Which Spokeshave For Shaping Electric Guitar Neck

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Wind Gatherer, May 1, 2019.

  1. Wind Gatherer

    Wind Gatherer TDPRI Member

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    There are several types of spokeshaves available, which should I get for shaping a guitar neck?
    Thanks.
     
  2. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

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    I was tempted to say "the sharpest one".

    The big kind with the two big handles that point toward you is good for fast rough shaping. If the wood has really consistent grain you can learn how to make fine cuts with it, but this tool is best for taking off a lot of wood, not for final shaping. Notice that all you have is a big blade touching the wood. Your fine control of those handles is the only thing keeping you from cutting too deep. To shape a neck with only one of these would take some experience and exceptionally straight-grained wood.

    The smaller kind with the two little side handles has a tiny table that the blade pokes through, like a small plane. By adjusting the blade to just barely extend beyond the table, you can make controlled small cuts and get a smooth flat surface.
     
  3. EddieLocrian

    EddieLocrian Tele-Afflicted

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    Thought the title said "Which Shakespeare for shaping guitar neck"

    I'd plumb for '12th Night'

    Although the 'Merchant of Venice' could do a good job.

    Oh its all Much ado about nothing but William it was really nothing



    Eddie.
     
  4. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle TDPRI Member

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    Based on my experience of shaping exactly one neck a rasp is easy to control and you don't have to sharpen it. I assume with a spokeshave you'd have some risk of tear-out.
    Of course with a well sharpened spokeshave you get to enjoy the satisfying feeling of shaving thin curls of wood which is not nothing.
    Let us know what you decide.
     
  5. Wind Gatherer

    Wind Gatherer TDPRI Member

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    I have an Axminster Rider 151C curved base spokeshave and a couple of non stitched Narex rasps I got for woodcarving. I'll try the rasps and spokeshave and see which suits me best. I'll update the forum how I get on.
     
  6. Wind Gatherer

    Wind Gatherer TDPRI Member

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    The smaller kind with the two little side handles has a tiny table that the blade pokes through, like a small plane. By adjusting the blade to just barely extend beyond the table, you can make controlled small cuts and get a smooth flat surface.
    Do you mean a router plane if not could you upload a photo?
    Thanks.
     
  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I find that if there's any kind of figured grain the spokeshave is kind of a disaster. I have better luck with a rasp and a scraper
     
    darren7 and guitarbuilder like this.
  8. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    There is a technique called "draw-filing" that works pretty darn good, too :).

    The technique is similar to using a spoke shave.

    Ya grab the file with both hands, one at either end - then lay the file down flat on your workpiece and then draw the file sideways towards yourself.

    It works real good for truing up a surface and bringing it into line. It gives you great control, and after a bit of practice you'll find that ya can adjust the angle that you use to draw the file towards yourself to give you even more control over how the file cuts.

    It works equally well on metals or wood.

    I'm sort of a file fanatic ;).



    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  9. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

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    A flat-bottomed spokeshave works better for the length of the neck. A curved-bottom spoke-shave would be needed if you're using that tool to shape the transitions at the heel and headstock.

    Philosofriend's description as the one with a "table" made me think of a card-scraping plane but I don't see where you'd use that on a neck so I must be thinking of a different tool.

    Although I get the spokeshaves out for each neck, they seem to chatter because I'm pretty sure I have not got them tuned up properly. I wind up shaping the profile at the first and 12th frets with rasps and connect the two areas using the toe of a block plane held at an angle.
     
  10. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

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    Yep, to echo the sentiments above, I've carved necks with a spokeshave and with rasps, and unless the grain is straight, the spokeshave isn't ideal. Any kind of undulating/figured grain will pull the blade into the wood. Rasps are much more predictable. I find the Dragon rasps from Lee Valley to be outstanding.
     
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  11. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    +1 on the Dragon rasps. I have two and they are amazingly quick. I also use a Shinto saw rasp.

    shinto.jpg
     
  12. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    It might be slower, but files and rasps won’t tear out wood.

    Some properly sharpened scrapers will amaze you. You ~almost~ don’t need to sand it.
     
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