Guitar assembly

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Gumby, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Gumby

    Gumby Member

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    I am a wood carver with the knowledge and capabilities of carving the body of my new guitar. However, I'm not a luthier, and will not be able to build or set a neck in. Any suggestions on how I can bridge the luthier gap. Perhaps send the body to have it set with neck. Any suggestions on who could do this for me. Any prior experience with them? Who makes a good after market neck? Warmoth? This is a slab style axe, and I need and extra fat neck with a really wide nut.(approx classical guitar width) I was thinking about sawing a baseball bat in half and throwing on some tuners...Yikes. Someone’s got to help me. Please.

    Gummerrumba.
     
  2. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

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    Do it yourself.....it will be more satisfying to finish, and to know you can play an instrument that you created.....good luck!
     
  3. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    I think Warmoth make some great necks. You can get them as wide 1.875 which is very wide for 6 strings and in all kinds of back carve.

    Starting with a bolt on will give you a good stepping stone and confidence. Routing out a pocket isn't hard and they make jigs for locating everything if you need it. But if you can us a square and a straight edge you can probably lay it all out yourself.

    Oh yea get the stainless steel frets. :)
     
  4. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I am not a luthier or wood worker ..
    but first off I know there are DIY resources on the web about building guitars, as well as courses and books you can purchase with information.
    I think one thing you'll need to be careful with will be scale length if you are making your own body and want to fit a pre-made neck.
    If you know what kind of neck you want, why not take measurements of that neck and then make one yourself?
    As far as I understand, maple is stronger then mahogany? So perhaps start with Maple first?

    Good luck, wish I had the time to learn some wood working and guitar making.
     
  5. robmarch

    robmarch Member

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    I think warmoth even sells body blanks with the neck pocket prerouted, if you're worried about that critical junction.

    another option would be to start with a through body neck from carvin, etc., and glue your sides onto it. all of the criticial dimensions come for free that way.
     
  6. george4908

    george4908 Member

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    >>I am a wood carver with the knowledge and capabilities of carving the body of my new guitar.

    Then you're capable of carving a neck.

    Get a neck you like, take the dimensions off it and go to work. You'll do fine. It may not be perfect the first time out, but it will likely be perfectly playable. And if you screw it up, it's just a piece of wood. Start over.

    I jumped into this with probably less woodworking experience than you and it came out fine. I didn't even use chisels. I just rough-shaped it on the bandsaw and did the rest with orbital and finishing sanders, going progressively from 60 grit to 800, and keeping it in constant smooth motion. Kept measuring as I went until I was down to where I wanted it.

    You may want to buy a preslotted fretboard to your scale length. Otherwise you have the choice of buying a slotting jig from Stew-Mac (which you may want to if you're going to be building more than one), or you will need to be super-accurate with your fret slot placement (it can be done, but this is one area you don't want to screw up).
     
  7. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Well as far as prefabbed fretboards go not sure if that will work.
    He has a solid body, but wants a classical guitar nut width.
    factor into that scale length on classicals are rather short and it will be hard to find something prefabbed I think that will do the trick.
     
  8. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Those of you that are saying "carve your own neck"... are you suggesting that incorporating a truss rod is a piece of cake or that the original poster should forgo a truss rod?
     
  9. Gumby

    Gumby Member

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    Thank you all for replies,
    I have a lot of respect for the craftsmanship that goes into making a fine insturment. I know that I am not capable of producing at that level. But I feel that through some collaboration with people who are more experienced in this craft might help me to bridge the luthier gap.

    I appreciate all your replies, I'm still looking into pre-fab possiblites. Still open to suggestions.

    I think it would be cool to see some other peoples home made projects. I'm starting a new thread. Home Made Guitars: pictures and tales

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=79342
     
  10. george4908

    george4908 Member

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    >>Those of you that are saying "carve your own neck"... are you suggesting that incorporating a truss rod is a piece of cake or that the original poster should forgo a truss rod?

    Depends. I used the Stew-Mac double action truss rod, which only requires a simple flat channel. No problem, just rout to the correct depth, insert truss rod, and glue the fretboard on top. I also went with the version that has the adjustable nut at the heel, rather than the headstock, which further eliminates one more potential screw-up area.

    Vintage-style truss rods require routing an arced channel. Much more fiddly, requires building a jig that matches the appropriate curve. And if you want a one-piece maple neck with the truss rod installed from the back, your jig is reversed, and you have to fill with a skunk stripe. So it's more work, and there's less adjustibility to the rod. Some vintage guys will tell you it sounds better, and who the hell knows, there may be some truth to it, but my guitar sounds good -- unplugged as well as plugged in -- and resonates/sustains forever.
     
  11. george4908

    george4908 Member

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    >>Well as far as prefabbed fretboards go not sure if that will work. He has a solid body, but wants a classical guitar nut width.
    factor into that scale length on classicals are rather short and it will be hard to find something prefabbed I think that will do the trick

    Then buy a pre-cut fretboard to scale length and a blank fretboard, and use the pre-cut as a jig for setting the proper fret placement on your blank. That's what I did. Not because the fretboard I wanted was going to have any unusual dimensions, but because I wanted pau ferro, so I had to do it myself.

    Big help: buy a pre-radiused sanding block and set up a simple trough to keep it straight as you sand the length of the fretboard.
     

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