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Re-carving a neck on used guitar?

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,141
How difficult (expensive) is this for a luthier to thin out a neck and re-finish with nitro?
Not difficult at all, easy unless
1) The luthier determines that the neck is a bad candidate (its already real thin, or is very whippy/flexable already, truss rod near the back of the neck, etc)
OR
2) The neck has been contaminated with silicone via furniture polish, etc.

You should also count on a refret, as the neck may well move as a result of all of that wood being removed. Figure that into the cost.
 

Swamp ash

Senior Member
Messages
1,427
Not difficult at all, easy unless
1) The luthier determines that the neck is a bad candidate (its already real thin, or is very whippy/flexable already, truss rod near the back of the neck, etc)
OR
2) The neck has been contaminated with silicone via furniture polish, etc.

You should also count on a refret, as the neck may well move as a result of all of that wood being removed. Figure that into the cost.
Eeeew... a re-fret throws my cost-calculus awry with this pre-owned baby. Also it is very new, in the first place

Some-one customed ordered a guitar with .85 to .95 carve; I am more used to .83 to ??? (not sure). I like wide necks, with a "typical" thickness. I may end up liking this one but it is sight unseen, so, just trying to do the math, first.
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,141
Eeeew... a re-fret throws my cost-calculus awry with this pre-owned baby. Also it is very new, in the first place

Some-one customed ordered a guitar with .85 to .95 carve; I am more used to .83 to ??? (not sure). I like wide necks, with a "typical" thickness. I may end up liking this one but it is sight unseen, so, just trying to do the math, first.
Oh, I do understand, sir.

But, take heart; the diff between those two specs (1st fret anyway) is a paltry twenty-thousands of an inch. I'll bet that you can get used to that, especially in the midst of creative moments!

Whats more important is the shape of the "shoulders"
good luck.
 

Swamp ash

Senior Member
Messages
1,427
Oh, I do understand, sir.

But, take heart; the diff between those two specs (1st fret anyway) is a paltry twenty-thousands of an inch. I'll bet that you can get used to that, especially in the midst of creative moments!

Whats more important is the shape of the "shoulders"
good luck.
I am inclined to agree with you! I don't know if I could detect a difference at all, plus, the carve is a V to C, so, it ought to "feel" thinner (I hope).

Thanks for the input and insight.
 

boggydepot

Member
Messages
333
Describing the perfect neck carve is a difficult thing to do. That and the fretwork is the first bone of contention with me. Like Terry said, the difference in thickness is microns and will be gotten used to. But, it is the shoulder carve that defines comfort and playability and separates your favorite guitar. Well, for me anyway......
 

telelion

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,792
It took me awhile to figure that out. I was pretty dense thinking that just the overall thickness measurement was all I needed as described by the neck suppliers or guitar makers. It's the carve/shoulder and when it fits like a glove, sculpted, to whatever your preference is, is when you have found a winner though I like more than one specification of a neck size/carve.

Agree with "boggydepot" and personally I like the meat in the middle with less shoulder and I enjoy on the thinner side or thicker if this is the case.
 

Swamp ash

Senior Member
Messages
1,427
Oh, I do understand, sir.

But, take heart; the diff between those two specs (1st fret anyway) is a paltry twenty-thousands of an inch. I'll bet that you can get used to that, especially in the midst of creative moments!

Whats more important is the shape of the "shoulders"
good luck.
Well, absolutely correct on your part - I think the shoulders being narrow is helpful with this guitar.
The neck is awesome - great V to C shape and it feels fantastic! I have become quite fond of this neck over the one I used as a standard.

Go figure, but then again, I was buying a guitar blind from an internet seller and somewhat apprehensive.

Thanks for your insight.
 

Swamp ash

Senior Member
Messages
1,427
Nut width and shoulders matter more than you think too.
Yes, I wanted a wider nut with this guitar purchase, but was just concerned about the measured thickness. Now that it's a bit warmer, I was able to put some play time on my "new" (to me) guitar!

Turns out, all of you folks here were spot on - the numbers belie how it actually feels when you play it. I can tell it is a bigger neck, but it feels so wonderful with the lithe shoulders. I've learned that many of my previous assumptions about what I liked about certain guitars was just plain wrong.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,633
Just an example....

I bought a partscaster Tele with an Allparts NoCaster/ full chunky Maple neck. I like chunky necks but wanted to make it a bit smaller. I sanded it down gradually until it felt good to me. Then I finish sanded it and finished it with Tru Oil.

Feels great. It's just right now !
 
Messages
444
I had a Warmoth boatneck that I hated playing...just too big for me. A bit of time with a Rasp file, sanding paper and tru-oil has made it a nice neck for my hands. It's not exactly precision-carved or anything, but I doubt anyone playing it would realize it had been 're-profiled'.
 






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