Neck Rebuild

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
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Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Neck Rebuild

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

One of my customers brought in a 1980's Aria Pro that had a worn out fret board and a broken truss rod.
He is somewhat of a collector of these guitars, and desperately wanted to repair the neck.

After removing the fret board and cleaning the surface, I removed the old truss rod.
This thing was 15/32 wide and 23/64 deep, and had rounded corners on the bottom.
Old Truss Rod.jpg
I had to rout the channel so it had square corners on the bottom, to be able to fit a solid piece of maple into it, to fill it.
I took a few notes from Barry Daniels post where he designed a jig to rout a new truss rod channel, and rout for carbon fiber rods.
I made up this jig that utilizes my Veritas tool guide.
Here is a shot of the bottom where the neck gets clamped.
Neck Routing Jib Bottom.jpg
Here is a shot of the top with the tool guide and home made router base.
Neck Routing Jig Top 1.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Here is the neck after routing.
Neck After Routing.jpg
And here it is with the new channel filled. Just a bit of sanding to level it.
Then it's on to routing the new narrower (1/4 inch) truss rod channel.
Channel Filled.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Brian Evans
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Brian Evans »

Nice jig creation, I cut all my truss rod slots on the table saw, which obviously would also need significant jig work. I need to embrace the router more, but they scare the heck out of me.

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Brian,

Once you have a proper jig and a way to really control the router, such as this guide, routers are not so scary.

I like this jig as it allows me to work on necks that are already built.
On a neck that is under construction, it has been easier to use a router table.
Now that I have this jig, I can use it for either; and it makes it easy to rout for carbon fiber rods also.

I built the removable stand tall enough that I can put an acoustic neck into the jig, and long enough to do a bass neck.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Bill Raymond
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:37 pm
Location: Red Bluff California

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Bill Raymond »

I need to embrace the router more, but they scare the heck out of me.
And tablesaws don't?

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I believe I mentioned above that "I took a few notes" from Barry Daniels.

Actually this jig is based directly off of Barry's design, and I need to acknowledge him for that.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

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Steve Sawyer
Posts: 891
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Brian Evans wrote:Nice jig creation, I cut all my truss rod slots on the table saw, which obviously would also need significant jig work. I need to embrace the router more, but they scare the heck out of me.
Let me echo Gordon's comment. A gude for the router as pictured is a huge game-changer. I discovered guided routing a few years ago, and I was amazed at the confidence it lends to the operator and the quality of the results.

Gordon - whose guide system are you using there? That looks really nice!!
==Steve==

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

That is the Veritas Edge Guide system sold by Lee Valley.

It has distance stops that are easily adjustable also. It clamps to the edge of the surface plywood.

I made the router base from a small piece of lexan, but you could use plywood if you wanted.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Barry Daniels
Posts: 2434
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Barry Daniels »

If I was to build this jig again, I would add an edge guide with an added axis of adjustment.

https://www.rockler.com/rockler-perfect-fit-dado-jig
MIMF Staff

John Scime
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:04 pm
Location: Mississippi Mills, Ontario

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by John Scime »

I have a bunch of parlor restoration projects on the go, and I've been avoiding this step due to my overly 'healthy' respect for the router. So I really appreciate the photos for this jig design.

My question for all using such a jig, is what tips or instruction can you give with respect to siting or placing the neck in the jig? Are you simply marking the slot location on the fretboard and then visually lining it up in the jig? Or is there some other trick?

Many thanks.

John Scime
Ottawa, Canada

Barry Daniels
Posts: 2434
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Barry Daniels »

Good questions John. Turning a non-plunge router on and trying to set it down in the jig is difficult and prone to uncontrolled cuts. My setup deals with these problems by using a plunge router and stops at the end of the cut. I prefer to never have the router cutting wood without the positive control of a fence, template or stop.
MIMF Staff

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Yes John, the neck is clamped underneath with the required slot marked.
I then simply center the bit on the mark, and set the end stops.
In my jig the bottom base can be removed, so the jig could theoretically be used on an acoustic guitar with the neck still attached.
I say theoretically because I have not tried it that way yet.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

John Scime
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:04 pm
Location: Mississippi Mills, Ontario

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by John Scime »

Thank you both for answering. I'm getting closer to being read (after sitting on the fence for a lot of years!). js

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Rebuild

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I started this post quite some time ago, and I thought I should finish it off with a couple of pictures of the finished product.

Here is the new fretboard. Chechen.
New Fretboard OIled Small.jpg
Here is the finished guitar.
Finished Guitar Small.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

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