Shaving down a Stratocaster neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Bill, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Bill

    Bill Member

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    I built a very nice Stratocaster from a Fender Relic body and a USA Custom neck but I got carried away and had them make me a 1" deep Fatback neck. I have tried to get used to it but this thing is HUGE! I like big necks but this one is over the top for me. I would like to make it a bit smaller. Something more like I am used to.

    I would like to just sand the back of the neck and then just play it that way. Is this a pretty major project or is it wise to do at all? I appreciate the advice...
     
  2. einstein

    einstein Member

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    wood files and a 2 inch wide belt sander. U can put a v in it also.
     
  3. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    Bill: Don't screw it up. Have a "luithier guy" shape it for you. Get some Reranch nito lacquer and do it right. Shaping a neck is like doing fret work; you have to do it half a dozen time to develop a technique and feel for it. You're better off paying someone to do it.

    Good luck
     
  4. einstein

    einstein Member

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    He wont screw it up. Making em smaller is ez, making them bigger can be harder.:roll
     
  5. merkaba22

    merkaba22 Member

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    I have done it a bunch of times and you can go slow with files of various "coarseness" -- the sander idea is something I am now considering ...

    Know that shaving birdseye maple can be problematic by hand since those birdseyes are much harder and it difficult to control the pressure in those small spots to yield a smooth result -- it won't be bad, just know there will be a limitation compared to a machine of some nature to work with -- imho.
     
  6. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    If it has a skunk stripe I'd call USACG and find out how deep it is - nothing worse than finding the truss rout the hard way - ;)
     
  7. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    Why not just buy another neck??

    CT.
     
  8. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Please consult Tommy first!!!

    They state on their website, the truss rod is placed "deeper" on thick neck to make it more efficient!!!
     
  9. sega

    sega Member

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    Hi Bill,

    I did that on a non-fender neck and it was so much better afterward.
    And the fun stuff is that you don't need to varnish it.

    But like Chevron says, it might be a good idea to know where the trust rod might be before having problem.

    Good luck...

    André
     
  10. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    I have found truss rods the hard way before, ouch! Play it real safe and take your time...
     
  11. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    For the BS of sanding down a neck and refinishing especially as a newbie -sell the big neck and order another neck from USACG. You may lose $50 but man oh man, if you screw up your existing neck. I love my USACG 63C neck. Perfect carve. Comfy but still full and toneful.
     
  12. Structo

    Structo Member

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  13. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    That's how I'd do it.

    Take it slow, and you should be OK...
     
  14. Bill

    Bill Member

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    Lots of good advice here and I appreciate it. I don't intend to do the work myself as I would have the neck ruined in minutes. I really have no idea how to do it. So, from your posts I understand that this would not be a difficult job for a competent luthier? It looks rather difficult to me.

    The reason I just don't buy another neck is the investment I have in this one.
    USA Custom $280
    Finish $175
    Then I had the frets leveled and a new nut cut for it. A decal. Packing and shipping and the time it took to get this whole thing together. I probably have something over $600 bucks in the neck? I would gladly lose $50 and move on but I don't think this neck would bring anywhere near the investment I have in it and if reshaping the neck can be reasonably accomplished then I see that as the best way to go.

    I think I will take the advise and call USACG and see if they will do it for me but I doubt that they will. Would it not be very difficult to get the neck straight doing this by hand? It seems that it would be impossible to get it exactly right. I would think that it would have to be on some kind of CNC machine to cut to properly reshape it? I really even have reservations about letting a luthier do it. Or am I wrong and it is really not too difficult?

    Again, thanks for all of the help.
     
  15. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    A "competent" tech or luthier can do a great job no doubt. The key word being "competent".

    Just talk to Tommy to get the number straight then find tech/luthier who is competent to do the job. Tommy might be able to recommend someone for you.
     
  16. merkaba22

    merkaba22 Member

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    Warmoth has some of the best replacement necks on the planet and they are licensed by Fender.

    What is also cool is that they offer at least four different neck profiles -- you can buy the neck wood and fingerboard as you really want and finish it yourself (to save $175) using "tung oil" which is not an "oil" per se and is rubbed on with cloth and finished with simple steel wool -- takes about two days overall -- I have even stained the maple with a light "oak" stain before adding the finish to get that aged look and after 10 years they look amazing:)

    I have never ever once had to have the frets leveled -- they were perfect every time I strung up a new neck.

    I have done at least 6 necks for guitars and basses and it is soooooo simple:)

    Then you can have your favorite luthier/repairman install with the nut of your choosing and get the setup and intonation just right.

    Highly recommended.
     

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