Hey everybody, this is my first post here, and I was hoping that the community might have some answers to a few questions as I get into building my first (mostly) scratch electric. As far as the neck goes, It's the only thing I'm not designing myself, however I WILL be using a mahogany blank and designing the body myself. I've read though, that necks can be complicated to make yourself and most beginner guides I've read have all said to buy a premade neck. After some research I found that USACG looks like the best place to get a good one. Putting together an order form, I decided on the US-4 design for the headstock, but I want my neck to feel close to a strat neck. I've read that the nut width on many modern strats is 1.7 (The USACG order form doesn't have an option for this, I figured 1 and 11/16 was the closest I could get), and the fingerboard radius is 9.5. I've set my specifications as such, but what would you all recommend for the back contour? Their neck setting "The 63" Is based off of a 63 strat but I've also read that strat necks have changed over time. Out of their available options, what would get me closest? Specifically, I like the feel of the mexican strats at the Music and Arts Center store I work at. The link to their neck contour page is here:
On the order form it also has the option to custom set the shape and thickness. And finally, the other thing I was having trouble choosing is the Nut Slot Type. Do I go with Flat, Curved, or LSR? Is that a stupid question? Maybe it is to some of you. But yeah. That's all I was confused about for my neck. Other than that, do you guys have any general tips and advice for me? I've already picked out the rest of my stuff. Tuners, pickups, bridge, knobs, etc. So once I order all of this stuff, I plan on getting right into building it!
I apologize for the length of my post and also if I asked any seemingly silly questions. :p

(EDIT: I forgot to ask, what fret wire size should I go with?)
Last edited by Padraig-K at May 23, 2011,
Making a neck is not hard, it just requires patience and careful planning. you should go for it. I would get melvys hiscock's bood, how to build an electric guitar. It was essential to my first build, though you will still need to use some outside info. I would, however, buy a pre-slotted fretboard. it makes things a lot easier and eliminates a few expensive tools.
Hey! Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely pick up the book. I love the Lagarto, by the way!
im in the same boat as you, however im doing it a bit different.
i did buy a premade neck, behringer strat copy. mostly because it was an inexpensive start, and i plan on building more, better, later.

im also using an old electric body, and i chambered it out and am putting 1/4 inch spruce front and back to make it semi-hollow.
i think the advice i have right now is PRACTICE. get scrap wood. try everything you can first on that until you get it down, then do it on the good piece. i have repeatedly thought i knew what i was going to do, and then tried it on scrap and realized it didnt work.
always try before you go for it
but get creative, if you have an idea, try it, or get close to trying it if youre not sure.
think about what on a guitar youve always thought would be a good change in design, and then try it.
take your time, dont rush, etc. patience is key.
GOOGLE SEARCH. i have found soooo many answers to problems i have come across.
if you dont have a tool, make it.

thats all i have for now =D
Thanks for the response! I hadn't thought about getting cheap plywood first. Good plan.
And C_Hart, I got a digital copy of Mr. Hiscock's book, and have been reading it. It's actually answered most of my questions. I also put together my initial sloppy sketches earlier this morning. I'm looking forward to this project! Because my questions are pretty much answered now, it is up to the mods whether or not they'd like to close this thread, but I'd like for it to be left open so perhaps I can get some more great pointers!