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Everything posted by doug

  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
  15. See... that's what I get for not being a Fender neck specialist... Though it's been a while, I read carefully the PDF you linked to (actually have an original hard copy from Fender) and for "new installs" it states "you will be routing .091"into the fretboard toward the frets". Quite clear. -doug
  16. If I am not mistaken, the LSR nut is wider towards the bridge. (the distance from the first frete slot to the nut slot is shorter) This means you can't just add a thicker nut because intonation will be off by that much. A Fender nut is about 1/8" thick, so you need to keep that distance from the front of the nut slot back. In other words, if you used a 1/4" thick nut to fill the space, it would have to be stepped. A good luthier should be able to handle it honestly. The tough part is fixing the slot. There's a lot of ways to do that. It just depends on the person which method they are familiar with. I agree with the previous post about sustain... -Doug
  17. I've seen some with the holes threaded for the backside bolts AND chamfered on the top for wood screws. People send them to me now and then for reference when I make a neck for them, so I can't say what brand they might have been. Sorry. At least we know they are out there. -doug
  18. To be honest... I get this way too. People want pictures, to talk on the phone, ask a million email questions, etc. This is really hard to keep up on when trying to produce class A work. What happens is I will so engrossed with what I'm doing that I sort of fall off the grid for a few days at a time. However, I always make it a point to acknowledge any transactions immediately, and apologize for any delay in responding to questions. Always, always, always I send at least a brief THANK YOU message no matter how busy I am!! My point here is that not responding at all is just plain and simple terrible business practice!! Horrible! If I did that, and someone opened a dispute or wanted their money back, well how could I blame them? Good grief. We all live in a world of crooks and scams. As a customer myself, I just want acknowledgment that the vendor knows I exist and that they received the cash I gave them. In my opinion here, you have every right to get cold feet. Some business transactions are not worth the baggage that you have to carry with it. Just my 2 cents... it struck a nerve, sorry if it's a rant. -Doug
  19. Well thanks for the plug... Actually I've made necks like that for Warmoth bodies and other guitars quite often. Scale changes are maybe 20% of my business. Funny, about 2/3 of the people who send me a body to make a neck for don't even know what scale it had to start with... Without a neck pickup it actually works out better too. Now if you don't get the bridge routing done (post holes drilled) this will present some additional challenges for you which is something to consider. Anyway, if you're interested just let me know. I'll help if I can. -Doug
  20. I'm sort of wondering why veneer? Or maybe, what advantage is there to veneering over a fingerboard rather than just making the fingerboard out of the wood itself instead? Is there a certain look you're after? Anyway, I wouldn't do it without a vacuum press. The veneer would have to be really uniform in thickness too. You won't have much wiggle room for leveling so the more accurate the veneer job, the better your frets will turn out. -Doug
  21. What you didn't tell us is what sort of tools you do have that might be leveraged... The taper jig is a good suggestion. You could also make a sanding jig to block sand it, or something along those lines. I had a big disk sander for long with a jig attached that honestly I can't recall what I did the first time around years ago. I wish I could help more. -Doug
  22. PSW said it well... There are so many other contributing factors as well... truly an open door for opinions :o) I know it's not heavy like you want, but to my ears, korina has always made for a very open top end tone. Well, then again, it would be more of a challenge to dye black because of the grain structure. On the heavier side, bubinga could be a strong contender. -Doug
  23. Okay, I took the liberty of checking his calculations against actual completed necks in the shop. Based on the 7.135" bridge to neck pocket length, a 21 fret neck will work if the end of the neck shaft (heel) is pretty much right where the 22nd fret would be. mikevirok, you are on the right track! As for moving the bridge... experience has demonstrated that people want the neck made to fit whatever body they have. Moving the bridge is generally out of the question because of the refinishing etc. that would follow. -Doug
  24. Sorry - do you mean that once I wet the cloth or pad, to blot out most of the liquid and then apply? Do I need to do this with the first coat of black to darken the grain as well? In the video I mentioned, he didn't wet the wood until after popping the grain, which is why I ask. I'm assuming this is because he sanded most of it back. Am I off here? The idea here is NOT to get dye down into the grain holes. (it's why I suggested spray) That's where blotches on ash come from. So yes, you could get your applicator wet then ring it out. Wipe it as dry as possible, but don't leave streaks. Even if you used stain, the same would be true. Don't use that gel stuff. Sorry, I only use ash for furniture not guitars. Doesn't matter though because the results are the same- it's ash. Another thing to remember is to be patient... One application will not be enough. Five might not be enough. You'll know when it looks right. Always let the surface dry COMPLETELY before attempting another application. Blotches can be reduced by adjusting the intensity of your color. Then bring the entire surface to that intensity. -Doug
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