DIY Neck Shaving?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by aaronlowther1993, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. aaronlowther1993

    aaronlowther1993 TDPRI Member

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    Hope this is the right place to post this. Our bassist has a set neck Thunderbird clone that has a crazy fat neck on it. The closest I've ever seen to being literally half a baseball bat. How would one go about shaving it down? I consider myself fairly competent in these areas, but I tend not to do much without getting you lads opinions first.
     
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  2. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Don’t...just don’t...
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Don't do it. Sell the guitar and use the money toward buying a more suitable model. There are many players out there looking for chunky necks.
    The truss rod may be set deeper in the neck than the skinny version of that guitar so you don't have the meat on there you think you have to carve away.
    What is the value of that guitar with 'a broken neck'? Even if everything goes well, you'll have that 'repair' to explain to every future buyer. 98% of guitar players trade and sell every guitar they ever owned, even if it's "one I'll never sell!" because people do for one reason or another.

    Necks are the most difficult to part of building a guitar ... that's why the brands put their brand on the headstock.

    Easiest and best option is sell the current guitar and buy another guitar.

    .
     
  5. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

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    I wouldn't do that....
     
  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Sorry... but.. If this is so, you already know what ya need to know.. If ya don't, I would suggest reconsidering your prowess... what you want to do simply is not a difficult task... unless you're less competent than you may think...

    consider your skills before attempting to screw up a perfectly good guitar..

    r
     
  7. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Holic

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    That could very easily prove to be a frustrating experience. One of my buddies tried doing that recently and before long he had messed up the neck so bad his luthier couldn’t fix it. Luckily it was a bolt-on.
     
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  8. mabinogeon

    mabinogeon TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    You can always shave them thinner, but you can't shave them thicker again.

    Another vote for buying a new instrument altogether.
     
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  9. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Bad idea..
     
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  10. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Meister

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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    How much is the clone worth?

    I agree with all the naysayers but if the instrument is fairly cheap and the bass player is hampered by the neck, it might be worth taking the risk.

    If it was me I’d start by drilling a 1/16” hole in the middle of the back of the neck, or maybe two to make sure I know exactly how much wood covers the truss rod.

    One critical aspect of learning is we must royally screw up now and then to learn our limits!
     
  12. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And maybe you can just do it without screwing it up too. I'm glad the internet wasn't around when I stripezz-ed my Les Paul for a Mick Ronson style paint job. That was my first guitar repair 40 years ago. I sold that guitar for twice what I paid for it a couple years later and paid for my instrument building class.

     
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  13. unfamous

    unfamous Tele-Meister

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    WHAAATTT!!!!??
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hmmm, that looks suspiciously like a question?
     
  15. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    Like telemnemonics says it depends on the value of the instrument if it’s worth attempting, and if you comfortable doing it

    Even if value isn’t a concern I don’t know if it was my bass if I’d trust it with someone who doesn’t trust themselves to do the job

    I saw a les Paul with an exposed truss rod (still playable) from exactly what the op wants to do
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    It can be done if you are careful and know what you are doing (two very big if's). Make some templates of a neck that your bassist likes, take careful measurements of the width and depth at several places, remove the hardware, mask off everything that could be damaged and try to estimate where the truss rod(s) run thru t he neck (measure the adjuster relative to the top of the fretboard.

    When I make a neck I use a spoke shave, small planes, a rasp and a sanding drum in a drill motor. I consantly check my progress against my templates. When you are done carving sand to your final working smoothness and repair the finish. Piece of cake.

    I actually did this. I built a twelve string based on a historic guitar and when it was done I hated the neck. Since I had built it, I am careful and I know what I am doing I carved it to a more modern 12 string shape and I'm now very happy with it.

    Here is the neck before I started. The head is copied from the old guitar but I didn't like the way it fit into my thumb

    IMG_2001.JPG

    Started by changing the transition from the neck stick to the head

    IMG_0828.JPG

    Starting to carve the neck from a D shape to more of a C. You can see in this picture that I haven't removed any wood from the very center of the neck, I want to keep the depth the same but change the the shape. That protects the truss rod
    IMG_0829.JPG

    Contouring

    IMG_0830.JPG

    This guitar had been finished in a water born lacquer (I did the finish so I knew what I was dealing with). For this small area I simply brushed on a few coats of the same material. Ordinarily I would have sprayed it but I was too lazy go get out my gun

    IMG_0834.JPG

    Sanded and buffed, put it all back together. The diagonal line is because this is a scarfed headstock neck - that was not part of the mod.

    IMG_0838.JPG

    So, yes, you can do it, but I wouldn't.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I MUST echo what most of the replies have been. Just because you MAY be able to do it doesn't mean you SHOULD try to do it. Unless this bass is such a piece of junk that it's no great loss when you destroy it, there are players out there that would LOVE to have a neck like that. I've seen pics of Jack Bruce with one of his custom built basses, and it appeared to have a massive, upright bass-sized neck.Your friend can buy a really good used bass for $200 or less, with a skinny (sissy) neck if that's what he really wants. Remember what they say (well, at least I say) "Once you go fat.....you never go back" ;)
     
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  18. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    Heck, you can do it.
    Getcha onea these: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/iwasaki-file-200mm-flat-fine-cut?via=573621f469702d06760016cd,5764197769702d3baa0002e9
    Put on some early 1980 Roxy Music to keep ya calm, and start easing off the wood in light smooth strokes until ya get what feels good to ya.
    Blend it in around the transitions.
    Follow it up with 220, then 320, then a scraper , then burnish it, and then hand it back to the bass player and tell him/her to stay outta sight on the backline.
    If you open up the truss rod cavity, well, then, ya shoulda listened to all these guys above.
    But i bet ya won't.
     
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  19. aaronlowther1993

    aaronlowther1993 TDPRI Member

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    I just like to get multiple opinions before I undertake an endeavor. I've considered using the rasp and file method or just going the extremely slow but arguably more precise route of simply sanding. I just want to know what everyone else has done.
     
  20. aaronlowther1993

    aaronlowther1993 TDPRI Member

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    Let me be clear, this bass, brand new, cost me less than $200. It's not worth much after all the other modifications we've done over the years.
     
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