Alternative tools to shape a neck

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Slowtwitch, Apr 14, 2019 at 1:46 AM.

  1. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    If you don't own a nice set of rasps and wood files, what do the guys use to shape the neck profile?

    I've tried an angle grinder, but it's dodge and doesn't work that well :twisted:
     
  2. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    I do most of the work using a spokeshave, a small block plane and a scraper...You can finish it off with sandpaper and a few sanding cauls. Metal files do work too in a pinch.
    Are you working with a tight budget or is it simply that you don't like rasps? Both are ok :)
    A decent spokeshave should be around 20$ on ebay, and you can do a lot with them. I never liked rasps, they can make too much of a mess and create hours of extra work if things get out of hand.
     
  3. DonM

    DonM Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is how the guy that made my custom LP did it. He made three guitars for George Harrison and some for Paul McCartney, Andy Summers and Mike Campbell.

    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpeg
     
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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've tried a spokeshave, surform tool, rasp, files, abrasives, 45 degree router bit, and handrail bit for flat surfaces. Half round files and rasps, drum sander sleeves, abrasive around dowels for the non flat surfaces. They all work. The width of the farrier's rasp leaves the flattest surface for me. I figure I'd go too far with any power tool, so there's no time savings there for me.



    In the end I use the farrier rasp which has a coarse side and a file side. A large half round rasp( also has a flat side), and a large half round wood file. These tools get the work done. I follow up with a scraper and abrasives.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019 at 5:37 AM
  5. wingcommander

    wingcommander TDPRI Member

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    I personal favourite definition for an angle grinder is "electric power tool used for making things too small". ;)
     
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  6. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

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    What tools do you have? I have a set of cheap rasps and wood files and they get the job done. Sandpaper and scrapers as well.

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    Safety-planer to get the thickness, then spokeshave, chisels and my small planes. Bare minimum would be my block plane and a 1 inch chisel - both scary sharp. Cabinet scraper and sandpaper.

    You pretty much need those tools anyway so if you don't have them its time to break down and buy them.
     
  8. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use an angle grinder then finish shaping with an orbital sander.
    It makes a big messy sawdust cloud but it sure is fast.
     
  9. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Depends on your skills.

    Gouges, chisels, spokeshave: I use them all, as needed. But I always use rasps and files, too. There’s no right answer; it’s a “whatever works” situation for all the different parts of the neck, the transitions, etc.

    And no need for a “nice set” of anything. It’s just a rasp.
     
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  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

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    Regarding rasps, there are cheap ones and there are really nice ones. I have both #49 and #50 Nicholson Cabinet rasps and they are fantastic. They cut fast and leave a very clean surface requiring minimal clean-up.
    https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=2778
    I've been fortunate to find a couple of them at estate sales. If they are a little beat up, send them to Boggs for sharpening. Some really persnickety guys send their new files and rasps to Boggs before they start using them. It's amazing what they can do for the performance of files and rasps.
    https://boggstool.com/
    Like I said I hit the estate sales a lot and I buy pretty much every old, quality vixen file I find, and I've sent a few to Boggs.
    file_vixen_flat_lg.jpg
    These are great for neck work to follow up the rasp. They cut like a rasp, speed-wise, but leave a finish like a plane.
    And like many of the others I use spokeshaves and small planes as well.

    Rex
     
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  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Spoke shave, and a draw knive, plus a gouge chisel. Look them up. Fastest way to carve a neck. The old ones are better for the same price, made of higher carbon steel. Just have to learn how to sharpen them, or find a good sharpening service. I once carved a neck in 5 minutes - I was shocked, but with sharp tools, its so quick to curl the shavings, and with a good tool, its very controllable and intuitive.
     
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  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Make a scraper.

    Example video, you'll find others with pretty much the same techniques.


    .
     
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  13. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    I have found the key for me is using whatever tool you are most comfortable with amd an do safely.

    I am going to be an odd one in that I use a ross heavily. I got used to freehand powertool shaping in military aircraft production when younger that has stuck with me. I also use a 12"×2" sanding board with heavy grit, and orbital sander set on low RPM, and palm sander.

    Eric
     
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  14. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q TDPRI Member

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  15. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

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    Cheap rasp and scrapping with a razor blade, using long light passes, got me 98% of the way there.
     
  16. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Micro plane. Goes through maple like butter. I finish up with files and a scraper..I sand with 80 or 100 grit with duct tape across the back of a sheet so it doesn't tear and do the "shoeshine". The concave scraper is really great for removing the hills and valleys and getting you to the contour you want..
     
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  17. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for the duct tape trick.
     
  18. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    IMG_9853.JPG
     
  19. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    It's kinda crazy how every time the neck shaping discussion pop ups, I hear of new ways of skinning the proverbial kitty. We could write a 500-pages book about making necks simply by compiling TDPRI members ways of doing it, and not part of it would be boring.
     
  20. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q TDPRI Member

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    Umm... What the heck is that?

    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk
     
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