I've been lurking on the forum for a few weeks now and finally made an account All the build threads here have been a big help while I've been researching. I thought I'd start a thread of my own so I've got a place to ask for help when I need it, and to kick it off, I wanted to ask how best to accurately align a prebuilt neck with a template... But first a bit of background. My name is Dave and I'm primarily a software engineer/educator. I've done a bit of woodworking. A couple small pieces of furniture, a workbench, miter saw stand, tongue & groove plywood before tiling a floor... and other little things. I'm very new to using a router though (more on that in a bit). This being my first guitar build, I decided to build the body and buy a premade neck. Fewer special tools needed, and I don't have a planer or jointer, but mostly I just wanted to stack the deck in my favor as much as I can. I bought one from Warmoth and I'm very happy with it so far. Looks nice, feels nice and smooth. Here's where I'm at so far. Printed out the Terry Downs template and stitched it together with packing tape: Glued it on some leftover hardboard. It's only 1/8 or maybe 3/16" thick though... I think I'd get some 1/4" if I do another one: Used a jigsaw to roughly cut out the template. I tried to get pretty close to the line and took it slow, since I knew I'd be hand-sanding the excess. All cut out. Then I sanded it with a block and a sandpaper-wrapped dowel for the inside corners, and went around the outside edge with some thin CA glue to strengthen it: A few days ago I drilled some starter holes where the cavities are... Then cut those out with the jigsaw and sanded them to the lines: I've read a bunch of times on here that it's best to create a working template from the master, and since my master is super thin, I definitely wanted to do this. Also, good router practice! So I drove a couple screws through the template into 1/2" MDF, cut it close to the line with the jigsaw (probably within 1/16" in most places) and went around it with the router. Here's the end result... Buuuut this happened: That upper-right horn wasn't screwed down, and I think it lifted up a little as I was routing past. The router caught the template, and so I left a gouge in both the master and the copy. (hey, at least the gouges matched) I had read a suggestion here about using CA glue + sawdust as a filler so I was able to do 2 or 3 layers of that in the master template, sanded it smooth, and it's good as new Phew. Couple lessons learned: - make sure the template is better-secured (maybe double-stick tape? or the trick I've heard about with CA glue + activator + two pieces of painter's tape) - make a router table and use that instead (I'm planning to do a simplified fenceless version of the one from this thread out of 1/2" MDF reinforced with a couple 2x4 rails) - use thicker hardboard next time. The little gap between the bearing and the cutter on my flush trim bit means that I have to raise the bit up enough that verrrry little of that bearing is riding on the template. My current dilemma is how best to align the neck pocket. When I put the neck in the right spot, and measure from the nut to the bridge mounting holes, it's 25 3/4" like StewMac's fret calculator said it should be. Good so far. I'm thinking I'll cut out the neck pocket area of the master template so that I'll have a surface for the heel line, and then I can transfer that heel line to the thicker MDF template (mainly for practice), and ultimately to the actual body blank. Then I'll use the technique I read about here where you clamp boards to both sides of the neck and use the neck itself to make the pocket template, making sure to line up the bottom of the neck with that line, centering the neck with the center line, and running a string down the middle so I don't mess up the angle. Does that seem reasonable?