Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Building A One Piece Neck.........

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jack Wells, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Lumber is roughsawn on a band mill in quarters. Well, they are more like goals instead of accurate cuts. So if the bandmill guy rough cuts the lumber at 1", it is sold as 4/4 lumber. After it dries(shrinks) and is planed smooth and flat, its generally around 3/4". So generally, when you buy rough lumber you always buy it bigger so you can plane it down to the correct size.

  2. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 21, 2008
    Buy it wider than you need too - there are some undesirable spots that you may want to work around if you don't have a good chance to inspect the lumber. The processed "blanks" from Warmoth, Stumac... they might be good to go, no planing needed and all good wood, at the 1" or 13/16" (if using a different wood for the FB). I generally cut down 6/4 and 8/4 boards and buy it really cheap (like $2/bf) because of a big crack or knot - then just work around the problem area on a thicker board. What I have found on maple is that the area right next to where the wood has separated is some really great - very tight - grain: makes for a heavy neck, but that stuff is amazingly rigid maple if you can tame it.

    If you only want to make 1 or 2 necks then the processed blanks may be the best way to go.

  3. guitar2005

    guitar2005 Tele-Holic

    Oct 22, 2010
    Canada, Québec
    One question - What is the distance from the edge of the neck's heel to the nut on a telecaster neck? I have no reference on this.
    This would help me position the fretboard and bridge. Thanks!

  4. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2008
    Palmerston, Ontario

    Based on Ed Hawleys cad drawing, it is 18-3/8"
    Welcome to the forum.


  5. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Based on a measurement on a Fender 21 fret neck with a dollar store tape measure I concur with the 18 3/8 in.

  6. guitar2005

    guitar2005 Tele-Holic

    Oct 22, 2010
    Canada, Québec
    Awesome. Thanks! I've never built a guitar like this before. All of my usual builds are complete customs where I would draw everything out myself and have the necks and body joins custom designed (except for the 2 Jems I made).

    This is going to be fun.

  7. bassplyr53

    bassplyr53 TDPRI Member

    Jul 13, 2009

    Jack,please forgive my stupid question,but why does the truss rod channel have to be arched on a tele neck?It can't be routed straight?Just trying to learn from the voices of experience.Thanks.

  8. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    The single action truss rod is captured between two points ....... the anchor and the adjusting nut. As the adjusting nut is tightened the portion of the rod between these two points gets shorter, straighting the rod somewhat resulting in an upward force applied to center of the neck thus reducing forward bow.


    If the rod was in a straight channel, tightening the adjusting nut would only compress the wood at the anchor and/or nut end until the rod broke.

  9. tdowns

    tdowns Former Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    There is no such thing as a stupid question here. I don't get on here very much anymore, but the TDPRI is very fortunate to Jack Wells. He not only answers your question in an articulate manner, but provides a picture.

  10. Jompa

    Jompa TDPRI Member

    May 13, 2010
    Hello, JW +
    Nice thread and very good and descriptive information that inspires me and others alot.
    I have a question regarding this "curved" rod installation.

    Is the rod tightened (with rod screw) to get this curve or is it "press'ed" into this curve before installation, hope you understand my question, sorry for my poor english (-;

    Best regards

  11. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    In the vintage style neck pictured above, the rod is first pushed through a hole at the headstock end then pushed through a hole at the heel. This forces the rod to take the curve of the channel.

  12. genesiospinola

    genesiospinola Tele-Meister

    Aug 4, 2010
    genesiospinola....... Regarding the special bit, it probably could be done. In fact I think some people do that but using a large bit like that isn't something I'd want to try. I'm 66 years old and still have all of all of my fingers.

    A found this Jack: Saver finger, i think a good tool for the work.
    Cheers! ;-)

  13. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 21, 2008
    I think that tool is for using big tools on small pieces - running a neck through a router table with a big bit for shaping the back would still be just as dangerous.

  14. Bob the Builder

    Bob the Builder NEW MEMBER!

    Nov 15, 2010
    new york
    I do not know if it's really the topic of this forum.
    (Excuse me, but I do not often use my computer)
    but I would like to know where I can found blueprint of a guitar Fender Telecaster precise enough

    or possibly where I could buy it.

    thank you

  15. BAW4742

    BAW4742 Tele-Afflicted

    Hey Bob, Welcome to the forum.

    Check out this thread for links to lots of PDF drawings of Teles and other guitars.

  16. melomanarock

    melomanarock Tele-Holic

    Jul 5, 2010
    Hi Jack! quick question.. since you didn't get to the fretting part, I don't think it was mentioned.. you cut the fret slots before radiusing the fretboard where the slot's depth gets reduced on the sides.. how do you recut the slots to the proper depth? since the curved slot can not be cut on the mitter box..


  17. TheShay127

    TheShay127 TDPRI Member

    Nov 27, 2010

    I see that some truss rods come with a washer that goes along with the adjustable nut. What is the purpose of that washer?

    Also, what was the thickness of that maple slab you started with JWells?

  18. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    I started with a 1 in. thick maple blank. The washer is there so the adjusting nut isn't turning against the wood. Sometimes extra washers are added if you run out of adjustment.

    With respect to fret slot depth, it's best to cut them a little extra deep so they will be deep enough after you radius the fretboard. If however, you fail to cut them deep enough you can cut the shallow portions deeper using the StewMac fret saw with the depth stop attachment.


    StewMac also sells a gauge that allows you to measure the depth of the slots to ensure they are deep enough before you start installing the frets.


  19. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    bassplayr53, you could just rout a straight (flat-bottomed) channel and use a two-way dual trussrod, but we don't need no newfangled double rods around here...

    Jompa, the 3/16" steel rod is plenty flexible enought to get it in where it needs to go without prebending it.

    theShay127, the washer goes under the nut so that the nut is bearing against metal instead of crushing the wood at the bottom of the countersink. Oh, Jack already answered that one.

    Jack, do you have any concerns about gaps under the fret and do you fill the slots with glue? I'd be worried about cutting almost all the way through a rosewood slab leaving a bunch of Dominoes glued to the neck instead of one solid slab fingerboard.

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