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Building neck while waiting for body wood + fingerbd question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Corwin81, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    I'm building a fretless 5 string partial neck-through(build thread to come when I have acquired all the parts). I'm currently waiting on the alder body blank to arrive. My idea(since I'm using 3/4" X 1 1/2" pieces of mahogany and 1/4" X 1 1/2" maple glued up as such: mahog/maple/mahog/maple/mahog) is to have the neck going all the way through a pocket on the body that will probably be 1 1/4" deep by the time the wood is jointed square.

    The pocket will either go all the way to the end of the body or stop under the bridge(Schaller 5 string roller bridge).

    I also have a fingerboard question. I got a morado fingerboard from LMI pre-radiused to 16". Is there anything I have to do to this board besides sawing/planing the width taper and gluing it to the neck?

    Any harm in doing this before I get the body wood?
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Gledura is another builder who does a 3/4 tenon style joint for his set-neck guitars vs. a complete neck through.

    There is no problem working on the neck before the body wings are applied, I just wouldn't shape the neck heel until they are.

    The pre-radius fingerboard you have will need final sanding after glueing it down to the neck blank to ensure it is as flat and uniform as possible. Most luthier supply houses like Stewart MacDonald and others will have pre-radiused sanding blocks as well as long, flat bars which you put adhesive backed sandpaper on to do this sanding and levelling. You sand a bit then check it with a good straight edge, etc. Once level to your satisfaction you then sand it down with finer and finer grit paper to polish it up.

    Best of luck, and looking forward to the pics!

  3. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    The other thing I'd add is to leave a little extra wood on the neck where it'll join the body until you're ready to do the glue-up, then mill it down to size. Milling it early leaves you open to wood movement and the accumulation of airborne junk on the surface. Wood glues best when freshly cut.
  4. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    well, there's already been a change in plans.
    The neck's glued up right now. Instead of waiting for an alder body, my singer and I looked through his stack of walnut and maple and found some boards to do a walnut/maple(either plain or spalted) laminate body. I'll try to find a digital camera so I can take pics when I go back to his shop on Sunday to laminate the body(the walnut's already glued together).
    still planning on doing the partial neck through(extended set neck?), so the top will have maple and mahogany, and looking down the side will be maple/walnut/maple.

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