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neck-through blank size and construction

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Taylor Livingston, Mar 7, 2003.


  1. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    sorry about that title. i really could come up with nothing better.

    i'm getting a wenge neck blank, and i was wondering how thick it should be. i measured one of my basses and got the thickness of the neck, but then realized that i may want to get a piece that's the thickness of the body. this will be more expensive, obviously. would it make more sense to just get a piece the size of the neck and put another layer of some cheaper wood under it?

    what's the best construction for a neck through in this style? is this good for my situation?

    [​IMG]

    1: wenge neck
    2: under neck wood (don't know particular kind of wood yet)
    3+4: body wings
    5: fretboard

    i'm not making the neck personally.

    also, what is a good thickness for the blank? i e-mailed galleryhardwoods to get a quote of a piece that's 5 x 1-1/4 x 48, is that reasonable? it will be an angled headstock, so that will definitely be thick enough to cover the regular thickness, but is that going to be enough to work and do all the things that whittle the size down and still be enough?

    the picture is from http://members.lycos.nl/ajgp/woodwork.html
    i don't want the guy to think i'm passing off his work for my own :)
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Are you not able to tell the guy making your neck "I want a wenge neck" and have him take care of the particulars? If that's the way he normally makes necks, I'd just let him go with it.
     
  3. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    i'm doing a lot of the research to get what i want at a good price. if i can just tell him "i want a wenge neck" and have him do the rest, that would be fine; we'll see how that works.

    i still would like to know about the construction, though.
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Well, I use 2" thick neck blanks. It's more a matter of preference how you want to put the thing together than a matter of which is better construction.

    If you use thinner stock, you have to build up the back of the neck by the body. But you generally have less waste. You may have to use a scarf joint (look it up). The thicker neck blank generally involves less step but results in a little bit of waste.
     
  5. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i am making a one piece maple neck right now - Matt insisted ;)
    and the heel block is another piece of material. I am using 4/4 hard maple for the neck and 4/4 hard maple for the heel block.
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Don, are you going to have an angled headstock?

    Just wondering how you are planning to do the headstock with a 4/4 neck.
     
  7. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    yes i am doing an angled headstock; i am going to do a scarf joint to attach the headstock and then build up the headstock to get the width i will need (side to side).

    I will cut the angle as far as i can in the neck blank and then add the actual headstock using the scarf joint.

    Ken walked me through this technique when i visited him a few weeks ago. It makes
    sense i think.
     
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I forgot you got the neck stock from Ken. Good luck with the scarf joint. If you take your time and follow the recipe, I'm sure things will go well.
     
  9. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    well there are sooo many ways of doing this.

    And I must say this is the most agonizing part (for me) of designing the bass.

    At this point i am considering two different ways.

    1st: the scarf way. From what I can tell, the angle of the neck is cut on the neck blank- this material is roughly the same width as the neck at the nut area, and this protrudes about two inches into headstock territory. This is where the upper part od the headstock would be scarfed on and then the ears would be attached on the sides.

    2nd: Laminate another piece of hard maple at the top of the neck stock and cut a one piece head stock.

    I swear, once i decide which of these roads i'm taking things will be MUCH easier.
     
  10. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Don, do you have Melvyn Hiscock's book, "Make Your Own Electric Guitar"? His explanation of the scarf joint is great.
     
  11. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    yes i do have his book...and it is very good.