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neck blank dimensions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jonas_oxide, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. well, although i could do a search and find this info after going through a couple threads, itd be way cooler to have an entire thread (small though it may end up) about it.

    I went to a wood store yesterday with the hopes of picking up, or placing an order for, a wenge/paduak neck blank for a 5 string set neck. much to my dismay, the clerk said it was an unsusual request, he doesnt do neck blanks (that is because ppl dont ask for them) very often at all. said he would cut, glue & plane it, all for 100 canadian dollars.
    great i thought, and then he said "what dimensions do you need here" at which point i felt quite ridiculous. i had to tell him i didnt know and would come back with the info some other time.

    what are the specs for a 4 string blank, or a 5, or a 6?
    how long should they be if they would be a set neck on a 35" scale?
    how thick (or deep) should it be?
    thanks again in advance, i appreciate this website more than i could tell you guys :crying:
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    This totally depends on your design. How many frets? Angled headstock or straight? If it's angled are you going to attach the headstock with a scarf joint? How wide do you want the string spacing at the bridge? How are the tuners arranged? 4 in line or 2+2 (for a 4 string)? The depth of the the neck also depends. It could be simple whatever depth your neck is going to be once carved. You'll have to make sure that the truss rod will still have enough wood behind it so that it doesn't break through the back of the neck. Maybe you like warwick like necks (very thick) or maybe you want it as thin as possible.

    There's no real "standard" sized neck blank. Typically most should be relatively similar in size to each other. If I were making a 4 string, I'd have a scarf jointed 2+2 headstock. String spacing at the bridge would be 19mm. I'd want the depth of the neck finished to be around 20mm, with a 6mm thick fretboard. The blank I would get would be at least 3/4" thick. I'd have 24 frets, so that means that the fretboard needs to be at least 26.75" long. I'd add half an inch to that, so 27.25". I'd want a good 8" on the end to make the scarf joint with as he headstock should be in the neighbourhood of 6". I'd probably grab something that was 36" long. For the neck width, on a 4 string that's probably going to be mostly dictated by your nu width and tuner arrangment. I would say that 1.5" is a typical nut width. For straight string pull I'd add 3/4" to each side to allow for the tuner to mount. With a blank that is 36" x 3" x 3/4" you should be able to get a 4 string neck. It totally depends though and you could easily come up with designs where this sized blank wouldn't work.
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Like Geoff said, first you design the bass, and then you can figure what the dimensions are for the neck blank.

    The closest thing to a "standard neck blank" would be if you were simply copying a Fender neck, except gluing instead of screwing, then you could go measure up a Fender.