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doug last won the day on February 7 2013

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About doug


  • Member Title
    GOTM Oct 05, Oct 06

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    Williamson, NY
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    Guitar necks!!

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  1. I'm of the opinion just about any wood can be used for a neck... However, it's not just the species you need to be concerned with, it's the chunk of lumber itself. In other words, one piece of maple may be fine for a neck, yet another might not for numerous reasons, which I'm sure you're already familiar with. Santos rosewood can make a very nice neck, however keep an eye out for signs of it twisting. I've used lots of it, and this particular wood can be very testy. It's a sin to toss big beautiful pieces into the burn pile, yet sometimes it's prudent. I use pau ferro as the default fingerboard in a standard neck. People really like them and request PF over and over again. -Doug
  2. You need to find a way to sand the glue faces parallel especially if you're planning to layer like the neck in the picture.
  3. Belt sander is good. Just use the right kind of belt and score a nice line with a scribe so you know where to stop.
  4. I've used table saw with soft metal carbide blade and removed just a little at a time from the plate side. Worked fine, but sort of dangerous. I'm fortunate enough to have a friend with a fancy machine shop and he had one of his people mill another block for me too. I'm like a bull in a china shop with a file so I'd ruled it out... LOL
  5. jessejames... glad you have this worked out. I hadn't had a chance to read this thread until now, but your solution is good IMHO. Especially since it worked! I didn't catch what bridge you were going to use, however with the heel being at 2-3/16" wide your back into the realm of "normal". It's actually a shame that a vendor would supply a template like that to an unsuspecting customer. I've had many customers over the years send me templates (thinking it would help) that were complete garbage. What pains me, it that they actually paid money for them! You were fortunate to have noticed the discrepancies prior to making the neck! -Doug
  6. A kit can be a good place to start. You can learn a lot that way, and not worry about the pieces fitting (for the most part). poptartpower is spot on with respects body/neck compatibility. I make a ton of necks for Warmoth, USA, and Carvin bodies. Those are consistent. The rest in my opinion... is anybodies guess. Because of that I've made it mandatory customers to send their body to me so I can verify the geometry before making a neck for it. Have fun :o)
  7. That's pretty much it... However you should at least clamp the neck solidly in place then check bridge height again. Believe it or not, that last little bit of forced settling can make or break your ideal angle. Much easier dry than with sticky goo all over it...:o)
  8. Sometimes we all do stuff that makes us wonder what we were thinking... :o) Don't beat yourself up too much, wood grows on trees... Not sure what your process is for constructing a neck, but if that had happened to me I would cut the neck off at the scarf and add a new headstock. Oh yeah, a big pain for sure. My jigs are set up for an unshaped neck so for me it means this has to be done manually. The cupping concerns me though. With all reasons why that can happen maybe you should toss that one and start again before you go too much further. If it's bolt on then if it goes all squirrely later on it's not such a big deal to replace. Maybe consider starting over before you get too much more time into it... In my opinion, less than 1/2" thick is pretty risky. -Doug
  9. Go to my web site and the How To page... once you see how it's done, you'll understand fully. Yes, the heel, and it's dimensions are quite different than a bolt on neck. There's about 2" of heel beyond the last fret and the heel is about 2" tall. Well, that's what size they are when I ship them out to a customer. Trimming is involved to create the exact dimensional needs for the specific instrument. -Doug
  10. NoQuattro- In response to your initial question, the heel of a set neck should go into the body at least as far as the back of the neck pickup cavity. Many builders including myself don't even have that bit of body sticking out to form a neck pocket like a typical bolt on body does. As long as the depth of the set neck heel is adequate, and the fit is tight, there's ample surface area for glue. As for the bolt on neck, provided the neck pocket is is again tight, it should work just fine. The idea here is to grab as much of the heel wood with glue as possible. Bolts going into a bolt on neck grab a lot more than just the surface on the bottom where the neck heel meets the body. If your pocket is loose, then I might not be inclined to glue a bolt neck in there. If you end up using the bolt neck successfully then blending the heel into the body will be no problem. Several guitar manufactures use bolt on looking necks that are then glued in place. Not sure why really, but they do. Of course, a true set neck would likely yield the most structurally sound neck/body joint as opposed to gluing in a bolt on. -Doug
  11. And there you have it... Wood's wood... the saw tells all. :o)
  12. WezV nailed it... woodworking 101 - Counteracting wood movement. The addition of 2 or 3 thin layers of another, maybe harder, wood really increases the neck's longitudinal strength. Actually I think there is some truth to the idea of a board resisting bending force more or less depending on the direction of the grain in relation to the force applied. Not all woods seem to follow that rule of thumb though, but the softer ones like mahogany, walnut, or poplar etc. do. Tighter grained woods (small growth rings) like bloodwood, bubinga and older growth maple varieties, don't have much appreciable difference in the context of small stuff like a guitar neck. Just stuff I've noticed over the years making fine furniture etc. Maybe no real scientific facts back it up, but then again I'm not a scientist... :o)
  13. Exactly... you never know what you might find. Another thing to consider is that dye on a guitar top is not necessary. Keep an open mind when looking. I recently took a break from neck building to create some furniture for the house. I was stunned to see about 30bf of maple with thousands of small bark inclusions. I snatched that up and the pieces turned out truly amazing. No dye, no thick clear coat. What god handed me stood on it's own. I will use it on a guitar top if i ever have time. Oh... earth tones are tough to avoid on a budget. Even plain maple is brownish when coated. Maybe grab some nice buggy black limba... that'll get ya some nice bright orange and black. Happy hunting... :D
  14. Don't loose any sleep over this... :o) Maple is a very strong wood. Having at least one glue joint and opposing grain will virtually eliminate any warping that one might anticipate. Just basic woodworking skills applied... life's good. Now, you're adding at least one alternate wood to the mix. Nice! This will only help your cause. Adding the other two looks better in my opinion, and of course it would also add stability. Any time you reduce the thickness or width of a single piece of wood then glue it back to itself turning the stress to your advantage, the end result will be a more resilient single piece. Be careful with all the CF rods. You might negate the use of your truss rod. CF is surprisingly hard to bend! 2 truss rods or one? If your nut is at least 2" and last fret width 2-3/4" then I'd say so. -Doug
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