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Considering reshaping a tele neck. How difficult is it to do?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by skunizzi, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. skunizzi

    skunizzi Member

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    I have a really nice telecaster neck that I purchased on ebay not too long ago. Its very nice but it turned out to be a U shape and I am not really bonding with it like I though I would. I was thinking of trying to reshape it but I've veneer done that before.

    If anyone has tried this can you let me know if it is something I should try? I've built part casters before and consider myself to be pretty handy but I'm not sure if I would end up regretting it....

    The neck is a vintage amber neck with a rose wood fretboard which means I would have to retint it once it has been reshaped.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    Why go through the trouble when it's so quick and easy (and really, not very expensive) to just bolt another neck on the guitar? That's my suggestion, just buy another neck.

    If I were to do this, however, I'd use a Shinto saw rasp to get the shape right, then sand it smooth. Then if it were mine, I'd go ahead and strip the finish off the whole neck, and do an oil finish...even if you're determined to have the tinted clear finish, I'd still probably strip and refinish the whole neck, just to make it look as good as possible. JMO, but I'd rather do that than try to match the tinted clear that's already on the neck.
     
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  3. EdFarmer

    EdFarmer Silver Supporting Member

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    It's actually a vintage neck or is it a "vintage amber neck"?

    If it's actually a vintage neck, I wouldn't touch. Sell it, keep it, whatever you want but I wouldn't touch it with sandpaper.
     
  4. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

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    If you're gonna reshape and a refinish will be in order, you might as well just buy a new neck. In my mind, unless the frets are just dead perfect, you're gonna want to fix those too while you're at it. You can get a whole new neck from Warmoth - ready to go - for less than $350. That's finished with your choice of fretwire and one of their custom back shapes (thin c, boatneck, '59, Wolfgang, SRV, etc.).

    Might seem like a lot of money, but you're potentially fixing something that will never need fixing again. Plus, people drop more than that on two average effects pedals, or just one boutique unit.
     
  5. bojocatkite

    bojocatkite Member

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    Save yourself some trouble and pain and get a new neck at Warmoth and sell the old one.
    But... if you do that to learn and the result is not your priority then you will need:
    - a FINE large dragon file from StewMac. By very far the best files for the job, especially for Maple. Do NOT use a Shinto file, those are great but certainly not for reshaping when you have no experience.
    - Make some patterns of the final shape you want (at different positions like the nut, 7 and 12 fret maybe)
    - do not neglect a good neck holder (neck shaping gig) like that:

    Think that you might need a fret planing afterward, plus the finish...
    As you see all the tools plus refinish supplies add up and if this is a one time job money wise it soesn't make much sens.
     
  6. diego

    diego Member

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    If you do this, locate the truss rod so that you do not... reveal it... in the process.
     
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  7. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    Lots of people saying don't do it, but a lot depends if it's something you want to have a go at. Part of the fun of putting guitars together is making some sawdust and learning new things, so from that perspective why not? Just remember, the worst case scenario is you ruin the neck - as long as you're ok with that then go for it.

    It's not that difficult to do with a neck that's already shaped - I would use a swordfish rasp where I wanted to remove significant amounts of material, cabinet scrapers to get rid of the teeth marks of the rasp and to fine tune, then folded strips of sandpaper passed back and forth (imagine you're drying your back with a towel) to even it out. Then finish sand and you're good to go. If you need to remove a lot of wood quickly a surform plane is great, but the faster your remove material the easier it is for Mr Cockup to put in an unscheduled appearance. Personally I love carving necks, it's one of the best bits of putting a guitar together.

    Mark out in pencil where you're going to take off material and go slowly, checking often. If you have a reference point for the neck shape you're aiming for, keep it to hand and compare as you go. It's a good idea to make up some straight edges the right length to lie along the length of the section you're carving and check often to see how you're doing - it's very easy to end up a bit banana shaped if you're concentrating on the shape in cross section..

    Be conservative about how much you remove - if you take off the bare minimum, sand it all up to a fine grit and then think, damn, I should have taken more off, all you've wasted is an hour or so finish sanding. As soon as you take off too much then you've ruined the neck.

    And don't forget there's a truss rod in there, which you very much don't want to see sticking out the back.
     
  8. Cliffhydro

    Cliffhydro Supporting Member

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    I’ll echo the others, sell this neck and use the money to buy one that you like.
     
  9. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    I say go for it. I used a cabinet scraper and sandpaper to knock down the shoulders on a F-style neck, it worked well. Granted, I didn't drastically change the profile of the neck, but you probably don't need to either.
     
  10. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    U shape, sounds like you may like the profile knocked down a hair.
    Your neck, go for it you you want. I do agree if it's a vintage piece or an expensive custom, pass.
    I use a sanding block with several stages of grit to slowly work down the profile with and across the grain. Finish with a fine grit when it feels good. Leave it bare, that's ok too, maybe some oil only.
    Just don't go to deep, go for it and have fun, sheesh!
     
  11. skunizzi

    skunizzi Member

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    Many of you asked if the neck was a vintage neck. It is not. Basically a pretty nice OEM neck. I like everything about it except the chunkiness of it. I'm willing to give it a shot as I don't think it will need much re-working and I am pretty comfortable with re-tinting necks. Plus it will give me something to do besides looking for more gear to buy.
     
  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    look up the neck carving thread on TDPRI by guitarbuilder, he shows the steps in marking out and carving a neck. the facet carving method is critical to getting it right.

    You might buy a used Squier neck, or a cheap pine board, to practice on.

    Many tele players seek out chunky necks, you might make a swap over at TDPRI or the classifieds here.


    .
     
  13. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    There are a ton or guitar necks out there for sale and lots of them will have a profile you are comfortable with. If you don't like this one after you modify it and it doesn't come out perfectly, you are stuck with a very large and heavy pot stirrer.
     
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  14. skunizzi

    skunizzi Member

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    Good idea thanks!
     
  15. DRS

    DRS Member

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    If you have advanced intermediate skills working with wood, It shouldn't be a problem.
    But then if you had these skills, you wouldn't need to ask the question . . .
     
  16. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Man, I used to get chewed out for making the same comment... but it's true....that's what I would reply when someone asked about how to make a neck... it's one of those things you know, or you don't.... and you cannot learn by reading a dozen different techniques... it requires a natural affinity for such things..

    if you do not know how to reshape the neck... do not try on a perfectly good neck... go get a 2x4 cut it down to 1" x 2 inches and round one side.... you will know in 15 minutes if you want to attack a perfectly innocent neck... believe me, if that is a problem then you just saved the neck...

    rk
     
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