Finally got her strung up.. Got a neck relief question. - Telecaster Guitar Forum
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Old August 24th, 2013, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Finally got her strung up.. Got a neck relief question.

I finally got my first build strung up, did a rough set up and surprisingly the guitar plays pretty darn well already. I got the action just about where i like it and the neck feels pretty good in my hands. I think i have to work on a few minor spots on the neck but i'd say it's about 90% there.

My question is about neck relief. I built the neck from a flat sawn piece of hard maple and a rosewood fretboard. I strung the guitar up with my usual 10-46 gauge strings. With the truss rod loosened all the way there is just very slight relief in the neck. It's not perfectly straight but pretty close. There's no major buzzes except for a few notes above the 15th fret and even that isn't so bad. I probably have to grind a touch more fall away up there but not a big deal. Should this minimal relief be something to be concerned with? The guitar has only been strung up to pitch for less than a day in my basement shop where the humidity is only about 35% with a dehumidifier running constantly as it can get swampy down there if it's turned off. I'm also not against putting 11's on it either. I also tried tuning it up a half step with not a whole lot of difference.

Anyway, i'm pretty happy the way it's coming a long.. Here's a picture!



Thanks for your help!

-jay

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Old August 24th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Neck relief is a personal preference thing. Depending on how you play, you may want more or less relief.

The rule of thumb, for starters, is 0.09" of relief between the 1st fretted note and the 15 th fretted note, at the neck join.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you! My concern was that when strung up to pitch and with the truss rod loosened i measured the relief at approx .005", which is perfectly fine as far as my preference is concerned. Feels and plays fine, no major buzzes on the rough setup. I was expecting to see around .010" when strung up, that's all..
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Old August 24th, 2013, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The amount of bend in the neck varies from one wood species to the next and even from one piece to the next.

Since the neck is brand new and has never been strung up before, you should expect it to bend a little further until it settles. it can take anywhere between 1 to 6 months for the neck to find its sweet spot.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice looking axe, BTW.

Some players want dead straight, so your slight relief is OK, if it fits your playing preferences and style.
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