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Finding a Telecaster neck shouldn't be this hard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Mighty Melvin, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    I admit, ebay is all I know about.

    But all the Telecaster necks are either a ghastly white waterborne clear satin (I returned one such today) or a "vintage tint" that is a garish yellow. Clearly applied by someone who has never seen an old guitar.

    Now maybe this is my fault looking for something under $150. Hell, you can buy a whole nice guitar for under $150.

    But finding a Telecaster neck shouldn't be this hard.
    .
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Spend the extra $$ and buy a Warmoth or USACustom. Great necks...
     
  3. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    Budget is a bit too low
     
  4. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I agree. Unless you're buying something dimensionally questionable from the usual suspects on the Pacific Rim, the finish alone is gonna run ~$80-$100. But, a high-quality Maple Strat/Tele neck from the likes of Warmoth or USACG can be had in the $250-$350 range that's fretted and finished with your choice of frets and finish. You may want to have the frets leveled/crowned/dress/polished to make them just right, but that's true of all new necks. As delivered, many people install and play those necks right out of the box.
     
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    In your price range Mighty Mite necks are your best bet. You can get them for less through dealers like MF or GC. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/migh...hty Mite&kwid=26473914171x1510978531x72359795

    http://www.mightymite.com/tele-c-6_8/

    The tints is not that garish yellow color either.
     
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  6. fretless

    fretless Supporting Member

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    Beat me to it. Those are pretty good necks. I used one on my first partscaster about 10 years ago and it worked out with no issues. The Stewart Macdonald necks they sell on their site are rebranded Mighty Mites and fit that price range as well.
     
  7. Ayrton

    Ayrton Member

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    Allparts neck + Watco Golden Oak + TruOil.
     
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  8. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    This mighty be an appropriate moment to disclose that the neck I returned was a Mighty Mite. The machining was pretty darn good but the coating was hideous, and nobody anywhere could tell me whether it was strippable.

    It wasn't tinted, it was the white white that comes from white white waterborne white white. I was extremely disappointed. It would have been perfect but for that. And I'm not sure that a tint would have fixed it. It still would have looked like a piece of plastic, owing to the nature of the coating material.

    They probably don't want to ship bare wood necks because of something about humidity, but cigar manufacturers appear to know how to deal with that.
    .
     
  9. pickdropper

    pickdropper Supporting Member

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    On a related note, does anybody have a recommended finisher that will spray a neck for $80-100? Since USACG doesn’t offer that anymore, I am curious who everybody uses.
     
  10. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    Good shot, but they're all 1-5/8" nut.
    .
     
  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    They have non-tinted necks and vintage tinted necks. It's just not a very deep tint is all so I don't know which you had. I have never had a Mighty Mite neck arrive as you described but they all been "V" profile with a vintage tint. I've worked with about 4-5 now.


    As suggested Allparts would be another possibility. It's the $150 limit that's a challenge. For about $200 you can get a Fender MIM neck you may like better.
     
  12. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I do finishes, buried decals and all, but not at this time of year. Call me in the spring ;)
     
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  13. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    If you're saying that the tinted Mighty Mite necks are tolerable, maybe I could spraycan some nitro lacquer on one of those and make it acceptable....the way mine came it looked like woodgrain Formica.

    The guitar only cost I think $130 and it's the prettiest shiniest guitar I have. I don't want to put a Formica neck on it.
    .
     
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  14. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    What kind of guitar is it for $130? If it's an import, you might have trouble putting a standard neck on it. If it was me, I'd check to make sure the neck pocket is 2 3/16" x 3" and with the mounting holes in the right places. As long as you have a measuring stick in hand, you may want to check pocket depth and find some sort of straightedge to lay on the body and measure to make sure the floor of the pocket is parallel to the body.

    [​IMG]

    If you're inside or outside those dimensions I don't know if I'd bother with it - you'll be heading for time/work/expense that's tough to justify on such an instrument.
     
  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    If you order one from MF they're not only cheaper but you should be able to return it if you examine it and find you don't like it. I admit they aren't top shelf but for the money they're solid necks for lower cost guitars.
     
  16. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    It's my kind of guitar! :D
    Thank you for the very nice drawing!

    All this would be resolved if someone could tell me that I could remove the poo that they put on it. Or I could get either a lacquered or bare wood neck somewhere. Is that asking too much? Whatever it is that they put on this one, I couldn't imagine anything worse.
    .
     
  17. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    It's not my drawing; I pulled off a Google image search. Somebody with similar concerns to what I mentioned earlier originally created and posted it on Warmoth's forum.

    I understand your attachment to the neck you have. If you want to strip it and start over, be aware that many modern finish strippers aren't as effective as one might hope, particularly if the thing you want to strip was originally finished with polyurethane. That stuff will fight you tooth, fang and claw coming off, and many modern finish stripping concoctions are not much more than pipe dreams unless you're trying to get watercolors off wax.

    You need something with methylene chloride as its active ingredient. It's wicked toxic, but highly effective, and about the only thing that'll attack poly short of a mean and hateful abrasive that'll likely wreck the underlying base material. But, if you use protection for your hands, eyes and lungs, it's the whip. It'll eat that poly like water on sugar without affecting the wood or binding/inlays. Clean it up and at that point, you can refinish however you'd like.

    You can't (or at least, shouldn't) leave raw Maple unfinished lest you risk dimensional/geometric distortion. It should get a hard finish of some sort. If you want to go bare, I have a number of recommendations, but almost none of them are inexpensive and some are pretty dear. Most exotics are fine without finishes, but availability is thin. Warmoth is the best source for such constructions, if you want to row through some of their options. Be prepared - there's some pretty lustful stuff, but most of it isn't in the price range you're talking about. Best option for a reasonably priced raw neck is the roasted Maple. Fantastic neck wood, and doesn't require a finish. Burnish that, along with some stainless frets, and you'll have one of the best necks you've ever played at a fairly reasonable price. Highly recommended.
     
  18. pickdropper

    pickdropper Supporting Member

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    Spring’s a better timeframe for me anyway. ;-)
     
  19. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    I do nitro finishing as well and I do it year round in Texas.
    Rob
     

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