Neck-Thru Build Pics

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Gordon Bellerose
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Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Neck-Thru Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I am just starting a neck - thru build, and I would like to take pictures all the way through, and post them in this thread.
I have just started in the first pic. I have cut all my pieces and glued them together.

The strips are all cut from flatsawn wood, and turned so that the entire neck will be quartersawn.
All the pieces are cut to 1 13/16, to give me some room for planing and sanding down to 1 3/4 inch.

The center strip in Hard Maple, 5/8 thick.
The thin strips on either side of that are Padauk, 1/4 inch thick.
The outside strips are Flamed Maple, cut a bit thick so that I can plane and sand to the final width of 2 3/16, at the neck body joint area.

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I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Alexander Higgins
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Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Alexander Higgins »

Gordon
I'm gonna watch this like a hawk as my neck thru tutorial. Is this a guitar or bass? Standard titebond yellow glue? Any pins or tacks in place to keep laminates from shifting during glue up?

Gordon Bellerose
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Alexander Higgins wrote:Gordon
I'm gonna watch this like a hawk as my neck thru tutorial. Is this a guitar or bass? Standard titebond yellow glue? Any pins or tacks in place to keep laminates from shifting during glue up?
This is a 6 string guitar. I used Titebond regular glue, and no pins or nails to hold it. You may notice that I have the ends clamped vertically also. This helps things from shifting.
I have also used a plywood straight edge down one side to keep things straight.

If anyone else would like to chip in with instructions; please do. Never too late to learn a new trick or two. :)
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Here's a shot of my body wings. I have left the bottom layers square to make it easier to clamp to the neck during the gluing process.
I cut the zebrawood top, and the thin layer of maple under it separately. I did it this way because the thicker walnut/ash bottom layers have been chambered to reduce the body weight. Sorry, no pic.

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They are glued up using a layer of ash at the back of the guitar, then a layer of walnut, followed by a thin layer of white maple, and finally a layer of zebrawood.

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I have already shaped the area around the neck end of the body to make shaping easier later. I don't want to do any more sawing near the neck than necessary.

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I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Alexander Higgins
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 pm

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Alexander Higgins »

That's really smart leaving the bottom layer square for glue up. My body wings will be solid hard maple, so I figured on using the cutoffs for clamping cauls, maybe a couple of dowels to register it to the neck. I'm realizing I'll have to buy more clamps.

David King
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Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by David King »

Surely you mean the back is alder, not ash? How are you thicknessing the zebrawood and everything else? It all looks really good

Gordon Bellerose
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Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

David King wrote:Surely you mean the back is alder, not ash? How are you thicknessing the zebrawood and everything else? It all looks really good
It was sold to me by a supplier from B.C. It is a locally (to BC) grown ash.
When it arrived, I asked the same questions.
Very straight grain, not a lot of difference in the colors. Maybe slightly softer than eastern ash. Almost like alder! :?:

First, I cut the boards to close to thickness using my table saw, or band saw.
I have a 13 inch Delta power planer, and an 18 inch Delta thickness sander.
I generally use the plane until the last little bit and switch over to the sander.
You really have to watch the planer once you get under a 1/4 inch.

Regarding all the layers, there is a method to my madness which will become apparent later.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Alexander Higgins
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 pm

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Alexander Higgins »

Does the neck taper carry right through the body, or are the two wing straight faces parallel? I'm scratching my head on how to build this on mine. The fingerboard ends only about 1/2" into the body, but that creates a short transitional area where the neck is straight but the fingerboard is still tapering out to the last fret. I'd rather not continue the neck taper through as dealing with straight lines as long as possible seems a lot easier. The actual amount of taper over that distance is probably tiny, should I just let the last bit of fingerboard edges go parallel?

Gordon Bellerose
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Alexander Higgins wrote:Does the neck taper carry right through the body, or are the two wing straight faces parallel? I'm scratching my head on how to build this on mine. The fingerboard ends only about 1/2" into the body, but that creates a short transitional area where the neck is straight but the fingerboard is still tapering out to the last fret. I'd rather not continue the neck taper through as dealing with straight lines as long as possible seems a lot easier. The actual amount of taper over that distance is probably tiny, should I just let the last bit of fingerboard edges go parallel?
I leave the neck straight, as wide as the widest part of the fret board, glue the wings to it, and cut the fret board to shape. I have a neck template that I will use for that.
Then I use the fret board as a cutting/shaping guide.
Usually with an electric guitar, the wings will connect at different places along the length of the neck, so using the fret board as a guide works well.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Art Davila
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Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Art Davila »

Alexander Higgins wrote:Does the neck taper carry right through the body, or are the two wing straight faces parallel? I'm scratching my head on how to build this on mine. The fingerboard ends only about 1/2" into the body, but that creates a short transitional area where the neck is straight but the fingerboard is still tapering out to the last fret. I'd rather not continue the neck taper through as dealing with straight lines as long as possible seems a lot easier. The actual amount of taper over that distance is probably tiny, should I just let the last bit of fingerboard edges go parallel?
I have bought 2 thru necks one from Carvin and on from another a builder from ebay both were perfectly square from the about 19th fret down
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Gordon Bellerose
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Art Davila wrote:
Alexander Higgins wrote:Does the neck taper carry right through the body, or are the two wing straight faces parallel? I'm scratching my head on how to build this on mine. The fingerboard ends only about 1/2" into the body, but that creates a short transitional area where the neck is straight but the fingerboard is still tapering out to the last fret. I'd rather not continue the neck taper through as dealing with straight lines as long as possible seems a lot easier. The actual amount of taper over that distance is probably tiny, should I just let the last bit of fingerboard edges go parallel?
I have bought 2 thru necks one from Carvin and on from another a builder from ebay both were perfectly square from the about 19th fret down
Were the fret boards also square from that point, back to the base?
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I should mention that this build may happen fairly slowly.
I work full time, and do guitar repairs part time. I am also in the binding and finishing stage with 4 other electrics.
AND I still have 2 necks to finish shaping for those guitars.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Art Davila
Posts: 292
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Location: Chicago, Il U.S.A.

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Art Davila »

No the necks both were tapered up to the nut, the reason carvin gave for leaving the squareness up to the 19 fret was to have a flat surface to glue up the wings to. If you making an sg style then you don't need the blockyness so you finish shaping the neck but if they shaped it all the way to the 24th fret then you would not have anything to glue up to if you were doing an lp type body.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Alexander Higgins
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 pm

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Alexander Higgins »

Gordon,
Slow is good with me, hell I've just been talking about my neck-thru project, assembling parts, etc. for months. This stuff is expensive! Trying to spread the cost over time to make this little hobby of mine affordable. I'm lucky if i get 2-3 hours a week of shop time, so I figure mine will be a two year build. You keep building, I'll keep watching.

Gordon Bellerose
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I finally got a bit of time to continue the neck-through build.
I've got the neck blank all squared up and ready to cut the headstock angle.

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Here it is in my angle cutting jig. I'm cutting this at 8 degrees. The face of the headstock is long enough to cut my shape out of.

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And with the angle cut. After this, I will rout the truss rod channel.

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I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I have 2 other bodies with the finish curing, so I found a bit more time to work on the neck-thru.

In this picture, I have my 1/4 inch bit in the router table, with a 1/8 cutting depth, to start.
I have marked a center line for the neck on the end of the blank, and set my guide fence at the appropriate distance.
Not shown in the pictures are the indexing marks I have made on the neck. I mark both ends of the rod, and make marks around the sides of the blank so I know exactly where to start and stop the rout. I then ease the neck down onto the bit at the right spot and start routing.

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This picture shows the indexing marks on the fence so I know where the bit starts and ends.
This picture also shows the round bit I use just for the truss rod adjustment pocket.

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And here is a close up of the end pocket.

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I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I'm still waiting on the other bodies' finish to cure, so I'm working on the neck thru.
Today I made my fretboard template, and marked the neck for cutting.

I cut the template close to the lines, and then I use a straight piece of plywood as a guide for the router bit, to straighten the edge of the fretboard template.

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Then I double stick the template to the neck, and mark out the edges. Make sure your centerlines are dead on.
I will cut this out after I cut the back of the neck close to shape.
I like to cut the back, while the neck is still flat and square.

Image

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This picture shows the marking lines for cutting the back.

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I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I forgot to mention that before I marked out the neck back profile, I put the body sides against the neck and marked where they will join the neck. I do not want to cut into that area. Once I get the neck close, I will attach both the neck and body templates, with the body template cut to fit with the neck template as one unit.
Then I can use a router bit with a guide bearing to finish the shaping in that area.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Got out into the shop this evening for an hour, and started to shape the neck.
First I cut the back out, and then cut the fretboard area close to shape.
Cut outside the lines, and then rout to shape using a template.

Image

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

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Hans Bezemer
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Re: Neck-Thu Build Pics

Post by Hans Bezemer »

Nice work Gordon!
Will you use a natural finish on this neck?

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