Neck reshaping question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by guitarfly02, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. guitarfly02

    guitarfly02 Supporting Member

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    Howdy all,

    I have a question regarding neck profile/carve reshaping. I'm sure this topic has been covered, but I thought I'd go ahead and post my question to see if there were any newer/fresher ideas out there.

    I recently bought a guitar that came with a Warmoth neck (Roasted maple - unfinished, boatneck profile). It has a pretty solid "V" profile and I prefer more of a "C" shape. Warmoth's boatneck profile has plenty of meat, so I'm wondering if I could sand out some of the "V" profile. Could this be done by hand?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    You could certainly reshape the neck via sanding if you know what you want to achieve, how to sand properly, and can determine when you've reached your goal.
    One risk of reshaping a neck involves undesirable neck movement due to the removal of the wood. Internal tensions are relieved and the wood moves as a result. The solution for this involves removing the frets and reshaping the fretboard surface to accommodate for the wood movement.
    You'll likely feel as small as a 1/32" change in shape, which normally isn't enough to cause the neck to move.
     
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  3. galibier_un

    galibier_un Supporting Member

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    Agreed about sensitivity to small changes. Invest $20 in a dial caliper and measure the thickness at each fret (at least to the 12th).

    Record it and measure your progress frequently, as you remove material. You can't add it back later :eek:

    If you're patient, you'll be fine.

    ... Thom
     
  4. guitarfly02

    guitarfly02 Supporting Member

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    Awesome! Thanks so much for the comments and suggestions!
     
  5. lespauled

    lespauled Member

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    If you have a neck that you want to match, get Thermomorph, Moldable Plastic Pellets, and make a mold of the original neck. Then you have a sander that matches your new profile.
     
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  6. treedroppings

    treedroppings Member

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    Buy a new neck. V neck would turn into a very small C neck. Because V neck has very little shoulder for its size.

    The opposite would be a lot easier, if you think about it.
     
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  7. guitarfly02

    guitarfly02 Supporting Member

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    Thanks so much for all the great advice! I truly appreciate it :)
     
  8. otaypanky

    otaypanky Gold Supporting Member

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    I have one of Ron Kirn's T style guitars that had a big fat maple neck on it, --- until today.
    Maybe it's the years adding up but my old hands weren't as happy on it as they were years ago. I'd been thinking about trying to reshape it for a long time but was reluctant to try. I was afraid I'd screw it up. Today's all day rainfall made for a perfect time to try. All I had to do was muster up the nerve and go at it. I spent some time finding the best way to hold and secure the guitar and actually practiced taking strokes before I put my old Swedish knife to the wood. I used it like a cabinet scraper and took long even strokes. I was going the opposite of what you need, I was going from a big fat C shape with a lot of shoulder and hoping for more of a V or boat tail. Once I had it shaped out with the blade I progressed through several grades of sandpaper. Then I used a small antler my German Shepherd had found to burnish the wood. Years ago I spent lots of time playing pool and used to use a rib bone to bone the cue stick. You'd be surprised at what a glass like finish you can get that way. I don't know if it comes across in the photo but the wood shines after boning it. Anyway, I love it. It turned out far better than I could have hoped for and I played it for hours today. 'Really glad I tried it : )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    "Boning the neck"...I love it!

    It must be asked, "cannot TCM ever NOT stick his two cent's worth into anything?"...a legitimate question.
    1) Use GluBoost ultra thin CA to seal the wood.
    2) Use 400G stearated sandpaper to knock down the fuzz and to sand flat
    3) Apply 2nd coat of CA
    4) 400G sand flat
    5) Apply last coat of CA
    6) 600G wet-or-dry to sand flat.

    This is roughly what I first saw being done on Eric Clapton's 1998 (?) Fender Stratocaster tour guitars (Id never heard of a CA finish before!) and it does feel very fast and does a good job of sealing the moisture out. According to his tour tech the highly flamed necks still moved all over the place, but thats a different topic......
     
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  10. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Gold Supporting Member

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    Terry, how do you apply the glue?
     
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  11. larry1096

    larry1096 Member

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    My son is an accomplished penmaker, and he only uses CA for finishing all types of wood. Super-durable, great gloss...it's tempting to wonder what it could do for a guitar.

    CA on Burl
    CA on Pinecone

    Larry
     
  12. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's a link that describes how TGP member @Pete Cage reshaped the neck of a R7 with a large neck. Pete included some close-up pics of the process for shaving the neck.

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?163803-R7-refin-project

    He used a small spokeshave (a tool used to shape and smooth wood) with a razor sharp blade. The spokeshave was setup to remove about about 0.004" of wood with each pass. After he was done with the spokeshave he used 80-grit sandpaper and then 220-grit to smooth the wood. This was part of a project to refinish the guitar.

    There are several advantages to using a spokeshave. You can easily set the thickness of the cut yielding very consistent, repeatable results; and the dual-handles are ergonomically designed and comfortable to use.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  13. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Spread a thin layer on the back of a piece of wet or dry sandpaper and spread it onto the work
     
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  14. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Gold Supporting Member

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  15. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    One thing missing from the conversation is removing too much material from the back, or skunk strip. Finding the truss rout will ruin your day.
     
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  16. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    600G is a good choice because it's flexible
     
  17. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks again. I'm going to try it on an old neck first and see how bad I mess it up. Sure do appreciate your knowledge. I just wired up a Strat body early EC custom shop style with the Lace pickups, mid boost and TBX. If I don't screw up the neck I'm home!
     
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  18. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

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    I had to sand about half the back off of one of those cheap GFS blow out necks. It hurt my hand to play. My method was not to be recommended, but it did improve the neck and was a learning experience.

    Don't they make jigs or templates for this so you can have some kind of reference?
     
  19. larry1096

    larry1096 Member

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    Stew-Mac sells a variety of neck profile reference tools:
    [​IMG]

    Larry
     

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