Let's make a neck ( volume 3)

guitarbuilder

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This neck involves a pre -fabricated fretboard, a neck blank, and a double action truss rod. I was looking through my parts and found a body that I made years ago for a pair of Peavey Ferrite pickups and I guess a Peavey neck I had. I think I sold the neck off and the pickups are around here in a box. It's been a number of years.

Anyway, I pulled the body out. It is Black Willow, which is lightweight. I was pleasantly surprised to find that a pair of normal humbuckers fits right in the routs like they were routed for them. The body was made in the Cabronita style and no bridge was located. Only a switch hole and volume pot hole were drilled on the top, and a control cavity on the back.

So this body I have needs a neck. I need a short project for a month or so. I thought I'd make a walnut neck to go with a walnut fretboard I have, with a Stewmac Hotrod installed. I also had been thinking that my neck threads don't have a prefabricated fretboard as the main feature so that is the goal of this thread.
 

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You can buy fretboards already processed. These are a few that were close by. A PRS ebay purchase, A New Old stock Gibson LP Special fretboard already bound and fretted, A PineMart Maple CNC fretboard, a PIneMart Cnc Walnut Fretboard, and last at the bottom, a stewmac slotted and radiued rosewood fretboard. Getting a slotted and radiused fretboard is a good idea if you don't have the set up to make your own. There are other outlets for fretboards too. Allparts sells some in the Fender scale length. Allen Guitars and LMii will process a fretboard for you. This eliminates the fret layout and slotting, as well as perhaps tapering, and fretting, depending on what you buy. That PRS-ish one is just inlayed and slotted. It will need to be radiused. The other fretboards are all 12" radius.

fretboard selection.jpg


allparts.png



LMII fretboardsSearch (lmii.com)
 

guitarbuilder

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To get started on this neck I found a nice albeit narrow quartersawn walnut blank I had. I thought this would be a good project for it. I checked it for square and it was still in nice shape from the vendor I bought it from. This blank was about 7/8" thick. I decided to joint one surface and one edge to freshen the surfaces up. The grain was in both directions, so I took my best shot and hoped for minimal tear out.


joint face.jpg



joint edge.jpg
 

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I went out to the shed to use the Grizzly router table. The two fence knobs are hard to tighten by hand. I
usually use a pair of pliers to tighten them but made a wrench yesterday on the X carve to make it easier and more user friendly. I was surprised that I got it the right size the first time.



wrench.jpg
 

guitarbuilder

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I needed to find out where the centerline was from the edge of the board so I procured my Ed Hawley drawing and made a dimensioned copy of the peghead. The centerline is a bit more than 1.5inches from the left edge of the blank. I found the location for the centerline of the truss rod and marked it on the board.

I installed a 7/32" straight bit into the collet. I used a plastic triangle to transfer some marks from the bit to the fence. Next I moved the fence over until the edges lined up with the marks. I clamped the fence down with my new wrench and got ready to rout. I adjusted the bit so about 1/8" was sticking up.


hawley peghead only.JPG


bit lines.jpg



bit marks.jpg



router table 1.jpg
 
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guitarbuilder

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Then it is just a matter of taking a light pass to about 1/8" deep starting at the line I drew for the plunge into the bit. A couple repeated passes gets the slot the correct depth and the rod fits in. I'll have to drill for the nut in the end of the blank.


start line for plunge.jpg



.125 deep pass.jpg



simulated pass over bit.jpg



slot fits.jpg
 

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Nice choice of material Marty :)

Walnut makes a first-class neck

I recently did an all walnut neck out of air-dried walnut -very nice wood to work with, and very stiff and stable - plus it's one of our prettier-looking domestic hardwoods - a good choice from the point of sustainability too :)


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guitarbuilder

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Nice choice of material Marty :)

Walnut makes a first-class neck

I recently did an all walnut neck out of air-dried walnut -very nice wood to work with, and very stiff and stable - plus it's one of our prettier-looking domestic hardwoods - a good choice from the point of sustainability too :)


.


Thanks. We seem to have a lot of walnut around here. This particular batch comes from the Ozarks. The guy milling the lumber has a lot of nice stuff and you can see what you are buying. I was buying neck worthy stuff, but one of the Parlor guitars I made a few years back was from one of the boards that I resawed. My Mechanix Illustrated guitar is a walnut neck through and it rings so brightly unplugged compared to other guitars.
 

crazydave911

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Thanks. We seem to have a lot of walnut around here. This particular batch comes from the Ozarks. The guy milling the lumber has a lot of nice stuff and you can see what you are buying. I was buying neck worthy stuff, but one of the Parlor guitars I made a few years back was from one of the boards that I resawed. My Mechanix Illustrated guitar is a walnut neck through and it rings so brightly unplugged compared to other guitars.
There IS a reason I used to build neck throughs lol
 

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Order of operations. It makes sense for efficiency and less ruined parts to think about the process and complete certain tasks first. If this neck were going to be manufactured, the wood would be squared up and any operations that required a reference edge would be done first. This is why I squared up a face and edge and milled the truss rod slot as my initial operation. The fretboard is made except for slotting and gluing in the dots. The next step is find out where the peghead is in relation to the fretboard.

First I had to drill for the adjustment rod nut with a 1/4" bit into a 7/32" slot. The rod not fits in there.


drill hole for adjustment nut.jpg


rod nut fits.jpg
 

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I drilled 5 strategically placed holes with the brad drill bit. Then I waxed some brads and tapped them down.


tap brad in.jpg



The brads keep the fretboard from shifting. They are removed after the gluing process of the fretboard to the neck wood.



5 waxed brads in slots.jpg
 

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I trimmed down the peghead printout and used a glue stick to place it on the centerline. I cut out 3 diamonds to see the centerline under the printout.

Now we're ready to taper and or peghead thickness. Each of those steps are independent of each other. I've found it better to do it to a rectangular piece of wood early on instead of later.

peghead pattern glued on with glue stick to centerline and nut.jpg



ready for tapering and peghead thicknessing.jpg
 

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Checking things out, I realized that my centerline wasn't in the center of the nut, it was in the center of the peghead bounding box I drew. I removed the first printout and replaced it with one with centerline in the correct spot. Now we can move forward.


revised centerline on peghead.jpg
 




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