tool for measuring neck width and depth

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Soundhound, Jan 20, 2008.


  1. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    I was speaking to a guitar builder yesterrday at NAMM about the neck on a T style of his I have and he wanted me to measure the neck depth (front to back) at the first fret. I can't remember what the name of the tool was, some kind of calipers? A _________ caliper? Anyone know what he might have been refering to?

    He won't be back in his shop till later in the week and I was hoping to have the info for him when he returns.

    thanksQ
     
  2. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    Vernier, dial, or digital. Any cheap 4" or 6" set of calipers would be fine.
     
  3. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Calipers are your friend - If you want to measure the thickness with the strings on get a small block of known size to get your calipers over the strings - (measure it with your new calipers ;)) - then take the measure and subtract the thickness of the block. You can go up and down the neck like this and easily get the data you're after. If you have a decimal caliper just lay it against a ruler. I have both decimal and fractional now and use both extensively. One thing I've learned about working on guitars - measure, measure and measure some more and write it down!!! Saves me a whole lot of swearing later :D
     
  4. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I use an old micrometer, from my tool-and-die days.
     
  5. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, but it's hard to accurately gauge the depth with them...
     
  6. Steve Foley

    Steve Foley Member

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    I picked up a digital caliper at one of the big-box hardware stores for around $30. I use it ALL the time. A GREAT investment, if you're going to do much guitar work. I can't imagine being without it.
    Just as a FWIW - I scrimped and got the plastic version, vs. the steel one - saved about $10 or so. But if I had it to do over, I'd get the steel set. I had no idea how much I'd actually use it, and it's starting to wear some. Eventually I'll wind up having to get another one, and will not have saved anything. Just my $.02....
    El Steve-0
     
  7. rooster

    rooster Member

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    Spend a few extra bucks on a set of Brown & Sharps dial calipers. They rule the caliper/micrometer world, IIRC. I have a couple of B&S, and a Mitutoyo or two, and the B&S have much better "action." Also, the dial calipers are so much more friendly, once you get used to them.

    rooster.
     
  8. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    I think Mitutoyo/Starrett/B&S would probably be overkill if you just want to measure a neck. One of the knockoffs would be fine. Not saying you shouldn't buy a really nice one, just that it's not needed. Nice tools do feel good though. Solid. And you know you'll never need another one.
     
  9. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Thanks all. The best guitar resource in the world strikes again.:dude
     
  10. deoreo

    deoreo Member

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    Vernier calipers will work, but if the jaws are short, sometimes it can be hard to get an accurate reading.

    I like a transfer type caliper:
    http://www.generaltools.com/Products/10-Outside-Caliper__452-10.aspx

    You can use it to get a measurement in the center of the back of the neck, or even off center to get a feel for the profile - and you can get measurements with the strings on :cool:
     

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