One Piece Maple Tele Neck Build, (No CNC)

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johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
edited February 11 in Making & Modding
Hi Folks,

I am a newbie having joined the forum in 2016 but not posted anything yet, apart from "Introduce Yourself as busy on MLP Forum doing Gibsonish builds. I did manage sending a few of them to sleep posting my Fenderish stuff and did a "one piece neck" post on there a few years ago. Anyway the Tele neck bug has returned and need to re-learn how I did them as a tad rusty.

The maple neck blank has been cut to just over 1" thick to allow for fingerboard radius to be cut later and 1/4" headstock tuner drillings done, but left at not full depth as I need to use them to screw down to various jigs later on. First up is the "upside down" truss rod channel using a 1/4" radius cutter. This is cut to 5/8" at the heel end and 3/4" at the nut end.

https://i.imgur.com/rAGJ3Me.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ABW7q6V.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ulBQXKt.jpg


After the headstock face has been band sawed to just over 1/2" the 3/8" anchor drilling can be made at 3 degrees, using this jig. The 3/8" drilling goes to 3/8 or 9mm in front of the nut face where the anchor will sit as it is "heel adjust vintage", man....

https://i.imgur.com/jJ5X3UQ.jpg

The steel insert is changed for the 5mm one and the drilling is continued until it joins the truss rod channel, hopefully at the right place!

https://i.imgur.com/IJ6sZlZ.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/TBF083P.jpg

A bit of router shank burn ah hem but it has come out nicely into the channel. Same again now for the heel end, also a 3/8" to 1 1/8" deep drilling for the 1" long adjuster nut + washer, then 5mm drilling to connect to the channel.
https://i.imgur.com/5CcBs0Y.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/iQWolqj.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/BLeEMlQ.jpg

Now the headstock face and transition are drum sanded now all the drillings are done.

https://i.imgur.com/W410NTO.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/o05rk69.jpg


Now to make a truss rod, I have a bunch of 3/16 mild steel rods and some anchor's made from 3/8" steel rod that need 10-32NF threads cut. (The bar used to make the anchor is lying on top of the vice, enough left for a few more! Grin)

https://i.imgur.com/PQT7Ujt.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/0WFevJt.jpg

Peened over with a center punch and test fitted.

https://i.imgur.com/qtkMtGG.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/ov3ZJdW.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/va34GCI.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/N4aSpBI.jpg


I dont bother with shrink wrap tube any more as think it sucks Tone. If the rod is partially tight under tension it is locked into the curved recess and it ain't going to rattle! As a precaution against rust and any glue ingress I heat the rod and wipe a paraffin wax candle all over the rod, this should lube it a tad as well as help with moisture.

https://i.imgur.com/FKaeT5S.jpg

All in snug now, a gibbo type rod for comparison. (I used it to check the adjuster nut fitted, and pull it out!)

https://i.imgur.com/H5KteIf.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/n6PsqAH.jpg


Now I can glue in the walnut dowel to lock the anchor in place, this is 10mm dowel reduced to 9.5mm or 3/8.

https://i.imgur.com/JBDBIrl.jpg


I have some nice walnut 1/4" sheet and 10mm dowel from a hobby shop but fancy some "American Black Walnut" for the skunk stripe fillet. Luckily I have 1 last off cut left from a big board just long enough to bandsaw into 1/4 strips tomorrow.

https://i.imgur.com/grFoeMR.jpg


I also have a fair bit of hard "rock maple" and a board of Eastern Curly Maple  (Acer Rubrumn) on the bottom of the stack. This neck is a dry run then I want to build some Flame Maple necks as well. These will be "2 piece" however with rosewood finger boards and no skunk stripe.

https://i.imgur.com/5b4l8bt.jpg

I checked with Mike at CurlyMaple.Com to what species the Curly Maple boards were I had purchased for tops mainly. He confirmed it is eastern red maple acer rubrumn that is almost as hard as rock maple acer saccurum. Some Tone Wood vendors sell "flame maple neck blanks" that are Western Bigleaf Maple or Acer Macrophyllum that IMHO is too soft for necks, although violin makers use it by all accounts. Just my 10 cents....

I will post some more when I have the black walnut ready to glue in the skunk strip and a bit more progress made, fingers crossed.

Cheers, John


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Comments

  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    Sorry about the first attempt at posting folks! Photobucket nonsense, had to move over to "IMGUR" to get anything to work and a new learning curve... Got there in the end!
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 10936
    Nice work and very tidy job compared to my stuff! I wish I had your workspace.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 15025
    Thanks for sharing the detailed post.

    Looks like a lot of time invested in the jig too.
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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    Hooray John you've finally started to post some fender type build stuff up

    His jazz tele was absolutely fucking superb imo, one that I'd actually want, I did post a pic up ages ago  
    His other fender stuff he's done is great too

    I'll see you soon for a catch up
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • mikem8634mikem8634 Frets: 144
    edited February 12
    johnP_90 said:
    Hi Folks,


    ...





    I will post some more when I have the black walnut ready to glue in the skunk strip and a bit more progress made, fingers crossed.

    Cheers, John


    Wow great stuff there.

    Also, loving that Starcaster neck - I know they are anathema to some, but I just love the headstock shape - cool as can be.
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    edited February 15
    Thanks folks fer the interest, axisus, TTony,  Milkem and Darren at Custom Guitars (& kits) for kind word and recommending this Forum. I met Darren aka "valvetoneman" via My Les Paul Forum and ended buying a killer 15W Trinity Amp "Plexi" build, with power scaling. Have been indebted since as a lovely amp and even makes my playing sound kinda good, grin.

    Some progress with the neck and hope to get the finger board radiused tomorrow now the skunk stripe fillet is glued in, then some fret work fun. I made up some black walnut 1/4" strips on the band saw after marking of the curve from the router jig rails, then finished them to thickness with a sharp plane and sanded the inner radius smooth.

    https://i.imgur.com/hHXh9G9.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/CkmJQUX.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/GO3QbTT.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/krwy7dt.jpg

    Now planed flush and looking tidy.

    https://i.imgur.com/ZL7xQ0i.jpg

    The headstock transition curve has been sanded after the walnut plug was cut flush-ish then drum sanded to 3/16" behind the nut.
    https://i.imgur.com/PKsJPmU.jpg


    Heres "one I made earlier" or about 5 years ago to be precise, I built 2 identical Teles, one for my daughter, the  "Natzcaster" and this one for myself with BKP underwound "Bluenote" P-90's giving up some proper P-90 grunt n chime. I made a batch of 3 one piece necks in all shortly after building the jig a few years ago. I does strat type necks as well!

    https://i.imgur.com/frfkujh.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/j3h1ZnW.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/UxJcOCs.jpg

    Talking of jigs this one was a bit of a SOB to get right, it will get used tomorrow to radius the fingerboard with a router, only built to do a 7.25" to 9.80" compound taper. I love the vintage feel in the lower position and low action with no fret buzz or "noting out". The cone radius at the bridge is just shy of 12" to set the bridge saddles too, and goes 7.25 at the nut to 9.80" at the 21st fret, if that makes sense....

    https://i.imgur.com/FfwMA8O.jpg

    I will post some more when I radius the board hopefully tomorrow when I have the jig dialed in and set up right. I did another jig for 9.5" cylinder radius but have never used it as the compound taper is much better, and looks vintage correct 7.25 until you play it! Grin...


    Tah John
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    I am still getting used to imgur and this new forum so please excuse a couple of clunky posts as getting there slowly. I have not used these jigs for a couple of years so needed a bit of "dialing in" and double checking everything. I'm now happy everything is lining up properly on the radiusing jig, I only need to remove just over 1mm to get it to final thickness of 25.40mm or 1" in the old money.
    https://i.imgur.com/f5nGSaF.jpg

    There is a small drilling for an indexing pin that also acts as a screw hole to mount the heel end on the jig.
    https://i.imgur.com/tjbBsAU.jpg

    And another screw locates the headstock using the tuner drillings.
    https://i.imgur.com/03DXzN4.jpg

    Then the top is screw down on center line and each end checked for equal depth at each end, )the rear rotor bearing has an adjuster bolt to raise and lower the carrier to square).
    https://i.imgur.com/DWm3GBn.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/oloIBt5.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/WWmlhux.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/7yaxpWz.jpg

    The first pass is nearly done, half a turn on the turn buckle moves the carriage aprox. 1/16" or a couple of mm.
    https://i.imgur.com/Wncn738.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/NsHgxac.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/WLKn1lh.jpg

    This is the good bit, both ends are equal at 25.5mm.
    https://i.imgur.com/8XthDJ4.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/WzbFix4.jpg

    My new longer round nose cutter arrived today and had to be tested on the off- cut from the neck blank.The one I had used for this neck was a tad short to chuck in properly and wobbled a fraction widening the cut a fraction.
    https://i.imgur.com/elS4qvv.jpg
    The new channel is nice and clean and no burn from shaft.
    https://i.imgur.com/9F95VZ4.jpg

    I can now use my 1/4" walnut sheet that matches the dowel plug and fits perfect.
    https://i.imgur.com/6iJy3K8.jpg

    Sorry this is getting a bit picture heavy, but the "small things" matter, ah hem, grin (and tad obsessive) On with the neck build, next is the fret slotting jig that takes the Stew Mac Fender 25.5" and various 2 3/4" Gibson steel slotting templates, 25.5" for this one...
    https://i.imgur.com/4Pn6dsE.jpg

    This is the indexing pin that locates the neck heel end.
    https://i.imgur.com/ldWGn2G.jpg

    The head end is located on center with a modified screw to fit the 1/4" drillings, this locks it down to jig.
    https://i.imgur.com/qKb2XcB.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/w1fXq6Q.jpg

    All slots are cut now, the saw depth stop is set to just over the .062" fret tang height or the 2nd line on the little depth checker.
    https://i.imgur.com/3vnwSGy.jpg?1
    https://i.imgur.com/rTYY1wN.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/xhCHOZT.jpg

    This is the stew mac template from underneath...
    https://i.imgur.com/VkwajZo.jpg

    And the indexing pin..
    https://i.imgur.com/gxi0FvT.jpg

    I made this jig a few years ago to take the entire neck for doing one piece necks as my little stew mac mitre box jig only took fret boards and needed something bigger. Final shot of today's work, next up is the dot inlays, if I have not run out of black dowel rod, hmmm.
    https://i.imgur.com/JVS13Eg.jpg

    More soonish,

    John
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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    That's looking good John,  jazz club nice
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • BigMonkaBigMonka Frets: 1510
    @johnP_90 I love threads like this - it's brilliant to watch :-)
    Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman, in which case always be Batman.
    My boss told me "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"... now I'm sat in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    Thanks BigMonka & customkits, "jazz Club" it is, nice.....all going well and no drama's :# I've got the dot markers in, 1/4" with 3/32" side dots like on the old Black Guard necks, also 1" center to center on 12th fret dots. pre '52 they were 5/8" spacing but changed to 1" from 54 on apparently until early 60's when went back to 5/8", for a while!

    I like the 1" spacing as the  2nd and 5th strings cover the centers and just look tidier.
    https://i.imgur.com/Qqq1wQj.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/ceWJl1g.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/uxLK1ns.jpg

    All dots are in now, I found these "whip tips" fits the cyano tube nicely and allow just a small amount without flooding.
    https://i.imgur.com/IiflkaD.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/TJ6RFKs.jpg

    1" spacing on 12th dots.
    https://i.imgur.com/KkqzMwb.jpg

    Nut width is a tad over 42mm allowing for final sanding. (Vintage Tele's were 1.65" or 41.91mm at the nut according to Musikraft web site and later fender necks or modern ones 42.86mm).
    https://i.imgur.com/THB759t.jpg

    The heel is 55.75mm a tad over 55.56mm which is industry standard for Telecasters.
    https://i.imgur.com/4RNyBkp.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/YN7oakx.jpg

    The rock maple I am using was re-sawn from a 2" board back in 2011 and each billet stored indoors so is now positively "vintage" man, and well dried and stable. I still have a fair bit left but need to get some more pretty soon.
    https://i.imgur.com/xKD6RW8.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/jvDMnCK.jpg

    Next up is fret work, I will be using Jescar 6105 wire which is tall/skinny wire at .090" x .055" tall and my favorite fret wire as dresses to around .050" tall after fret leveling, jazz club nice.......

    Cheers, John
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  • These jigs are awesome, great looking work.
    Supplier of Gotoh, Schaller, Hipshot, Faber, Floyd Rose, TonePros, Graph Tech, Hosco luthier tools and many more.
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    edited February 19
    Thanks Neil fer the appreciation, the jigs became an obsession one winter after watching Bill Schelema's YouTube post "One Piece Neck Build" video including jigs: Took ages to build the jigs mind but had to be done as sick of heavy 2 way truss rods that steal woody tone imho.

    Anyway on with the neck, I am doing this in between things at the mo hence it doing in stages. The frets went in today so a few pics on how I go about prepping the wire and board before gluing and pressing. I use Titebond on maple boards as cyano has a nasty habit of wicking up the slot and staining/sealing the fingerboard looking a dogs dinner on staining and spraying. Also any over spill wipes of with a damp sponge cloth.

    To work properly thorough de-greasing of the wire is a must.
    https://i.imgur.com/K4hoTMe.jpg

    Tops of slots lightly beveled with a file. The finger board edges have also been sanded to break the hard edge a give a very narrow radius or "rolled edge". It cannot be more at this stage or the fret ends will not seat properly, when the edges are filed and beveled the "rolled edge" can be finished of as part of the beveling but very lightly or you will loose some fret width.....ah hem.
    https://i.imgur.com/H4ceoRm.jpg

    The titebond is mixed 1/3 with water to thin it out a little and a bead run into each slot with syringe.
    https://i.imgur.com/CrGZx9b.jpg

    Fret edges tapped down lightly...
    https://i.imgur.com/VvwlmFS.jpg

    And pressed in using a 7.25" caul (its a compound 7.25 - 9.80" radius)
    https://i.imgur.com/YM5XoUu.jpg

    Now doing 3 at a time..
    https://i.imgur.com/5ln1nDk.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/cx8cmUN.jpg

    Notice the small bead of glue squeeze out under the tang, not on the fingerboard. Before I change over to the 9.5" radius pressing caul I tap all the centers down that are slightly high at this point on then change to the 9.5" caul for the rest of them
    https://i.imgur.com/3WhP4Dn.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/NxxJhaN.jpg

    The final job is checking each fret in 3 positions and taping snug any high points with Henry the fretting hammer.
    https://i.imgur.com/eG0rpLr.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/rXKmV3g.jpg

    I have also tapped over the edges slightly prior to checking with the fret rocker, this seats the end of the fret firmly over the tiny radiused edge of the board. When the frets are beveled it will be to the top of this small edge curve, if that makes sense....
    https://i.imgur.com/GCgSK2f.jpg


    You can see the slight edge radius better in this picture,
    https://i.imgur.com/cx8cmUN.jpg


    I will bang on some more about it soon when I cut the fret ends and file the edge bevels. More in a few days.

    Cheers, John.

    PS On the subject of "rolled edge" on fenderish necks (and any decent neck with no abrupt edge) it has be be very subtle before the frets go in or loose some playing area on the fret, causing the E strings to "fall off" the edge. That or 8 pints usually does the trick! Ah hem......

    If anyone is interested here is a link to Bill Scheltema's jig and neck tutorial I borrowed/stole to build my jigs. Sorry for all the edits as posting this video link became a bit of a mare. The links to all his videos show up after the introduction ends. (I only wanted to post the soddin' Link!)









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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    edited February 22
    Thanks fer fixing that link Darren, it kept working, then not working, no good deed goes unpunished lol.

    I have had to take a couple of days out so only recently got around to finishing of Ze Fretwork, excuse a picture heavy post as my favourite bit of the neck build, and also the most time consuming. After cutting the wire flush I bevel the end by hand right up to the edge radius until brushing on the wood. (Yesterday evening)
    https://i.imgur.com/0AtU5tl.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/txXJHHh.jpg

    As it is sunny I am doing the fretwork on a handy tall surface in my kitchen, facing south where the light is better than my workshop lighting. First up is removing any burr's and rounding the fret ends, this can be done after fret leveling when the final rounding and polishing is done.
    https://i.imgur.com/iBhGudg.jpg

    This small triangle fret file has "safe" rounded edge so it doesnt mark the wood.
    https://i.imgur.com/qe5hiPz.jpg#

    Next the neck is "read" and truss rod tightened until the very small relief disappeared in the middle and dead flat.
    https://i.imgur.com/b3tsSZq.jpg

    Now onto the fret leveling, I use a dead straight aluminum beam that used to be my bandsaw fence with 3M gold self stick P-320 abrasive paper. This is used by sanding parallel with the neck edges i.e. following the string lines as this is a 7.25" to 9.80" compound or "cone" taper on the finger board. If it was a 9.5"  or 7.25" cylinder radius you would sand down the center line if that makes sense....(I used to do this after carving the neck but found it makes little odds and tends to go back into a small "up bow" when the neck is carved.)
    https://i.imgur.com/RPEiuHW.jpg

    At this stage it is mostly done but I am taping off the 12th fret area and leveling beam to remove a couple of thou' from the last  few upper frets creating a very small fall away.
    https://i.imgur.com/0qECG8J.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/oTvYWBl.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/4TS97TY.jpg

    Then fret crowning or rounding. I use just the 2 smaller triangle files as remove any shoulder from the flats better than the round diamond ones do, and quicker. I use the diamond one last just to finish of the radius.
    https://i.imgur.com/EWgbnSZ.jpg

    Medium file.
    https://i.imgur.com/3WprT5j.jpg

    Now the tiny one with very fine cut..
    https://i.imgur.com/h20SMQ6.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/zUbOCcK.jpg

    This has left just a very narrow line that I remove with the diamond file, then notched sanding sticks with P400 then P500 grit sanding belts to remove the file marks and finish of the crown radius.
    https://i.imgur.com/QOPUmpV.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/xMBouH2.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/kMYtGDP.jpg

    Just showing the filed notches on the sanding stick, these conform nicely to the inside radius and the top radius to sand the whole fret, not just the top. I then use 0000 fine wire wool to polish the tops and bevels then a bit of metal polish on the tops.
    https://i.imgur.com/LF2rbeF.jpg

    Notice the daylight is long gone.... hmmm, told yer it takes time lol. Tape is now removed and frets cleaned with lighter fluid to remove polish and metal residue that will melt into clear lacquer.
    https://i.imgur.com/e0vveHv.jpg

    Now to finish off the "rolled edge" by hand with a small sanding stick and p400 self stick paper.
    https://i.imgur.com/7KlqMll.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Ywt0PJY.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/wjk3f5n.jpg

    Nearly bed time now! The lighting not so good indoors now, I still need to dress a couple of fret ends that still feel a tad sharp on the hand but fret work mostly done now. The hard bit is after several coats of nitro lacquer sanding in between frets getting it all nice and smooth.... Rosewood boards are a walk in park in terms of man hours and work required, maple needs a lot of prep work. Next up is cutting the back taper and the neck carve which is always nice to do, seeing it become a neck at last....

    Cheers, John.




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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    really nice work, now I'm just gassing for a tele and it's all your fault
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • SeshSesh Frets: 867
    Stunning work. Thanks for sharing.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    edited February 24
    Thanks "Sesh" and customkits Darren. You started it mate! Grin... also got me into more gibbo stuff...... Talking of which, I have been a big fan of the '59 Roundback LP neck C profile over recent years, .860" 1st fret & .970"ish at 12th fret that I have been using on Tele's and Gibson scale necks to good effect. The last few necks have had a mild V carve added to the roundback to remove some shoulder and felt very nice while still remaining chunky monkeys. A bit like the Clapton V but chunkier.

    Anyway I decided it would be a good time to make a better carve template before starting on the neck carve, the Musikraft 57V .86-.96" looks very close to what I am after and suspect it's another classic Gibbo profile as they did a lot of  soft V carves in the day.
    https://i.imgur.com/gqPnH0V.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/rVmh0f9.jpg

    I copied these profile from a well known web site ah hem, and scaled them up by 186% on my printer and bang on scale now to make a template. I am using some 2mm scrap strip of Limba to glue the paper template too.
    https://i.imgur.com/7v1YM4R.jpg

    A nice fit now...
    https://i.imgur.com/xdE6tdd.jpg

    This is the build I did last summer where the scrap Limba wood came from, a modded SC version of my 336 build, the templates are close to the V carve I did by eye on this neck.
    https://i.imgur.com/4qdVQ5I.jpg

    The top, she got to have her 15 minutes..... grin
    https://i.imgur.com/5CLaLMb.jpg

    Here is her big Sister, the DC 336 I built the year before after talking ES-335 stuff with Darren at CustomKits, I couldn't afford the dosh for one of Ken McKay's lovely kits, and did carved top and back instead. It's all Darrens fault, honest!
    https://i.imgur.com/hFZ22yk.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Tl0NBxO.jpg

    This has more of a C carve with some shoulder removed.
    https://i.imgur.com/kic1P8m.jpg


    I forgot to add, this 57V profile is similar to some Black Guard Tele necks from the 50's
    https://i.imgur.com/I81FCX5.jpg

    Heres some bedtime reading material that got all this started.......
    https://i.imgur.com/AHt2RQw.jpg

    This is the plan for the CS-336 I got from "Gibsonish Designs" Jamie Urden that started these 2 builds of, I had to move the F holes a tad more center and pot holes but pretty close, and cheaper than the custom shop one ah hem....
    https://i.imgur.com/kuaF8KH.jpg

    Anyway it's a good time to get a proper neck profile template made and I can start on the carve tomorrow and try this V profile on the new Tele neck.

    The metric for the 57V is 22mm or tad under at 1st fret and 24.40mm at 12 fret. I usually shoot for a bit over to allow for final sanding and will go for 22.5mm and 25.00 just in case!

    Cheers, John

    (Just my 10cent on profiles btw)
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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    edited February 25
    Bloody scrap limba, the cheek of it lol, it was  carefully chosen and tapped on by angels and sounded good to me, after the pickup swapping that is

    Love all the limba builds i've done and yours so far with plenty more to come

    you'll be needing some bubinga for fretboards next, sounds great with limba imo, could all just be bollocks but good fun none the less
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    Thanks Darren, I could do with some more Limba as you mention it, if you fancy selling a bit for the Jnr build? Suspect its a lot lighter than braz ah hem n sounds better! Tapped on by angels lol....grin....

    The neck is about ready for carving now and eventually got the back taper cut after mucking around with more jigs. The tuner holes can now be drilled thro' with 1/4" drill and reamed to 11/32" for the vintage 6 in-line tuner ferules. (The steel drilling jig was used only when the first pilot holes were drilled btw but a useful bit of kit.)
    https://i.imgur.com/Tgh5WxF.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/6Frmxsv.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/wuxbxeX.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/BsFVahf.jpg

    The ferule hole can be drilled with an 11/32" drill bit but the reamer makes a cleaner cut., also easier to get to 8mm depth so there is still a 1/4" drilling in the headstock wood for the tuner shaft.
    https://i.imgur.com/Uf9GqU9.jpg

    I use this jig to hold the neck square and usually use an overhead router to cut the neck back profile depth but also works with a bit of care with the safety planer. (A 3mm drill bit is placed under the 1st fret on center line to jack it up for the taper from the  1st to the 14th fret. I need to loose 2.5mm under the 1st fret to bring it down to 23mm).
    https://i.imgur.com/krAAixd.jpg

    The heel transition is similar to a strat neck and marked up.
    https://i.imgur.com/CD7x8vl.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/OY4gx9i.jpg

    After safety planing..
    https://i.imgur.com/CmmNd4h.jpg

    It is now  .910" or 23mm at first, excuse the wood colored gloves in photo as it looks confusing.
    https://i.imgur.com/bBtqtWh.jpg

    And .984"  or 25mm at the 12th fret
    https://i.imgur.com/HGixHL4.jpg

    When carved the transition should look like this on the p-90 tele, my pencil curves are in fact the wrong way round as ends up concave facets, doh!
    https://i.imgur.com/OTnYbz2.jpg

    Its now ready for carving.
    https://i.imgur.com/Hbx2IZs.jpg

    I will do this tomorrow now as just put new strings on the p-90 tele and forgot how good she played...

    Cheers, John
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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    edited February 26
    johnP_90 said:
    Thanks Darren, I could do with some more Limba as you mention it, if you fancy selling a bit for the Jnr build? Suspect its a lot lighter than braz ah hem n sounds better! Tapped on by angels lol....grin....

    Let me get the workshop sorted out and you can come over and sort some wood out, just bought a big old jointer/planer as need to cut limba blocks up first and plane square etc
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    edited February 26
    Thank mate, that Limba is lovely stuff and a bit of a waste to chamber it on the SC build and best kept for solid body builds me thinks. Nice one with the thickness planer, I could well do with one! Jealous..... I have to cut some more maple boards tomorrow from the remaining board and definately the way to go.

    The neck is now carved this afternoon, sorry this is getting a bit picture heavy but these ain't a walk in the park and its all the little things that make a decent neck imho. I could do with a better camera mind.

    The 1st and 12th fret facets cut into the square, to depth using the radius gauge as a reference
    https://i.imgur.com/EVC0TNm.jpg

    Its doesn't show well in the flat light but the center is still uncarvered at this stage, then its on to the spoke shave and rasps to connect the 2 radius's if that makes sense.
    https://i.imgur.com/8kWIW5B.jpg

    I have used masking tape and heavy pencil lines to protect the 2 radiused areas and will use a long sanding block with P80 self stick to get the shaft down to full depth, and match the 2 curves/facets. When the tape is sanded off it is all level and straight.
    https://i.imgur.com/u46Anrz.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Jq2Ql4q.jpg

    Now pretty much there,
    https://i.imgur.com/0j9354Q.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Gg2v4id.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/77K2pr3.jpg

    These radius gauges are a tad wider than a tele neck by a hair but fit nicely on my gibbo necks that are 1mm or so wider at the nut, but they work for the main radius....
    Now the final depth check at 1st and 12th fret.
    https://i.imgur.com/Qp26zET.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/HHz268E.jpg

    I am happy with that but I was shooting for a tad thicker but as usual get a bit "carried away" or cab happy with the sanding block. As it happens I have ended up with the original 57V exact dimensions, or within a hair anyway, grin.
    Transitions tend to go a tad wonky if not careful,
    https://i.imgur.com/cxeMSfJ.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/8e0syZ4.jpg

    It still needs some final fine sanding and TLC here and there but now for a test fit in a mates Tele body I sprayed recently (in the depth of soddin' winter)
    https://i.imgur.com/imSV2jr.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/3ymgBvS.jpg

    The truss rod needs another thin washer to bring the nut flush with the heel face but its a good fit, when sprayed it will be pretty tight as adds a bit to the 55.65mm heel width of this neck (std is 55.55mm)

    The compound radius starts 7.25 at the nut and ends up at 9.80ish at 21st fret. The "cone" radius at the bridge ends up at 11.85" or so according to the maths bit, 12" to you and me so bridge saddles are set to 12" radius to complete the set up later.
    https://i.imgur.com/JID8Sw5.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/EAT6vCM.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/iEvZQAI.jpg

    Final check of the finger board relief. I have left the truss nut loose after fretting so this is now in natural relief as it where...
    https://i.imgur.com/pyuAnWD.jpg

    I have a tube light behind it but there is a tad of relief around the middle, a .004" feeler guage worth to be precise with the rod loose, so very happy with that. It will go in to up bow when strung up so the truss rod can have a bit of tension, always good for tone!

    Anyway I wanted to post the process as been a couple of years since I did a one piece neck and plan on doing a few more. I started making necks in desperation about 12 years ago as could not get any decent necks in UK apart from Mighty Mites back in the day. Fender ones from USA "stratosphere" (un reliable fender) were all wonky and needed fret work hence getting a few fretting tools. It then got a bit carried away ever since, grin....

    Cheers, John

    Edit: I should fess up, the Guitarbuild body was sprayed as a trade for some Mojo pickups for a new build. And returning some favors for Darren at CustomKits, while he gets his new workshop and proper spray booth set up completed. (Mine is a fridge at the moment ,as built in a large unheated shed at the bottom of my garden). This neck is going in another Tele of mine, as so impressed with the light weight swamp ash body from "Guitar Build" I now want one myself!


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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    Really nice work John as usual
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • Stunning work. I have a Tele build planned and will reference this thread many times while building the neck.
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26

    Thanks customkits and AustrianJohn, I am hoping to build a few more now, another flame maple neck for my Jazzmaster and a couple of private jobs now the jigs are all dialled in. The indoor pictures were a bit rubbish last night so here is a couple in daylight.
    https://i.imgur.com/OfjxTkH.jpg

    The carve goes from a pronounced V carve towards the nut and becomes pretty much "59 Roundback" C profile by the 12th fret.
    https://i.imgur.com/XByxD8k.jpg

    It is just a hair under 22mm at the 1st fret or .860" and very nice feel in the hand as dont feel as clubby, that and the low action from the compound radius should make it a bit "swift Nick" ah hem.
    https://i.imgur.com/lM5NQIY.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/13k7tfK.jpg

    Anyway enough posing for one day, the neck is out of harms way while I get on with some re-sawing of my 8 year old rock maple board, or whats left of it now.
    https://i.imgur.com/a9dCpD6.jpg

    This 1 3/8" thick Curly Maple board should give up 2 necks as well.
    https://i.imgur.com/7YYLDbj.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/sy4nVhi.jpg

    I also have these 2 billets already thicknessed a couple of years ago.
    https://i.imgur.com/lYkYHSO.jpg

    Safety-Planing the boards cut today to just over 2" thick to remove any warps and saw marks.  I can get 1 x 3/4" slab board neck and 1 x One Piece neck out of each one after band sawing and planing.
    https://i.imgur.com/hBpCq65.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/301DdDY.jpg

    Thats about it for now, I just need to make a bone nut for this neck and start saving up for a light weight swamp ash Guitar Build body. I have bought swamp ash from a Luthier supplier a few years ago that was as heavy as baseball bat ash and unusable. It is worth paying the money to know what weight your getting me thinks, but takes the fun out of building the whole thing, soddin' cheating sniff.....(lol)

    Thanks for watching folks, I may post some more stuff soon on other builds and stuff.

    Cheers, John
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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 751
    I used to think it was cheating John but I honestly don't think it's worth the hassle making vintage bolt on body's 

    Apart from I've got some 100yr old pine for a blackguard tele replica so have to make the body

    The necks are always hand made that's the important bit imo
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • BillKatBillKat Frets: 1093

    Very nice crisp work, nice jigs too.
    Possibly daft question - there's a little block against the saw in the slotting setup - is that doing a job? Blade steady or .. ?


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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 699
    I’m in awe of the skills. That 336 and SC are stunning builds. Great looking work.
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  • johnP_90johnP_90 Frets: 26
    Thanks Customkits, BillKat and Teyplayer for the kind words on the builds. BillKat, not a daft question as didn't explain it but the little perspex block on the fretting saw is a depth stop superglued in place when at the fret tang depth. It means that the fret slots follow the finger board radius and are curved, not sawn flat. There is little to no void or fresh air under the fret tang this way thats got to be good for tone

    I've heard tell "Pinecaster's" sound pretty good btw Darren, aged pine should chime a bit I recon. Its sounds pretty good on acoustic tops so why not?

    Cheers, John
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  • BillKatBillKat Frets: 1093
    Cheers John - I like that idea, I may steal it. I've a saw for initial shallow slotting and a little 'un with a depth guide screwed to it for doing a curved slot to depth, but doing it one go seems a nice plan.


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