Laminated through neck LP DC build

SammyC

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Just a thought/desire at the moment!

This is my fourth build, first was a kit assemble, second was kit assemble and refinish with veneer/binding, and third was body from a blank but kit neck.

For this build in thinking of a laminated through neck build where I'm carving the neck profile etc as that feels like the next step.

The reason for through neck rather than bolt on is that I like my guitars to be a little different from each other and I already have three bolt on guitars! I'd also really like to try carving the neck joint bit for maximum access.

I have some plans I've drawn out to scale that I'll post up here for comment once I've worked out how! 😊

Interested in people's thoughts, advice, horror stories!
 

guitarbuilder

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On a neck through, if you don't get the neck angle correct, your action/playability suffers, and it's way harder to make any corrections. You may want to try a set neck first, which at least gives you the ability to make corrections before you glue the neck on and you still can carve it the way you want. That being said, it's your project. I have a neck through where the pickups are all the way up and still .25 from the bottom of the strings. So I'd suggest you get all the parts and do a thorough side view of the project at hand.
 

SammyC

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Yep, very good point!

I plan to do a lot of to scale drawings and know that I'd need the actual bridge before making any cuts.

For me a set neck is much more stressful as I'm not a woodworker! For some reason gluing stuff is much scarier than cutting stuff 😄 And yes I do realise there is probably a lot more glue involved in a laminate through neck build!

My thinking is that I should be able to turn a through neck into a set neck up to a certain point in the build. I.e. up to a point in the build you could convert the through neck into a set neck?
 

SammyC

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Current plan:

IMG_20220123_152714-01.jpeg
 

SammyC

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I should just say that I'm not completely happy with the shape of the body "horns", but basically lower (RHS) one joins the neck at the 22nd fret like a proper LP DC but the upper one would be slightly offset.

The back transition would be scalloped/carved to give no restriction to upper frets.

In terms of wood, thinking of a maple/walnut lamination for the through neck, shown above in the stripes.

Body wings I'm thinking of a walnut cap on a different (lighter) wood. Lighter both in terms of colour and weight.

Well, that's the plan today anyway.... 😄
 

Freeman Keller

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I'm going to echo what Marty said - when you build a thru neck guitar the geometry is established at the very first and you don't have a chance to change it as you are building. I highly recommend Melvyn Hiscock's book on building electric guitars, he builds a screw on, set neck and thru neck guitar and shows the subtle issues with the latter. If you haven't read my thread on geometry I highly recommend that also - I haven't built a thru neck guitar but everything I talk about pertains to what you will be doing.


You will want to have your bridge and any other hardware in your hands while you make the drawing of your guitar and take very careful measurements.

Good luck, have fun, post pictures
 

SammyC

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Thanks Freeman! Your thread was instrumental (pun intended) in the success of the previous build.

At the end of the day this is meant as a project, I have no deadlines or worries if it's a failure. It's all learning in the end 🙂
 

Freeman Keller

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Sammy, one of two things will happen. Either you will have some angle at the neck to body joint or the neck will stand proud of the body (or both). Both of those are pretty easy to deal with when your neck isn't permanently connected to the body, they get tricky with it is. Make sure you know exactly how much overstand and what the angle will be before you cut wood and remember that you will have a very long piece of wood with a notch or jog in the middle all the way thru your build. Hiscock shows it well.
 

tubedude

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Be sure to read all you can. Since it's a laminate, alternate your woods to reverse the grain direction. This will help counter and minimize movement in the wood.
There's several build threads on Talkbass.com worthy of reviewing. They address issues and how they dealt with them. Each year or so they have a build off, with ten or so people doing build threads for their submissions. Much good info to be had there. Good luck, keep us posted.
 

Freeman Keller

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For some reason you do see thru necks on bass guitars far more than standard electric guitars. Hiscock's is a bass. You can get some really nice effects with the various laminations being carried all the way thru the body. It will be fun to see what you come up with.
 

SammyC

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That's very nice there Reynman!

One think I'm thinking of doing, just to make things more complicated, is to have the middle section of the laminate wedge shaped so that the stripes follow the lines of the neck if you get what I mean.

That's what I've drawn in the picture above but it's whether I can actually do that in practice!
 

devrock

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Depending on the type of bridge will determine if you need a neck angle or not. Go with a Schaller or Hipshot bridge and you can keep it straight. If you go with a TOM, then I wish you luck. :D
 

SammyC

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Ok, I've ordered some wood for the neck laminate blank. Some maple and walnut with some black veneers for "accent" 😊

I've been looking for local maker spaces where I can do some of the more complex work and I think I've found one a couple of miles away. This is quite rare in the UK by the way.

They have a thicknesser, jointer, and band saw which is the main power tools I'll need initially. They also have a small CNC mill that I might use for the fretboard.

Ah man this is so exciting!
 

3fngrs

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Ok, I've ordered some wood for the neck laminate blank. Some maple and walnut with some black veneers for "accent" 😊

I've been looking for local maker spaces where I can do some of the more complex work and I think I've found one a couple of miles away. This is quite rare in the UK by the way.

They have a thicknesser, jointer, and band saw which is the main power tools I'll need initially. They also have a small CNC mill that I might use for the fretboard.

Ah man this is so exciting!
I'm going to be watching your progress. Your design is pretty sweet and I'm interested in seeing it happen. Good luck to you.
 

SammyC

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Thanks!

Technicals aside, I think the choice of woods for the wings and fretboard will either make our break this visually. Some combinations just get too busy so I think it needs to be a balance.

So many interesting/beautiful woods out there though! 😄
 

SammyC

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Ok, so went for a look around the maker space place, all looks great so I've started the joining process. You have to sign up to this place which is fine by me.

My plan now is to buy a rough cut plank of some hardwood and use that to build a prototype of the neck through blank. So practice all the things I don't know: planing the boards, cutting them to size, squaring them off, getting the thickness I want and then gluing it all up.

It'll also allow me to practice hand planing that I think I'll need to get the break angle into the blank. I can then use it for carving practice, and also tool sharpening practice!

I think I can get a reasonably sized sapele plank for about £20 to play with. Popular or ash is slightly cheaper but I've not seen those used in necks unlike the sapele.

Does that sound like a good plan?
 

SammyC

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I've been out and grabbed a chunk of wood to practice on, fairly large plank of ash! It measures 45x145x2300mm for the metric and approximately 2x6x90 inches (I think) for the imperials out there 😊

Plan is to use it for woodworking practice and build a neck through blank.
 

3fngrs

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Looking forward to some pics when you start putting the tools to the wood.


That may have sounded a little weird.
 




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