Shaping the neck, hand or machine?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bass Kahuna, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    How is everyone else handling the shaping of their necks? Do you shape them all by hand with planes and rasps, or do you have a jig built using a router or other power tools?

    If you're shaping by hand, how do you ensure that the neck profile is consistent from bass to bass?

    I've been trying to come up with a simple jig to use a router to do the original rough shaping of the neck profile to save labor hours, and am very interested in discussing the pro's and con's with hand shaping vs. a jig.

  2. Since my "bass factory" turns out one instrument every four years, on average, I've never been in the position of having to be consistent since I've never tried to do the same thing twice, yet. :D So far a spokeshave and a rasp have gotten me through the roughing-out, and the rest is by feel: make wood chips and sawdust until it fits my hand right and there are no irregularities.

    I seem to recall seeing a picture somewhere of neck blanks being mounted in pairs and the backs roughed out on a lathe. Ring a bell with anyone?