Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Paul Conway, May 23, 2008.
Anyone done this successfully?
Why, are you trying to reshape it? If so, if you do it you'll void your warranty. Best to send it back to the Suhr shop if you need anything done.
It's only wood, so you can do it- but I'd have to agree with Shoe. Unless you've recarved and refinished necks before, it can lead to disaster.
At least practice on a lesser quality neck before you attack the Suhr.
I would send it back to Suhr, and let them do it.
Suhr's got sooooooo many choices, it might actually be cheaper to just have John make you a totally new neck ?
I've never seen anybody modify a nice guitar that didn't ruin it or at the very least drastically reduce its value. I'd have Suhr make a new neck.
Heh.. I believe I read somewhere that this is how John Suhr got into guitarbuilding in the first place...
After he had his favorite guitar ruined by a 'luthier' he swore that no one would do any work on his guitars apart from him self, and then his journey to fame started... :-D
I have never been one to hesitate to shave a neck or have it done by a pro luthier. I have never been sorry either.
I like a neck to be comfy and will do what needs to be done if I dig the guitar and plan on keeping it. At the very least, I understand it will greatly hurt the value.
If you plan on keeping it, have a pro do it for you. Shouldn't be too expensive. Sending to Suhr is a great idea if they can do it for in a reasonable amount of time and getting a whole new neck is also a great option if you can afford it.
If you love the guitar but not the neck carve, definitely do one of the above options.
The following applies to alterring the carve of any wooden guitar neck:
You will have to be prepared for the nessesity of a complete refret in order to accomodate the wood motion than will often occur as a result of the removal of that neck stock; internal tensions can assert themselves, and the re-carved neck will most often move as a result.
You will be faced with the following challenges:
1) Carving the neck properly in the first place;
2) The re-finishwork involved;
3) The re-leveling of the fretboard surface, including maintaining the desired radius;
4) The re-fretting.
All of the above will be pretty much routine for any "luthier" worthy of the title; but you will have to locate a person who has world-class ability in every one of the above-mentioned areas. Even in this age...with all of the freely available information that abounds...such people are hard to find.
Consult with John, by all means.
Good luck on your quest!
Terry, thanks for chiming in.
You know I have the utmost respect for you and your work and I am totally in awe of your knowledge and willingness to share it with us.
I am curious about one thing.
I have to say I have never needed any fret work after I have had a neck shaved and refinished. (and there have been many)
Am I just lucky?
Remember in the 70's when everyone was shaving the necks on all the old Les Pauls?
The truss rod can have a different location/placement depending on the original neck carve spec. Contact JS & co before you do anything.
Call or e-mail either John or Ed. They are very responsive and will provide an appropriate answer for their products.
It's always best and easiest to go straight to the source, especially when the source provides excellent customer service.
Thanks guys. Of course, it would go to a pro.
A 2-way transatlantic journey would be pricey on top of neck shave charge.
Just exploring options. Probably better to sell, take the hit and order a different one.
I shaved the back of my neck several times a year with no problems.
Oh....wait....are you guys talking about a guitar?
Just be careful your or you could end up with this...................
This is a USA custom neck I shaved down do to the V carve was too much. I have shaved down many necks before and never had that happen. I found out the truss rods are actually set in bowed in the middle rather then straight which is why this happened. There was a defect of some kind of redish wood as you can see which starting coming through first when I first started sanding. Bizzarly after everything was said and done it felt much more comfortable to play and Tommy said it likely wouldn't be a problem with warpage. I put a few coats of lacquer over it and you really can't feel it. Pretty bizarre huh....
If anyone other than Suhr were to shave down the neck, you would void your warranty. To that point, aside from the fact that you'd be shipping a guitar from Europe to the US, the cost of the actual neck reshape/shaving would likely be the same whether Suhr did it or a local luthier....and the local person would know be familiar with the depths of the truss rods (as my friend JDouglee pointed out). I know that recently a 3rd party luthier hit a truss rod while shaving a Suhr neck. Not good.
If its too expensive to ship to the US, sell the guitar and move on. Don't risk ruining it.
Here's a message that my friend John Suhr sent me regarding this.
" I do neck shaves on my own guitars and that is the only way the lifetime waranty will be intact.
When we are done they wont know it happened and only we know what we can get away with since we do have vintage truss rods which are in a curved channel at different depths for different thickness necks. If we are wrong the guy gets a new neck, if a third party gets it wrong they are screwed. In fact we are making a new neck for a customer right now for a repair shop that went too far for the neck and hit the truss rod channel. He could have had it done by us originally for less money than he paid. Lucky the repair guy is taking care of the costs for the new neck."
I thought that I would share this with all of you.
It doesn't look like a defect to me, it could be a red sleeve around the truss rod that got sanded through. I can't tell for certain from the pic, but many rods have a sleeve to keep them from sticking inside the channel.
as others have recommended, I would give the Suhr shop a call to discuss