Neck jig build

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CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
edited May 9 in Making & Modding tFB Trader
I've wanted a neck jig for a while. This is the common one

Basic idea is to reproduce the neck's shape under string tension, with strings off, to enable better fret work. There's debate out there among those who love them and those who level frets in candle light with naught but a rusty spoon, but here we are. The SM one is too pricey right now with a drum sander build and other things, although I don't feel great about copying the idea.

I'm using ally extruded profile, there's a few types with their own system of fittings & widgets so you pick one and go with it. It'll be quite light and pack away to basically a stick shape that can be hung up out of the way.

So you need risers for the body, risers for the neck, and mounts for dial gauges. Also two things to act on the headstock but more of that later.

Took a while to figure out sizes and this 'n that and it's slow with a bandsaw and a drill doing it on the odd evening/spare time. Someone with a mill could shave hours off the time. Anyway here we go-

Neck risers; chunks of ally bar. Through-drilled out some tube pieces to 8mm ID. The OD is under a half inch, but by chance I have a drill bit that's undersized a hair or three, and putting the block in the oven and the riser tube in the freezer, the tube fits in if you're swift. Joy! I can use a drawbolt to pull it in as well, if it puts up a fight.



Lockdown haircut (test piece for heat/cold press fit)



Corvus (BillKat)
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    edited May 9 tFB Trader
    I wanted fairly hard caps for the neck riser rods, and couldn't find anything that looked right to buy, slightly annoyingly. So ended up making caps from acetal rod.
    Strange stuff - I wanted to very slightly dome the ends and had to do it in the drill press with angle grinder plus flap disc...
    Hollowed out it gives a nice push fit without slop.

    Quick & dirty device to get bits all about the same length.




    ^ caps and some alien caterpillars


    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Dial gauges. Found some smaller-sized inexpensive ones. I'm going for three DTIs and rods, where SM use two. I've seen one with five of each... So the gauges need to be on height-adjustable mounts sturdy enough not to deflect etc. Hence the conconction of ally bar plus sleeve nuts and a brass acorn nut, because shiney.
    The gauge is mounted with a bolt into tapped bar piece so it can move about that point, as well as the other swivel points.

    When I mock up a couple of guitars I'll know how long to chop the studding to.


    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Misc bits, the blocks are body riser mounts, they use swivel feet meant for furniture and the like. They can slide along the crossbars.
    The long bar is one of the cross-bars that mount the body. They can swivel about the main beam to suit Firebirds etc.

    Took a long old while to safe-edge all the blocks and cut pieces and clean up all the marks and whatnot. Found I had some small fibre discs lurking in a drawer that fit onto a drill backing/abor(?)/thing, they did it pretty well.


    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • JazzthatJazzthat Frets: 98
    edited May 9
    Yeah ,.that SM  jig is well overpriced for a production line product ! 
    Nice to see someone taking on that project ! 
    As for the swarf try to break it by plunging up and  down every 1 or 2mm ( depends on speed and feed ) .
    As for the clocks ,  I personally praise mitutoyo , but they quality and price cannot be justify in that jig for sure . 
    More likely any random clock would work ,as long as it isn't jamming itself going up and down
    Looking forward to see it built .

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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Cheers :). I did hold a swarf breaker stick to it after the trial and dip drill, but was still getting great ol' helicoptering bits off the not-quite-half-inch drill bit.
    I am lucky to have been given a pair of super nice Mitutoyo digi calipers but one of their dial gauges cost more than all of this together! The cheapies seem Ok for this, feel smooth etc.

    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • JazzthatJazzthat Frets: 98
    Yeah mitutoyo is great ,but it's meant for engineering really and more complex application where dimensions matter a lot .
    The price is well justified in those applications as well :) 
    But , even for more desired luthier cost of them them would be a bit overkill :) 

    Btw , that acetal can be a bitch to machine ;
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  • BigMonkaBigMonka Frets: 1649
    That’s a great project and some proper engineering involved!
    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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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 20359
    That’s some nice work there.  I can’t see the “buy it now” button though?.

    :+1:


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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Cheers chaps :)

    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    A couple of weeks late but it's getting there in odd spare hours.

    Got the riser tubes cross-drilled, they have shaft collars to nip the riser rods in position. I thought the cross-drilling might be pesky, but was easy - chuck up the tube, lower chuck, get the vice into place (it's on a plywood platform that screws to the drill table slots but can move around). Lock the vice. Tube in vice, make swarf.



    Riser blocks in the oven for 10 minutes, tubes in fridge. Get them together ASAP. Nearly perfect - still needed to use a drawbolt to get them all the way in, but got 'em done.


    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Built it up as it is so far and did trials with a few guitars to check what lengths to cut things like the riser rods -




    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Quick overview of it - there's a couple or three things to figure out yet, a headstock jack and nut pull-down, and a neatish loop or eyelet effort to hold body ratchet straps in line.
    And a hingeing mechanism which I can use on the workbench without needing a dirty great free-standing floor post or an expensive tilting vice. Looks alright inside my brain cell, but may look less good when made. It'll get there eventually.

    It's light enough to move about easily, and the cross beams can swivel to nearer inline with the main beam. So it can stash away fairly well.


    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 20359
    Nice engineering work.
    :+1:
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Cheers Tony, it's all smoke & mirrors really - just drill, bandsaw, angry grinder, cheap old thread tap set. Your basic 'chop stuff up and make holes in it' type thing.
    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • normula1normula1 Frets: 444
    Plus the skill to put the holes in the right place. My father in law was an engineer and I loved spending time with him in his home workshop watching him making things from lumps of metal. I recognise him in your work.
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Thanks mate, that's very nice, cheers.
    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • DanielsguitarsDanielsguitars Frets: 2321
    tFB Trader
    Looks great to me Bill
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
    (formerly customkits)
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  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 4572
    tFB Trader
    It does! Are you taking orders?;)
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  • DanielsguitarsDanielsguitars Frets: 2321
    tFB Trader
    It does! Are you taking orders?;)
    Yeah I'll get saving 
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
    (formerly customkits)
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    If you're seriously keen chaps, best fire us a PM.
    Corvus (BillKat)
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  • JazzthatJazzthat Frets: 98
    Corvus said:
    Quick overview of it - there's a couple or three things to figure out yet, a headstock jack and nut pull-down, and a neatish loop or eyelet effort to hold body ratchet straps in line.
    And a hingeing mechanism which I can use on the workbench without needing a dirty great free-standing floor post or an expensive tilting vice. Looks alright inside my brain cell, but may look less good when made. It'll get there eventually.

    It's light enough to move about easily, and the cross beams can swivel to nearer inline with the main beam. So it can stash away fairly well.


    And it turned out well made . Good job 
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  • CorvusCorvus Frets: 2004
    tFB Trader
    Thanks JH :)
    Corvus (BillKat)
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