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Neck Construction and routing

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jublian, May 3, 2005.

  1. ok, i jsut bought a router, i haven't used it yet but i'll test it
    on the weekend.

    at the moment i'm building an electric guitar and i'm wondering,
    how exactly do i get a clean cut with the router, just some
    general tips would be nice.

    I also bought a neck on ebay and since i've kinda been inspired
    to make my own. i need details. if this turns out well i'll be making a five string fretless.
    excuse the randomness of the thread, i'm kinda tired :meh:
  2. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    I find it best to work a piece from left to right.
    straight lines call for straight jigs/templates......and steady hands.
    Practice makes perfect. practice on cheap wood. Practice making necks with cheap wood first.
    just my 2 cents.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Read the manual that comes with the router for safe operation tips. Most of these will help you control the router and thus make a cleaner, safer cut. Checking out a book on router basics from the local library wouldn't hurt, either.
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
  5. I urge you to buy a book on routers. It is a pretty dangerous machine if you don't know what you're doing. Even before you turn it on, read at least the first few chapters on safety and general discussion on grain direction and bit spin direction, depth of cut, etc.

    I recommend 'woodworking with the router' and 'the router book' ...can't go wrong with either.

    AWEP!!!! (always wear eye protection).
  6. ArtisFallen


    Jul 21, 2004
    rounding the neck you're going to want a cheese grater.

    no i'm not kidding the tool is actually called a surform (pronounced SHure Form) and it is litterally a cheese grater for wood. i use a little square one to round the back over just the way i want it, and then use my power palm sander to smooth it all out.
  7. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Or, use a spokeshave- about $20 at Sears Hardware, works like a plane on the pull stroke.
  8. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Don't skimp when you buy your bits. They may look rediculously expensive on their own, but it's worth it.

    My favourite system is to buy the cheapest set of bits you can find that comes with a nice case, then replace them as you need them. You can't go wrong with a Freud bit, even if it costs the same as a 20 piece set from Princess Auto.

  9. One of my favorite tools is the spokeshave. I use a lowangle veritas, which is amazing. You will never go back to the regular Record/Stanley style ever again. I agree on not buying cheap bits, it's just plain dangerous. Do not ever buy an mlcs bit ...they'll try to lure you in, but don't let them!
  10. thanx for all the help, on neck construction... I'm totally clueless where do i start???
    (the more detailed teh better)
  11. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    (shamelessly:) http://www.suburban.se/Bassic_Physics/Bassic Physics.htm

    And really, go to the library and ask for books on guitar building, the more the merrier! They will explain everything you need to know, down to all detail, and you can get it in your own time. The TB crowd will be both happy and knowledgeble enough to help, but as a group, a lot less pdagogical...

    Seriously: get a book! I like Martin Koch's book best, but that's my personal preference.
  12. I have both a Stanley and Record. Have you tried the standard veritas spokeshaves? Just wondering the differences between the veritas low angle and the "normal" veritas spokeshaves.
  13. the library didnt yeild anything, nothing even bass related
    is there a nice website that has decent instructions (lots of details and pics) on neck construction

    thanks :)
  14. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Well, Jublian, then you have to tell us what kind of neck you want to build!

    One piece?
    Parallel och perpendicular laminates?
    Headstock? What kind?
    What kind of truss rod?
  15. On the topic of safety: the router is a very violent tool that must be treated with great respect, like any tool for that matter. If you've not used one before, I'm sure you'll be taken aback by speed at which the tool spins and by how quickly it removes material. I still recall the words of my shop teacher before we used the routers for the first time, "da minute ya lose focus, dis ting'll send yer fingers cross da room". Wear your goggles at all times, keep a firm grip on the router with your fingers well back of the bit, and let the router do the work, ie: do not force it through the wood at a rate faster than which the bit can efficiently cut. Don't forget to secure the workpiece, and always inform family members and friends not to disturb you while you work. The last thing you want is to be surprised by someone while your holding a router that's spinning at 30,000 rpms. Also make sure you wear tight fitting clothes. I'm sure you know all of this information, so forgive my mention of it, but sometimes a friendly reminder is welcome by even the most experienced woodworker. It only takes a split second for accidents to happen. P.S. When you detail what type of neck your making, I'll try to throw some advice your way.

    Be safe.
  16. joeviau


    Jul 9, 2002
    Rhode Island
    I totally agree with the above. I took a power tools course a couple of years ago, and it was really enlightening. If I could throw my two cents in, unplug your router when changing bits, work left-to-right when you are routing from above and right-to-left when you have a router mounted underneath, as in a router table. Try not to take more than 1/8" at each pass, and at the end of the pass, turn off the router and wait for the bit to come to a complete stop.

    I know this borders on being picky, but the last tip really helped, I stopped the router at the end of a pass for a truss rod, but did not wait for it to completely stop. When I raised the router, the still spinning bit chewed the truss rod channel a little. Fortunately, the fingerboard covers this defect completely, but if you're using a roundover bit on the edge of a body, where you can't hide the damage, this is a good tip.

    My project is a neck-through bass. I found it most useful to route the truss rod channel before making any cuts in the neck blank. I had an edge guide, and clamped a stop block at the start and end of the router's travel. The edge guide simply rode the square edge of the neck blank. After I routed the truss rod channel, I routed two channels on either side of the truss rod channel for some bar stock to reinforce the neck a little. My measurements were pretty accurate, all I
    had to do was to make one pass with the router, move to the other side of the blank, then run the router down the other side. It actually was fun!

    In short, think about your cuts before you do them, and take your time, it's not a race.
  17. oky doky, i'm hoping to make a jazz type neck fender type thing with no skunk stripe(are they only on strats) and truss rod access at the ehadstock, something easy please, as i said (did i?) i have no experience with a router, i may talk to the woodwork teacher at school but any way. the neck....
  18. And for those of us who do not make our necks out of Drywall
    its best to shape with a Japanese saw rasp ( www.lmii.com ) and Sandvik scraper to clean up the scratches.
    Using a palm sander at to rough a grit to remove scratches causes unevenness in the neck and is very obvious when the things finished and the lights hitting it . Long smooth strokes are the key to a good neck
  19. I sure hope that wasn't a shot at Artis and his surform suggestion... :eyebrow:
    The surform is a very useful tool for this type of work and this type of work is exactly what the tool was design for. With good technique, this is as fast and as accurate as any other method. I've used it myself. You shouldn't be so quick to dismiss it.

    You put words in his mouth by saying:
    He didn't say sand it with too course a grit. He's experienced and I naturally took him to mean sanding at the proper grit. You should have too.
  20. Sorry that comment was out of line. If it works why knock it.
    Im just really traditional I guess when it comes to woodworking.

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