Let's make a neck ( volume 2)

guitarbuilder

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This one will be kind of LP single cut like, which is my favorite kind of guitar to play. My first American made guitar was a Gibson LP Custom in the mid 1970's. I've had LPs and variants ever since. Thanks go to Leslie West, Paul Kossoff, Tom Sholz, Peter Frampton, and all the others 70's guitar players who were my favorites. I'm happy that I got to see the bands back then. There are too many to mention, as there were a lot of them.

I did an inventory of my wood stash a few days ago and decided that I should probably use up some of the mahogany I stashed away years ago before it ends up in a dumpster.
 
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guitarbuilder

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First off here's a drawing and rendering of a neck blank. I'm using a Genuine Mahogany one that is about 2.5" x 2.5" x 28":

mahogany blank.JPG
 
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guitarbuilder

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In my drawing program, I started out with some basic LP type measurements. I use the Stew Mac fret calculator for a 24. 562" scale length.


https://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator.html


Some initial key measurements are the nut width (.1875"), the distance to the 23rd fret (18.056"), and the distance to the 16th fret body joint (14.815 from the nut).

fret spacing.png
 

guitarbuilder

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I'll be doing a 14 degree peghead...no splice joint...and the end of the neck will be where the 23rd fret would be if there was one. Neck thickness including the fretboard at the nut end will be 7/8". The thickness at the 16th fret will be 1". I've found this to be just right for me.
The truss rod will be a single rod type 7/16" deep angled downward to keep it low in the neck.


neck drawing with dim.JPG
 

guitarbuilder

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I dug out a blank that I previously squared up. It's been a while so I gave a face and adjacent side a pass on my jointer. Then I ran the other two sides through my Delta thickness sander to square them up. The mahogany is very stable and I probably could have skipped this but what the heck. I like to buy 12/4 wood and orient the necks to a quartersawn or rift sawn position.


n1.jpg
 

guitarbuilder

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The edge sander is a nice machine to have and I use that to square up the peghead surface to the fretboard surface. I'll finish it off with a hard block and abrasive later. This is about 95% there off the sander. If money and space were available, I'd buy that nice Grizzly one that is longer that Charles Fox used to hawk in the catalog.

n5.jpg


n6.jpg


n7.jpg
 

guitarbuilder

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From this point I lay out the neck thickness, peghead thickness, and the 16th fret joint. The neck heel will be 5/8" in front of the 16th fret. I draw an arc tangent to the two lines. I happened to use a can of plastic wood to draw the curve. :). Plans I see call for a tighter curve in there, so some of that can get sanded out if I really wanted to.

n8.jpg
 
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tubedood

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Watching this with interest! I would really like to try a guitar build... especially a LP style!
Thank you for posting this.
 

guitarbuilder

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Watching this with interest! I would really like to try a guitar build... especially a LP style!
Thank you for posting this.


Thanks. You may want to try a bolt on first to get your feet wet. Just my opinion. I've seen guys with no experience make acoustic guitars with Spanish heels. It just depends on your woodworking ability I guess.



Excellent! Great timing as usual lol ... and we got some sun!!


Yeah....I figured today was my chance for a while in the shed, as the temps are in the high 30's.
 

guitarbuilder

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I found the center of the neck and marked a couple lines denoting the bit width. It's a bit hard to see in the pic as the stupid lights in the basement are not really high watters.

find the center.jpg
 

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I needed to raise up the nut end about 1/8" so that the slot would go deeper into the neck by the heel end. I had a hunk of guitar top nearby which is close. I stuck it down with the double sided carpet tape I use. I'm not a fan of the masking tape and superglue method in case you are wondering. It is stinky and not cost effective to me as I only use dollar store superglue in micro tubes.

I put some masking tape on that to ease the transition between table and tape.

block.jpg


tape.jpg


masking tape.jpg
 
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guitarbuilder

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Next I installed the 7/32 bit and needed the throat plate for this so the nut end didn't fall into the hole. That piece of masking tape keeps the poorly fitting plate in place during the rout. It would vibrate if not held down.

I lined up the fence so the bit lines up to the middle of the neck and clamped the fence in place. I adjusted the bit up about 1/8" on the first pass. A few passes later with an 1/8" each each pass, I end up with my slot.


router and bit.jpg


line up fence.jpg


slot after a few passes.jpg
 

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One truss rod slot in neck. I heartily recommend putting the slot in before you start removing neck wood. It eliminates having to build a special jig or set up. One caveat is to have a router table long enough to have the neck stay on it for the duration of the cut about 18" or so. That means a 36"-38" wide table would be great. The grizzly is less than that, so the nut end falls off and leaves a straight rout at the end of the neck. This isn't an issue because that all gets plugged up with a filler strip beyond the anchor anyway.


slot in neck.jpg



Here's a link to the table. It isn't the best router table ever made. It sags, the parts loosen from vibrations and the fence bolts need extra torqueing with a wrench to guarantee it won't move. Someday maybe I'll make my own again, but until then it sort of does the job. That Jess'em router plate is aftermarket. The original fell short of expectations. I just happened to not be using the Jess'em one.

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gr...MItrHPwunl5wIVjJ-zCh0n6AutEAQYASABEgLAYvD_BwE
 
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guitarbuilder

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Now that the truss rod slot is routed, my attention turns to the truss rod nut cavity. In the past I've replaced the straight bit in the router with a roundnose bit while leaving the fence in the same spot as it was for the slot. Then with an x-acto knife and chisel, I've cleaned up the washer surface. Xacto used to make a gouge which was sharp but easily snapped.

A steel washer fits against the back to take the pressure of the truss rod acorn nut that you see on most Gibson necks.

I have also made this type of truss rod cavity with chisels and a sharpened brass tube as a round cutter. Both work fine.


I traced a Gibson overlay on the neck blank to use as a reference. You want to leave wood for the bottom screw on the Gib style truss rod cover.


https://www.walthers.com/gouge-assortment-pkg-5




https://www.homedepot.com/p/Yonico-...VFpSzCh3LngCdEAQYAiABEgKFk_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds



https://www.acehardware.com/departm...VCZ2zCh06Hg8rEAQYAyABEgJXA_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

t1.jpg
 
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