First time neck build, using cherry

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tacomamc, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm building a telecaster from scratch using some old pine and mahogany, but decided I needed to get my head wrapped around building the neck. I have a single piece of cherry that measures 1 5/8" x 2 5/8" x 61" long. You can see the end grain below. I'm thinking I should cut the piece I have in two and laminate them with the grain oriented so it's quartersawn. Im really a novice, but think this would mean that the boards would be oriented so that end grain of the boards would face each other. So if the end grain looks like the letter "C", then the two "C's" would face each other. Is this correct? I'd like as minimal finish as possible, but don't know how well cherry would hold up as a fingerboard. I plan to use tightbond II glue.

    Am I correct about orienting the boards?

    Tightbond II is strong enough?

    Will cherry work well as a fingerboard, or should I cap it with something (maple)?

    I'm also thinking about cutting the channel for the truss rod on my table saw before glueing the two halves together. I have a router, but no router table. Is this a foolish idea? Also planning to use a two way truss rod with the flywheel adjust at the neck heel end.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. mikeyb

    mikeyb Tele-Meister

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    Personally, I would never make my own neck but I admire your courage.

    My only suggestion is to build several out of disposable wood before I would commit a prized piece to the effort. That way you could make all your mistakes, make patterns and jigs and perfect the procedure in advance.

    I know that I made several chipped out/torn out, Bondo filled bodies before producing any treasures.
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I made a cherry check years decades ago and I can't recall whether it was quartersawn or not, but it came out pretty nice. It was like my 3rd or 4th neck. I like the dimensional stability of quartersawn lumber but it isn't a requirement. I probably wouldn't cut it and reglue, but just resaw the neck part off of the chunk. I'd use a separate fretboard of some harder wood, especially if this is your first neck. Cherry could work OK as a fretboard but I have no experience with it so I can't comment on the pluses or minuses of it.

    I'd just prep the wood in advance and let it move if it is going to move. If you are using a double rod, you probably can cut a 1/4 in channel on the table saw easy enough. You may want to stop short of the peghead area and chisel out the end as opposed to having the rout show.

    I would suggest you spend some time reading different build threads. There are plenty of ways to make a neck with different techniques. I don't personally subscribe to using a neck template, but I prefer a more cut and sand approach. The straight edges of a tapered fretboard can be the guide for a pattern bit. The peg head can be cut sanded and drilled easy enough. The hole drilling on a drill press against a fence is easy enough to do. A spindle sander handles most of the curves.

    Maybe this will help out.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/neck-carving-by-drawing-and-creating-facets-on-the-wood.317748/

    An alternative non- mainstream approach:

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/pine-o-rama-telecaster-former-challenge-build.567364/
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  4. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the cherry neck I made for my first multi scale instrument. It was just flatsawn and has been rock solid stable for 5 years. I would just go with what you have and not worry about ripping and re-gluing. Cherry makes awesome necks, and bodies, and dining tables, and pretty much anything else :)
     
  5. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Good input, thank you all. I guess I'll not laminate it, and consider a maple fretboard. I've read through a handful of build threads over the last couple years, and I think I can do this. I thought the width of a neck blank had to be 3 1/2" wide to make it in one piece, my stock is only 2 5/8". Maybe I'll need to add "wings" to the headstock to get the appropriate width for a telecaster headstock shape.
     
  6. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Guitarbuilder, you said you'd "prep the wood in advance and let it move if it's going to move"... what do you mean by prep the wood in advance? Acclimate it, maybe? I got it from a friend a year and a half ago and it's been in my basement/ garage workshop since. That's where all the cutting and wood work will be done.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I am going to process the wood from a larger chunk, I don't make it exactly the final size. I make it a bit oversize and let it sit a day or two so that any internal stresses can be relieved. It isn't a great feeling to process it to final dimensions and then having it warp the next day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
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  8. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Ahh, I see, thank you. I will do as you recommend.
     
  9. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Did you use a separate fretboard?
     
  10. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, maple bound with indian rosewood.
     
  11. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Do you have a picture you could post? Also, what'd you finish it with?
     
  12. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Use original Titebond . What is your moisture content ?
     
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  13. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't know what the moisture content is. How can I measure it?
     
  14. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    I have the tightbond 2, should I get/ use the original instead?
     
  15. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG] challenge builds are a good resource.
    I think you have enough cherry for two necks and the wings for the headstocks. find the pdf neck template and print out a 100% version at kinkos.
    make a mdf template and use a router table with a templating bit after you cut out your shape with a band saw. a good jig will help with the radius for the fret board. your most important tool will be a flat surface. did i say read the challenge builds?

    form a plan of attack and follow the steps.

    necks are the most important factor in producing a quality string path.

    I've built around 20 necks or so, and riuned maybe 2-3 because of one thing or another. I made a lefty by mistake once. it was real easy to make that mistake.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  16. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    You may be able to find a Rockler or Woodcraft nearby . If so , they may be able to check it with a meter as far as moisture content . If not , a local cabinet shop of any quality will likely have a meter . Ask nicely and tell them the what and why and they help you out . The ideal is 6% , but up to 8-9% is acceptable . Titebond 2 & 3 both dry somewhat flexible . Original Titebond is preferred . Cherry is rather closed pore and should provide you with a very silky neck . If you do laminate , do so with the grain opposing for strength and stability . If not orient the wood as shown in your first photo .
     
  17. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    A left handed neck is never a mistake . You simply built the rest of the guitar backwards .
     
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  18. Clinchriver

    Clinchriver Tele-Meister

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    Original Titebond or Titebond Extend, being in PA you should be able to come up with a really nice quarter sawn piece of Cherry
     
  19. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, my father in law has a whole bunch of Black Walnut that came down two years ago. I'm not sure how many years I need to let that dry, but I intend to get some and get it in my workshop to start drying.
     
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  20. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    I've decided to follow the recommendation to take the print out and make an mdf template. I've got some mdf, and hope to be making more than just one guitar (long term) so it'll be handy to have. Hoping to get the neck and body plans printed tomorrow.
     
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