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First Project - Replacement Neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by J Lund, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Hey everyone,

    I have been lurking around here for the past three years (as "callmeMrTHumbs") and have been learning a wealth of info from all of the bass builders here at the Luthier's Corner. I have finally started a modest project of my own. I plan to build a neck to replace my Peavey Milestone neck. So far, I am working on a practice neck made of cheap poplar that I picked up at Home Depot. I have learned a lot from the experience so far, such as making a scarf joint, routing the truss rod slot, making the neck taper, etc. Still to come are the neck shaping, fingerboard, nut slot, and so on. I will try to have pictures up soon. Thanks everyone for helping me make this happen!

    -Josh Lund
  2. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    This is the best thing someone would do before jumping into the real (and sometime expensive) stuff. I did the same thing and made a test neck which was really helpfull to see where do I have to more precise or where I'm Ok.

    My test neck at the left and the real one at the right.

  3. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Today, I routed the truss slot and rough cut the neck taper and headstock shape. Here are a few (bad) pics.


    I may have gotten a little carried away at the headstock portion. That's why I am figuring this out on scraps!

    The router slipped a little, but the truss rod still fits in snugly.


    Next step is sanding the taper flat, thicknessing the headstock, and starting to carve the neck profile!

  4. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Hi all,

    A bit of progress made on the practice neck. I've begun the neck shaping using a rasp and microplane.


    Action shot


    I've also received the woods for the final neck which makes me really excited. Curly Maple, Purpleheart, and maple veneers. It will be CM/PH/M/PH/M/PH/CM.

    Right out of the box.

    Rough cut to size and mocked-up.

    You can kind of see the light curl in the maple in this picture

    There should be enough for two necks if I saw this blank in half

    I got a cocobolo fingerboard for this neck.

    That's about it for now. I am excited to finally have something started.

  5. I'm excited to see this one come along, since I'm at this stage in my build and I'm pretty scared to start cutting up the chunk of wood designated for the neck. Did you scarf the headstock joint, or just cut it out that way?

    P.S. I also have a cocobolo fretboard, although yours looks quite a bit nicer.
  6. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE

    Yes, that is a scarf joint on the practice neck. It turned out very clean. I got the cocobolo fingerboard from LMII for cheap, and I am very pleased with it...although now I'm wondering if it will clash with the purpleheart.

  7. Well once you plain it, it will turn more yellow-y than the brown it is now. Eventually it will turn back, but I'm still waiting on my piece to do that. Right now my piece of cocobolo outshines the cherry and the maple in my build so I'm kind of hoping it will still turn out beautiful.
  8. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Just received a bunch of (cheap) clamps in the mail today, so I was able to get the neck laminates glued up.

    My fleet of clamps! They were really cheap and I knew they'd be kind of crappy, but I'm on a budget and I figured they would get the job done.

    Boards prior to gluing

    Neck glued and clamped up (sorry for blurr...)

    I worked on the garage floor as my dad's car was out. There is virtually no working space anywhere else. The neck will sit and cure here tonight. (When I say cluttered, I MEAN cluttered!)

    I've got 6 more days before I leave for school. In that time, I want to saw out three neck blanks from this chunk, get all of the scarfs cut and glued, route truss rod slots, create neck tapers, and rough out the headstock shape. *whew!* Then I can take them to school and use rasps/files to shape them.

  9. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    I have a feeling this project has come to an abrupt halt. I leave for school in five days, and in that time, there is a tremendous amount of work to do. I might also mention that I work 2-10pm every day until I leave (including today). Aghhh...I'm screwed.

    Today, I worked on planing this blank smooth wiiiiith....a block plane! I might as well have used a herring. :p:help: After more than an hour of creating wood shavings and some nasty tear-out (using an out-of-tune antique low-angle block plane as a jointer is a bad idea), I've decided to take a break. There was a lot of mess from dried up glue that also made planing difficult. Bleh...this is never going to get done, I'm afraid. :bawl:

    Any suggestions, tips, opinions, complaints, or anything of the sort is very much welcomed. Thanks.

  10. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    My suggestion: get back on this project ASAP!!

    i was inspired until I read your last post.

    this is exactly what I want to do, build a replacement neck for my six string. I just got to thinking that if I can pull off a neck (i'm shooting for a slightly thinner profile) it would be extra cool to put in some fiber optic fret markers, and more importanly for me, side position dots.

    Ambitious I know, but there's a cool thread around here somewhere and I'm not afraid to try most anything.

  11. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Yeah, this project has stopped for the time being. I am going to school, and there is no place for me to work - no workshop or anything on campus. HOWEVER, this project WILL be finished. I can guarantee that.

    I hope to get more done on this over Fall and Winter breaks.

    My plan is two cut this blank into 3 pieces - one for a 4-string fretless, another for 5-string fretless, and another for a neck-thru g**tar. But...we'll all have to wait for an update, I'm afraid. :crying:

  12. J Lund! I've been doing basically the same thing for a guitar project out of recycled parts. It's good fun. I laminated, planed, scarfed, glued, and that's where I am now. I'm working on making the best possible pencil lines to plan the exact cuts I'm making in the neck now... and double/triple checking the dimensions. I'm Really very excited about shaping the neck once I get basic shape cut out.
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