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5 string neck build issues

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bobdabilder, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Currently building my first neck. Rock hard maple with Bloodwood fb on top. 5 string 34 inch scale. here is where I am:
    fingerboard is on, profile is 90% there. just working down to final dimensions. truss rod is center of channel and it's a hotrod tr from stewmac.
    fingerboard was flat.
    frets went in.
    mounted strings for 2 weeks to get neck to settle.
    went to adjust truss rod and treble side adjust just fine but bass side lags in adjustment. with tension, neck has a slight twist. the bass side just seems stiffer and less responsive. this is the first neck I've had do this. I'm looking for insight and experiences on this.
    Thanks for looking.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  2. Manton Customs

    Manton Customs UK Luthier

    Jan 31, 2014
    Shropshire, UK
    Luthier, Manton Customs
    It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong, so its really unfortunate you are having some bad luck your first time around...this can put you off doing it again. When you mounted the strings on it did you tune them up to full pitch with all 5 on?
  3. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Never built a fiver, or had that problem w/a 4 string (I like beefy necks). Maybe try a custom set of strings, w/lighter B E and/or heavier D and G? Bassstringsonline might be able to help with advice along that line? Just curious, how are you still working on the FB radius with the frets already in????? Hopefully someone else will pitch in. Hope you find an easy solution...keep us posted!
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    You fretted it, and strung it up before the radius was finished?
  5. Sorry, I need to clarify. I radiused the board early on and the profile is 90% finished. I'll correct that typo. When I say the fb was flat, I mean straightedge flat not radius flat. Sorry.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  6. Mounted them all close to pitch. (by ear). After I noticed the twist, I removed the B to see if it would spring back. no luck so far.
    Thanks for the reply.
  7. No. I've corrected the original post. Profile is 90% finished, not the radius. Sorry for the confusion.
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Can you clarify what is happening here?
    • With the truss rod loose, how does the relief (while holding down the string at the first and last frets, to eliminate the nut and bridge as factors) compare on the treble and bass sides
    • With the TR tightened somewhat, same Q
    • With more TR tightening, same Q
  9. Yes, I can. Thanks for asking.
    truss rod loose fretted first and last: same relief on bass and treble side.
    truss rod tightened somewhat: bass side does not change much. treble side begins to flatten out.
    truss rod tightened more: bass side begins to flatten out some. treble side is beginning to move past flat.

  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    With relief set correctly on the bass side, are you getting fret buzz on the treble strings?
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    How's the symmetry on your neck carving? Is there more wood thickness on the bass side?
  12. Jay Jillard

    Jay Jillard Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Brampton Ontario Canada
    Owner/Luthier, Jillard Guitars
    also, whats the grain orientation like on that maple?
  13. The nut is still rough cut but yes it would.
  14. No its pretty symmetrical.
  15. Quarter sawn
  16. The twist is way more pronounced with tension on the rod. I am going to try to get the rod out. I am pretty bummed.
  17. pics are bad but incoming. mmneck2. mmneck3.
  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Its definitely got a little twist in it. The first thing I would do would be to carve the nut and put all 5 strings on it, and give it a set up, and see if you will have any problems. Personally I think it may be ok when all is said and done, but you cant know for sure without getting the action at the nut set, and the rest of the strings on the neck to see how it behaves under full string tension.
  19. Yeah, what can it hurt? I'm already here. I'll clean up the nut, put all the strings back on, set the action and let it sit for a bit. I'll update progress.
  20. Could you string up the bass side but not the treble and tighten the strings until it begins to straighten? It might straighten out if you leave it for a while

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