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Guitar Neck Dilemma

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Forum topic by interpim posted 09-07-2009 01:08 AM 1091 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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interpim

1158 posts in 2919 days


09-07-2009 01:08 AM

I have a electric guitar project going on right now, and really haven’t a clue how to proceed at this point.

I have roughed out the neck blank but I have a problem with the thickness of the head.
The head is at a 13 degree angle coming off the neck, but with my bookmatched panel on it, It is entirely to thick for tuners now. How would I thin out the back side of this accurately.

I guess the best way for me to describe it is to show a picture.

-- San Diego, CA


11 replies so far

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knotscott

7209 posts in 2836 days


#1 posted 09-07-2009 01:21 AM

How much does it need to be reduced by? I’m wondering if you can just sand the heck out of both sides.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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interpim

1158 posts in 2919 days


#2 posted 09-07-2009 01:44 AM

Well… I can’t sand to much off the top, as I still have the fretboard to attach to the neck. The back I could sand the heck out of, but I’m talking about 1/2” of material that I need to remove. for a frame of reference… the headstock now with the panel on it is a bit over an inch thick

-- San Diego, CA

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Craftsman on the lake

2523 posts in 2899 days


#3 posted 09-07-2009 03:16 AM

Standard procedure is that before you cut the profile of the head and sides of the neck you take it off the back side of the head with a bandsaw.

now the only thing I can see you doing is placing wedge shaped spacers to get that square profile back and try to take some off the back of the head.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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interpim

1158 posts in 2919 days


#4 posted 09-07-2009 03:27 AM

Yeah, I got a little ahead of myself, but I think I worked it out… I used the band saw and held it tight up against a fence and sliced it off…

-- San Diego, CA

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Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3356 days


#5 posted 09-07-2009 03:31 AM

As a guitarist the only issue I see is the thickness of the neck at the nut area. If possible I would consider tapering the neck down a bit before it gets to the head. Since it is an electric, there is a higher probability of using greater string tension, so you want to leave enough meat to accomodate a truss rod.

-- Sam

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Craftsman on the lake

2523 posts in 2899 days


#6 posted 09-07-2009 03:37 AM

The weak area is the short grain about an inch after the nut. One or two layers of headstock strengthens it but this is the way guitars are made and they seem to put up with the stress.

The way that I prefer to make a neck is to start with one straight piece of flat stock about 1” thick and cut at the head area at an angle. Then reverse the head and glue it to the neck. The effect is that there is no short grain area.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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interpim

1158 posts in 2919 days


#7 posted 09-07-2009 03:40 AM

I haven’t shaped the back of the neck yet, it will be smaller toward the head… I still need to route the truss rod channel, and affix the fret board. It probably will be a week or two until I can get to that part.

-- San Diego, CA

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Chris Wright

540 posts in 2942 days


#8 posted 09-07-2009 03:25 PM

In the future, if you have to reduce the thickness of the head, and you can do this when you go to reduce the thickness of the neck as well, you can chuck a spiral cutting router bit in your drill press and set the table height and just work the wood back and forth using it like an over arm router. You can also look into using one of these instead of a router bit http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003189/206/Drill-Press-Safety-Planer.aspx

Looks like you did a good job with the bandsaw though.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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interpim

1158 posts in 2919 days


#9 posted 09-07-2009 07:07 PM

thanks for all the input guys… anyone have any advice on installing the truss rod?

I really have a very rudimentary idea how it is supposed to go in.

But I haven’t purchased it yet… My fret board is 18.5 inches long, how long of a truss rod should I buy, do I epoxy this thing in? or just let it float in the slot under the fret board? Also, does the nut on the truss rod count toward it’s length? or is that extra

-- San Diego, CA

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Craftsman on the lake

2523 posts in 2899 days


#10 posted 09-07-2009 10:32 PM

Depends on the truss rod. Some are double and when you tighten the nut on rod pushes the other pulls and causes it to bow upward. Some are single and installed with a bow and a curved slot of wood above it. Tightening it will pull a neck upward in the center. Some are stationary, like Most Martins use. They’re usually aircraft aluminum and hold a neck in one position.

they usually are not epoxied in place but often shimmed so they won’t rattle inside.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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Chris Wright

540 posts in 2942 days


#11 posted 09-08-2009 12:18 AM

I think when you buy the truss rod it will have instructions on how to install it.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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