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How do you all align your necks?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dave-chaulk, Nov 22, 2010.


  1. When it comes to doing bolt-on necks, I always just line up the neck's centerline (drawn on) to the body's centerline using a long ruler and my eyes.

    is there any way (later pointers, strings) to have a more definite, accurate alignment?

    Any way that you just feel is more efficiant?

    I searched the forums and came up with nothing - but I'll still apologize, just incase I'm beating a dead horse....
     
  2. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    I run a yardstick or reasonable facsimile to extend a straight edge along either side of the neck and over the body to see how it aligns with the bridge mounting holes.
     
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I have a line drawn down the center of my neck and body then look at it from a low angle. You can eyeball a straight line.
     
  4. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    I used to eyeball and thought I was very close. Used a straight edge recently and saw that I wasn't as close as my eye alone told me.
     
  5. headlikeahole

    headlikeahole Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Manchester, NH
    Owner: Zoov Custom Guitars
    Picture165.

    Picture166.

    Thats how I do it.
     
  6. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Bass center line, bridge placement, pickup spacing all come in to play but I use a straight edge on both sides of the neck.
     
  7. Clamp two straight slats to your neck, tape a ruler to your body, align everything, clamp the slats to your body, remove the neck and start routing.. couldn't go wrong if y'ask me.
     
  8. headlikeahole

    headlikeahole Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Manchester, NH
    Owner: Zoov Custom Guitars
    bridge placement and pickup spacing definitely have nothing to do with the neck being straight
     
  9. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    It dose if your aligning a new neck on an finished bass.
     
  10. headlikeahole

    headlikeahole Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Manchester, NH
    Owner: Zoov Custom Guitars
    I think it goes without saying that you cant stick the neck in a position thats not in scale with where you put the bridge. Either way the neck being straight isn't related to anything but the center line.
     
  11. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    I just broke the neck on my gloss black Jazz bass and you are installing a new one for me. What are you going to reference to line up the neck? :meh:
     
  12. headlikeahole

    headlikeahole Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Manchester, NH
    Owner: Zoov Custom Guitars
    allllright so I guess I wasn't thinking about not building from scratch. You got me :bassist:
     
  13. I've used all these methods, guys, hah. I love the two rulers one, but mikey's eyeballing straight lines is my most common one.
    I've been building too many G*****s to be posting build threads lately...
     
  14. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Bolt on - align neck pocket template centerlines on the body centerline, all set.

    Set neck very similar to 2 board method above except I have a jig set up for this so I can center the jig then place and align the neck.

    Neck through - centerline is determined on the neck after the lams are glued up, and everything is based off of this line.
     
  15. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I route the neck pocket as the step immediately after completing the body blank. my self-made template for hand routing has a centerline scribe and a crossing scribe at the scale reference location (i.e. the location that positions the zero-fret or leading nut edge 34" away)

    it's only after the neck pocket is routed that I cut the body perimeter from the blank. I've used many different workflows, but this is the most repeatably accurate method I've used ... so it's my standard practice on all builds.

    I also have a neck outline that I use for defining the perimeter of a neck, and this fits perfectly into the pocket

    all the best,

    R
     
  16. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I think if I did bolt on's regularly, Rodents process would definately be more efficient. I do not get many requests for them. Nice idea Rod. +100
     
  17. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    forgot to note one other benefit to my method - I get reliable template support around the entire template.

    I found that the typical 1/4" or 3/8" thick plexi template simply can't support the router weight as it cuts at the edge away from the bridge, resulting in an unpredictable slump that tapers some towards the nut and even worse of a taper towards the G-string. definitely a bad thing to have happen

    I'd post an image, but I'm not near my camera at the moment

    all the best,

    R
     
  18. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    1/4" or 3/8" templates? Wow, those are thin. I use 1/2", 3/4" and 1" templates. I use my 1/4" polycarbonate templates to make thicker repetitive use templates. Just what I do.
     
  19. hoytbasses

    hoytbasses

    Mar 30, 2003
    Cape Cod
    I build stringed instruments.......
    same as Rod......

    dedicated neck pocket routing jigs that I use prior to cutting out the body. Nice stable base for the router and predictable results. I only build 4's and 5's so I only need a couple of jigs.
     
  20. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Are you asking about setting up for the neck pocket, Dave?

    If so:

    Build305.
     

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