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Measuring Neck Radius

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by JeradP, May 3, 2011.

  1. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    I was playing my beloved Drive (cheapo off brand guitar) neck'd Squier Bullet and was thinking how much I love it. It'd like to know how to measure the radius on it in case I ever want to buy a neck in the future. It's the best playing neck I've ever felt. I know nothing of vintage radius, 7.5, 9.5, etc, so how do I go about measuring? Is it a method similar to fitting clothes, where you use a measuring tape or a string? Forgive my complete ignorance/ borderline idiocy on the subject
     
  2. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Tele-Afflicted

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  3. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    I honestly didn't even do a search, I figured I was stupid for asking in the first place. Thanks, I'll try and find it.
     
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  5. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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  6. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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  7. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Cut it out and put it to your fretboard with the strings off. Whichever one matches exactly, that is your radius.
     
  8. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    Ok, thanks a lot. The neck is pretty thin, wide, and the fretboard seems flat. What would you take a guess at it being?
     
  9. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Neck width and thickness doesn't play into measuring radius. Radius is the curvature of the actual fretboard. If it's flat I'd guess 12" because it's a common one but there is really no way to know without measuring.
     
  10. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    I have a LOT to learn about guitar necks I see. I guess I didn't know radius meant just hte fretboard. How do they measure the neck/ neck shape? I know my CV50 Tele has a C shape with a 95 radius because I just looked it up. This neck is thinner, my guess is a D shape, but that's just an educated guess
     
  11. megafiddle

    megafiddle Former Member

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    You really need to use the gauge. Notice how similar all the different radii look. It's
    almost impossible to guess. And there is pretty much no practical way to make some
    type of measurement with ruler, caliper, etc. A gauge is standard way to measure.
    If you do print it out, make sure the 1" bar actually measures 1" on your printout.
    Then just cut them out very carefully and see which one fits best.

    *** edited ***
    Oh, you are looking for neck shape?
    Some manufacterer's publish diagrams of the neck profiles. If you can find
    the diagrams, you can usually tell which one you have. There are cross-section
    views, as if you cut through the neck and were looking at the cut end.
     
  12. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity

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    If you got one of these
    [​IMG]

    You can press it against the fretboard, with the strings on, and get a raius measurement. And just hold it up agains a piece of paper with known radii.

    You can also measure the exact contour on the back of the neck.

    Its a super handy tool, I use a lot in recreating guitar necks.
     
  13. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    Is there a recommended fret to set the printed template on or doesn't it matter?
     
  14. megafiddle

    megafiddle Former Member

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    If the fretboard is uniform (cylindrical) radius, then the radius will be the same
    all along the neck. Most are. It's best to measure at the body end of the neck
    though, because there will be a wider section of neck in contact with the gauge.
    The neck is widest at the body end.
    The radius is measured on the fretboard itself, not on top of a fret.
     
  15. vinman

    vinman Tele-Meister

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  16. varakeef

    varakeef Tele-Afflicted

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    That doesn't really matter me thinks. If a fret is one millimeter high, you'll get a radius of 7.28" instead of 7.25" which is insifficant difference. (Since typically radiuses are like 7.25, 9.5, 12 or 16 inches.)
     
  17. pennylandmusic

    pennylandmusic NEW MEMBER!

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    There's an easy way by making a simple jig at home and using a Vernier Calliper. If you email me on pete@pennylandmusic.com, I'll send you a Powerpoint slide telling you exactly how to do it. Pete.
     
  18. megafiddle

    megafiddle Former Member

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    That's true. There is no practical difference between the fretboard and fret-top radius due to the fret height.
    As long as the fret is completely seated and the fret-top radius wasn't flattened because of some leveling work,
    the fret top works just as well. And that's often the case.

    Technically thou, I believe radius refers to the fretboard.
     
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