Has anyone made a Torzal tist-like neck?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MPU, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Hi all,
    I'm thinking about making a Torzal twist-like neck. Has anyone made one? I've been thinking to make a router jig for routing the fretboard surface. After sanding I'm going to laminate the fretboard from two or three pieces.
    How do I dress the frets? Any opinions?
  2. BassCycle


    Jan 6, 2006
    Temecula, CA
    Builder: Classic Bass Works
    This I gotta see!
  3. I forget who, but someone did a few years back. He did it with a CNC machine.

  4. steelbed45

    steelbed45 36 on Ignore Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Nolanville, TX
    The bass in the link was actually a collaboration, Little Guitars made the neck for that bass. I'd be interested to see if anyone other than Little Guitars has made one.
  5. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Not that I've seen; I've been watching Jerome Little's work since the late 90's and I've never seen another one built. I searched long and hard a few years back so it's possible someone else has done it since, but AFAIK, Little's the man. I just made the link to Bas' site because his is the most beautiful I've seen...
  6. Thank you for that link. Those are some of the coolest designs I've seen. subbed
  7. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Just as I thought. I've also found nothing but Little Guitars so far. Looks like I have to make some dust myself and see if I can make something similar without CNC. I'll make a thread when this project starts.
  8. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Good luck, Marko, you've always made really cool projects, from that amazing all-CF neck to your Wal, Darkstar and sidewinder pickups.

    Also, please check your PMs.
  9. Hi.

    I haven't made one, but with two steel rods/rails and two bearing carriages, making the jig -even an adjustable one- would be a breeze. I have several large INA linear carriages for prism rails, PM me if You're interested.

    As mentioned earlier, there was a hobby plane enthusiast (glider IIRC) who documented such a build using a homemade CNC machine about a year back.

    Edit:OOPS, make that two years, how the time flies when You're having fun... :(.
    Here's the thread:

  10. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    INA makes fine products. My father-in-law works at INA so I have quite a good supply of their products.

    I hadn't thought of steel rails and bearings, thanks for the tip!
  11. That was a crazy build and the one that I was thinking of earlier. I was on my phone so I couldn't track down the thread and post it, so thanks. I am constantly amazed at what the people in LC come up with.

  12. Hi.

    You're welcome.

    If You use tubular rails, plain bearings will do and it will also reduce the possibility of dragging. Plus You have one less degree of freedom to worry about.

    You're welcome.
    What ever happened to AndreasMergner anyway, he hasn't posted that much?

    Even though it's most likely that the real world just has more appeal than this artificial one, it always makes me suspect the worst. I guess I'm pessimistic that way :(.

  13. lvca


    Jul 18, 2011
    Granada, Spain
    In this article the builder made it twisting all the neck, not only carving the FB

    He use a cast made of steel which has the desiderd helix and a lot of steam:


    the photos are quite clear, but as the article is in Spanish if you have any doubt I can try to translate it

    Te autor of the article is Andrés Tattoo AKA Demolitiontatto in forums
  14. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    After googleing I've found a pic of a kind of a jig for the neck routing at Workshop-Burrell Guitars-Hand made ergonomic guitars made to your specifications either acoustic or electric with a patented Burrell 3 board neck twisted 8 degrees, conforming to your body making the guitar easy to play.
    I have something similar in mind.
    I've also found that fret leveling is done by wrapping sanding paper around a round steel bar and sanding along string path. Of course the less need there is to level the frets the better.
    I'm hoping to get the jig done in a couple of weeks, next week I'm on a holiday and need to do some painting and wall paper work at home.
  15. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    My geometrical thinking does not solve one problem with the jig. Do I make the rails parallel or do I make them tapered along the outer edges of the neck? As I see I have to route along each string path to make the fretboard straight under each string, correct? If that's correct then I have to make my jig so that for each string path there is a slightly different taper in the jig. Or am I thinking too difficult?
  16. Hi.

    Theoretically matching the taper of the neck would be ideal, but since we're talking about deviations less than the accuracy of the machining, I'd make 'em parallel for ease of construction.

    The jig in the pic on Your link has several inadequacies from the engineering POW, over-engineered in some points, over-simplified in others, and way too rigid in terms of adjustability. The pic is very poor though, there may be something that doesn't quite show.

  17. basey


    Jul 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    I think you should make them parellel. The twist of the neck needs to be consistant to avoid an uneven surface for fretting. The strings are all on the same plane even though it is twisting.
    Come to think of it. If you compound radiused the fretboard you should in theory be as good as a compound straight neck, except for when you bend a string. Then things will get different.
  18. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I'm going with flat fretboard. I have one on my fiver at the moment and I like it a lot.
    Parallel rails sure makes the sled for router a lot easier to make. I didn't quite understand how the jig on the link works. I'll try to draw some kind of a pic of my planned jig tonight.
  19. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    +1 on not understanding on how that jig works. But I'm also not seeing how you could do it with parallel rails either. Seems to me you would need a helix, offset to the helix that is the fretboard.

    But there's bound to be some clever method with straight rails that just escapes me.

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