# Let's make a neck!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by guitarbuilder, Aug 2, 2017.

1. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County
Since many of my threads are essentially useless now due to photo blackmail, I thought I'd start a new one while I make a neck that I need for a build. This will be a maple two piece bolt on neck with a hotrod truss rod. I went to order a hotrod and saw they were back ordered, so I recycled one from an experimental neck I made a few years ago that was just sitting around.

I start out with the fretboard. I found a nice hunk of 10/4 rough hard maple at my lumber store down the road. It'll provide me with quartersawn fretboards, which I prefer.

The hunk:

Next I jointed one edge flat and ripped about a 7/16" piece off on the band saw.

The sawn surface. That black stuff is a knot running sideways... but in the waste area.

I'll let this sit and acclimate as it is really humid the past week.

Last edited: Aug 2, 2017

2. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County
Next up will be to cut the fretslots. I'll use a stewmac slotting system but when I first started out I laid out lines with a scale and sharp pencil. Fret spacing can be calculated using what's called " the rule of 18". This link explains it.

http://www.liutaiomottola.com/formulae/fret.htm

To determine the fret spacing you take your desired scale length and divide by the number 17.817....... so 25.5" /17.817= 1.431". That's the distance from the nut to the center of the #1 fret slot.

Then you subtract that number from the initial scale length to get the number to use for the second fret distance 25.5- 1.431=24.069. You take the 24.069/17.817 and do the calculation getting 1.3509" ...so on and so forth.

Stewmac has a calculator on their website and it'll do the math for you.

https://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator.html

SweetClyde99 and Mat UK like this.

Apr 23, 2016
Washington
Thanks for this. Always interested in this subject.

Question - are you familiar with fret2find? Just curious if you have used it and have reservations or just haven't run across it.

5. ### TeleterrFriend of Leo's

Feb 7, 2011
Lewes De.
I ve used the scale length divided by (the twelvteth root of two raised to the power of the fret number) method which gives excellent results. Is the S Mac for well tempered or something else scales?

6. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County

I've seen it but not I have not used it. I just use the stewmac fret calculator result for the cnc when I'm scribing slots.

richa likes this.

7. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County
The stewmac calculations are based on the rule of 18 as far as I know.

8. ### Daniel94Tele-Meister

Oct 31, 2016
Odessa, MO
I've read through your Building a one piece neck thread many times, huge bummer the pics are gone... thanks for putting in time to redo a neck thread. I'm sure it'll be very helpful.

Wahoo and guitarbuilder like this.

9. ### papaschtroumpfTele-Meister

Nov 24, 2015
Subscribed!, making a neck is the scariest part of doing a build from scratch.

guitarbuilder and Bugeater281 like this.

10. ### MacrogatsTele-Meister

Age:
50
May 15, 2017
Auckland, New Zealand
Thanks GB. I need to start looking at doing a few necks for upcoming projects, so will be watching closely.

guitarbuilder likes this.

11. ### TenaciousPTele-Meister

Apr 1, 2016
Arkansas
From what I have read, the "rule of 18" actually uses 18.000 as the constant. The 17.817 is derived from the twelfth root of 2 calculation and is the more precise method of the two. I think the 18.0 was just an approximation used back in the old days because it was easier. The stewmac calculator works off of the 17.817 calculations and will produce a different spacing than using an even 18.0 for the spacing.

12. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County

And this agrees with you:

John Nicholas likes this.

13. ### John NicholasTele-Afflicted

Jun 26, 2014
Poughkeepsie, NY
Newbcaster and guitarbuilder like this.

14. ### oldrebelFriend of Leo's

Oct 23, 2011
Lynchburg Tennessee
Thanks for the new neck building thread. I think that the neck is the most intimidating part of a build for new builders. What are you using to load your photos now? I have never used PB but that stinks that so many of the build threads on here will become useless.

guitarbuilder likes this.

15. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County

I like to be as accurate as I can within reason and the machined templates are the way to go. My first 30 necks or so were cut on a simple plywood miterbox lining up a pencil line to a saw kerf. It worked and nobody complained that the notes were off 2 cents.

John Nicholas likes this.

16. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County
I'm loading the pictures from my camera to the computer, and then right to the thread. When Paul upgraded the forum software a year or so ago, that feature became available.

17. ### John NicholasTele-Afflicted

Jun 26, 2014
Poughkeepsie, NY
Funny, it seems we all start out in a similar way. My first one was a wooden miter box, with two razor blades sticking up (the dull back side of a single edge razor) which registered on an upside down fret board. It wasn't very accurate so the flex slots were all over the place!

Using the Stew Mac template provides the accuracy required for proper placement of frets.

18. ### guitarbuilderDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Mar 30, 2003
Ontario County
Next I checked to see if the fretboard warped across the width. It didn't, so I will go to the radiusing step. I left one edge rough and jointed one edge. The jointed edge will become my registration surface for the next steps.

Mat UK likes this.

19. ### Steve 78Tele-AfflictedAd Free Member

Age:
39
Oct 27, 2015
Melbourne, Austraila
I'm a long way off attempting to make a neck, but I've subscribed. There's always great information in your threads Marty, thanks.

guitarbuilder likes this.

20. ### MM73Tele-Afflicted

Age:
44
Feb 24, 2015
South Lyon, MI
Great timing! Sorry about the photo blackmail, but this will be very helpful...I've been wanting to do a two piece neck.

Any chance this one will have an angled headstock?

guitarbuilder likes this.

21. ### pondcasterFriend of Leo's

Age:
52
Nov 29, 2010
Tryon, NC
Marty, you are da man!

Thank you for sharing and showing this process.

I'm in.

guitarbuilder likes this.

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