple neck though. Ah... better stick with StewMac then. B)

Definately get the Melvyn book. It's the best way to pique your interest. Prepare to become addicted to guitar building.

Oh, and welcome aboard! :D

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Yeah, I guess you're right.

The book is on order, as is the neck and other supplies.

But now I've the problem of Tremolo. I don't use it, as none of my current guitars have it, but I'd kind of like to at least have it as an option. But I don't know if I'll use it. Any suggestions? What do you guys know about Choppers Music on eBay for that sort of thing?


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