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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jack Wells, Jul 7, 2007.
Don't know about cutting through rosewood slabs. This thread is about a one-piece neck.
I looked over my neck plans and saw that cool half-neck diagram and finally understood the placement of the washer. Thanks Jack and Vizcaster. It was actually dumb of me to be confused by that. haha.
That way you get the rod's elastic recovery forcing the neck into negative relief.. that's no good
I can't imagine there's much "elastic recovery" there to begin with, especially after the rod is held in there for awhile. I think of it as a cable rather than a spring. I don't know of anyone pre-bending the rods. It wouldn't be easy to do if you wanted to - the American Standard neck, for instance, has a compound curve with two different radii from the nut to the 7th fret and from there to the heel.
looks like this guy pre-bends his rods, and he's kind-of a big deal.
Preeb's an artist who does fantastic work, but we don't all have to agree with every little fanatic detail. Some guys think they hear a difference in tone from the thread pitch on their trussrod cover screws. Eric Johnson thinks having a cover on the trem cavity of a Strat ruins the tone. Some people object to having plastic sheathing on the trussrod because it's not the same as the fabric covering they used back in the day. If we're going to indulge in theoretical musings about the tension of a bent rod, then okay, "that's no good" either, because the slack rod would rattle.
Well.. if in a neck with a pre bent rod, you take half a turn at the nut, you may get a pretty dramatic effect on string action.. I don't know how a pre stressed rod won't be a problem. Elastic deformation is not time dependent, maybe it will creep but 50 years from now.
Just pre bend the dam* thing... it takes 5 minutes
when you cut the fret slots how did you make sure all of the cuts were square
Look at post #8 and # 10 of this thread
I no longer use the miter box shown earlier in this thread. Now I use the jig below along with the StewMac circular saw blade mounted in my radial saw. the StewMac fret slotting template is mounted on the underside of the jig. I made a special fence for the saw with a pin that engages the notches on the template.
I use something similar to this. My set up includes a sliding set of blocks that can adjust to any width of neck/nut combination. But essentially it does the same thing. I have done a lot of necks on this jig with 100% results. I have something similar for 24.75" and bass necks as well as for fingerboards that are not glued on. For all bolt on necks regardles off one-piece, slab or laminate...they all get slotted after the fingerboard is on using this jig. This delivers the best consistancy of fret location relative to the end of the neck. Oh...and you can slot a fingerboard in about 45-60 seconds with this setup.
So then your fret slots have a flat bottom and don't follow the radius of the fingerboard or do you go back and use a hand fretsaw to do this?!?
Seems like there would be alot of void under a 9.5" radius fb like the pdf I quickly did up.
On Bent rods.... I believe that it is essential to prebend the rod. This is due to the rod being able to spin or not spin in the slot. Here is my theory and testing I did: If you take a long drill bit or even a long piece of truss rod and put it in a cordless drill. The drill bit can bend in the middle while still spinning smoothly at the tip. This tells me that if the rod is not ancored well, the rod can spin in a curved slot with no problem. Now..take that same set up and place a bend in the rod instead. That rod will no longer be able to spin. In the drill test, the rod flips and twists but it no longer spins smoothly. Now consider that the bend rod is now held in place on each side and top and botttom with a block of wood that does not allow it to flip/flop etc. This does not allow the drill motor to spin the rod any more. Oh..equally important seems to be to use a truss rod slot that is only big enough for the rod. If you are using a 3/16" rod...use a 3/16" bit to route the channel. While a 1/4 slot will work, it gives enough wiggle room for rod move and twist..which gives opportunity for spinning.
So why is this important? Well especially with one piece necks with heel adjusts, you have a round nut that slips into the headstock plug hole. While yes you can add teeth or prongs to secure themselves into the wood, if the rod is allowed to spin it could eventually become loose at the anchor too. The bend rod, keeps the rod from spining/moving while under heavy twists from the truss rod nut.
With quite a bit of investigation via the internet, I have seen a bunch of vintage necks that show the anchor was just a round nut with no special shape etc to them. So I have been trying a bunch of different methods and find that all seem to work equally well if the rod is bent first. The one thing I have been doing as part of this installation is using a steel pin and hammer to tap the anchor in place. This ensures the anchor is all the way in the hole and is pressed tight/diggining into the bottom of the hole (thanks Marc for the suggestion..). Then I am using a plug that is also tapped all the way in and nice and tight. With no movement in the rod side to side or backwards/forwards... you minimized a great deal of any chance of truss rod issues. The tighter the rod is encapsulated the less troubles you will have.
I supose your millage may vary, but the testing I have been doing on this suggest that it won't vary far.
Yes Bill. Once done with this jig, the slots are flat on the bottom. In fact, I do this part before the fingerboard is radiused too. That way I can pre-build certain aspects of the neck and customize others as needed.
As part of my routine, I go back after the fingerboard is radiused (just before fretting) and use the hand fret saw to shape the ends of the slots to the radius of the fingerboard. I try to only the the slot depth the first time to just about the right depth in the middle. Maybe a bit deeper. So my slots just before fretting are curved to match the radius and are only just deep enough to fit the fret in. Maybe a hair more...
One more thing Jack and Bill...
I slot the fingerboard before the neck is carved. I believe there is a balancing act between allowing the wood to move and aclimate and moving to the next steps. So the neck is left square in the back and the fingerboard flat while slotting. I then move to the contour stage of neck building. I rough carve the neck and will leave the neck sit overnight before any final work is done on it.
For me building a neck is somewhat of a ritual. I do things in phases/steps and never rush a build. Because of the amount of neck builds I do, I can make a batch of necks and get them to one stage...then go back to a previous batch of necks and work on them while the new ones are aclimating etc. I can then start some new necks by rough cutting the blanks and letting them set too.
I have been building a lot of set-neck (glue in place) style units lately. They follow a similar process of letting the wood move/stop moving. They are a bit more complicated then the bolt on style but the theory is still the same. Fingerboard is slotted while flat. It is glued onto the neck while the back is still square/uncarved. The carve is done is stages.
The radius if one of the last things I do to a neck before fretting. There is so minimal amount of wood being removed during this stage that the neck is 99% stable from all the other work being completed. At this point, when you radius and level the board.. it will stay that way.
Just sent you an email.
That neck almost looks like pine? Is it?
BTW my Stewmac tablesaw fret sawblade is on the way.
That is a practice neck made from a 2 x 4.
Stupid Question #1: How important is the accuracy of the curve? Couldn't you just fasten a jig that is low on the ends and high in the center, making sure to stay around 1/8" from the fretboard at the ends and 1/8" from the back of the neck in the center?
Stupid Question # 2: If I wanted to make the same jig you made, couldn't I just print the neck blueprint to scale, cut out the neck and paste it onto a 2x4, routing close and sanding to the curve line, then rip it in a table saw?
Question 1. The accuracy of the curve probably isn't that important but since the information on the curve is available, why not use something that has been working for over 60 years?
Question 2. That might work.
This thread has be superseded by the following which has all building steps in an uninterrupted form.
*Building A One Piece Neck II*