#1
So I've been a massive lurker and seen many builds on this forum, but one thing that everyone seems to do differently is necks. Leaving aside the specifics of how you actually go through each process, what order do you tend to do make it in?

E.g. (Assuming this is a neck with fretboard, not one-piece fender style)
Bandsaw and route neck to shape (do scarf if needed), do truss slot
Slot fretboard
Radius fb
Glue fb to neck
Route fb to neck shape
Carve neck
Fret

I think I've seen it done this way, but I'd be worried about making sure the fretboard was in exactly the right position, so what I would do is:

Partially route neck to shape, leaving one edge exactly parallel, do truss slot
Glue fb
Slot & radius (using parallel edge for reference)
Final shape route
Carve
Fret

But I've not built a neck yet so I wouldn't know lol
Any tips on which is best/less liable to result in screw ups?

tldr; What order do you perform neck building process?
#2
Stewmac might have a tutorial on their website. I've seen a ton of tuts on their before but I don't know how to find them except through google.
#4
That is a great tutorial, but a lot of people do it in different ways. I was wondering what the reasoning behind the differences was.
#5
Make my blank, with everything square.
Rout truss rod channel and access.
Neck taper.
Glue on fretboard, then plane it to match the taper.
Slot the board, but not to full depth.
Radius the board.
Redo slots, so they themselves are radiused. This reduces gaps in the board underneath the frets.
Fret the board.
Carve the neck last. A neck which has a flat back is easier to fret.
#6
^ that was something I was debating to myself, fret or carve first. In the tut he frets last, but your reason is pretty solid. Also I think a lot of people rough out the slots and radius before gluing it on. Why does it matter about the gap in the board under the frets? Aside being OCD, which I kind of am.
#7
Make sure the blank is all nice and square
Make a template of the neck on paper
Slot the fretboard
Cut the fretboard to shape with a table saw
Make the scarf joint (if you want)
Route truss rod
Rough cut the neck
Glue the fretboard and use it as a template to route the shape (didn't saw that on coming,hey?)
Carve the back
Cut the headstock
Final shaping

That how I (will) do it.
Last edited by n1ckn1ce at Apr 12, 2012,
#8
The way I go about it is this:

Make neck blank square
Rout truss rod channel and fit the truss rod
Glue on fretboard blank
Slot the fretboard, not all the way
Cut the neck taper on the bandsaw
Plane the taper flat
Sand fretboard radius(es)
Finish slotting the fretboard
Drill tuning peg holes
Cut headstock shape
Fret the neck
Rough in the neck radius either end of the neck with rasps
Carve the neck radius (spokeshave)
Filing and sanding out tool marks

I might have forgotten some things there, so add them in where you see fit. I'm working on getting some router table jigs done to do the fretboard and neck radius's. I haven't made a guitar neck with a scarf joint yet, so I'll probably come back in a few months with a completely different list.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
#9
I am going to give you the way i do it. I have spent 7 years getting down the order that is the most error proof and what i feel makes the whole process the easiest.

Start with a square neck blank.

Glue scarf joint

Rout truss rod slot

Cut headstock shape (bandsaw then template and router)

Cut neck taper to shape (bandsaw and template with router)

drill tuner holes.

DO NOT radius the fretboard before you glue it! that is pointless. Glue it while its flat. You will have to re flatten it again once its glued on anyway. Always slot before gluing to the neck.

Radius fretboard

Fret

Carve back of neck

Done.
#10
Quote by lozlovesstrats
^ that was something I was debating to myself, fret or carve first. In the tut he frets last, but your reason is pretty solid. Also I think a lot of people rough out the slots and radius before gluing it on. Why does it matter about the gap in the board under the frets? Aside being OCD, which I kind of am.

  • More gaps = less strength.
  • More gaps = less tone from the wood.
  • More gaps = less wood in contact with the fret.
  • I'm anal like that.

It probably makes practically no difference. I'm anal enough to sometimes even smear wood glue in the slots as I'm fretting as well, just to fill the little gaps

Quote by Explorerbuilder
DO NOT radius the fretboard before you glue it! that is pointless. Glue it while its flat. You will have to re flatten it again once its glued on anyway. Always slot before gluing to the neck.

Why is that? Just because it's easier whilst the board's still square?
#12
Quote by Explorerbuilder
Yes, and its easier to handle. No point in trying to work around a whole neck when you can just do it before.

Fair enough. I might actually try it this way on one of my future builds. Maybe my £100 challenge one? We'll see
#13
Quote by whoomit
  • More gaps = less strength.
  • More gaps = less tone from the wood.
  • More gaps = less wood in contact with the fret.
  • I'm anal like that.

It probably makes practically no difference. I'm anal enough to sometimes even smear wood glue in the slots as I'm fretting as well, just to fill the little gaps


Yeah just a little bit of thinking... my favourite guitar's got a pretty flat radius, about 14" I think. There's probably less than a 0.5mm gap if they slotted flat! Also does the fret really come in contact at the bottom? I'd be worried about the slot being too shallow.

Quote by Explorerbuilder

Cut headstock shape (bandsaw then template and router)

Cut neck taper to shape (bandsaw and template with router)


I was about to ask if there was a reason you didn't do it in one go... then realised that the headstock would be angled

Quote by Explorerbuilder

Always slot before gluing to the neck


So you slot to full depth before gluing? Again, gluing with the board radiussed is something I completely forgot would probably be a sod to do.

Hey n1ckn1ce , you missed something... were you thinking of building a fretless?
#14
Quote by Explorerbuilder
Always slot before gluing to the neck.

I like this idea. Do you slot before you do the inlays or after? I'm guessing before.

I also like this thread. There is a lot to learn from the way other people do things.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
#16
Quote by lozlovesstrats
Also does the fret really come in contact at the bottom? I'd be worried about the slot being too shallow.

Probably not come to think about it. Ah well