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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by cessna928, May 9, 2010.

  1. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    I was thinking about using a spokeshave to shave down my squires p-neck to a middle ground between p and j thickness. (I'll also tung oil it but that's another question.) Where is a good place to get a good spokeshave (a carpenters son can't buy crappy tools) and what blade should I get. I know they come in flat and concave, but I'm assuming they probably have cutting radii like any other precision woodworking tool.

    Any info you experienced builders can spare would be really appreciated, and I can't wait to get started.

    P.S. I know this will probably end up getting moved because it mentions a tool, and that's on a sticky, but I'm more interested in opinions here. Good tool suppliers and what you think works best. Thanks everybody!
  2. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I use older Stanley spokeshaves I acquired off of ebay. The first one was a dual unit, with one straight blade and one concave. It needed some rehab to become usable, but I found that there were situations where it was too cumbersome to use. My second one has the top mounted adusters on the single flat blade, and is a pleasure to use. Bypass the cheap Chinese copies: I bought one and it was useless: traded it at the local used tool store for a digital caliper (score!).
    Look for a local independent hardware store for Stanley or Kunz. Woodcraft and Rockler carry both.

    IMO the new Stanley spokeshaves aren't as good as the older ones. Kind of like a P-bass, the older ones have mojo. Kunz are supposed to be decent quality, and reasonably priced, but I can't vouch for that.

    A step up in quality would be Veritas
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    You will want to do this by sanding. Do not use a spokeshave for this.
  4. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    You can use a spokeshave or sander for this but you do need to figure out just how much wood you can remove and still leave enough material around the truss rod. This will be difficult to determine without getting an xray image of the neck.
  5. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    For anyone but a master a spokeshave is a tool for rough shaping only.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I use a Sandvik cabinet scraper followed by sandpaper to alter neck profiles.

  7. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    Meh, if it goes bad I'll just have an excuse to throw on a nice aftermarket neck. This bass is a learner in every sense of the word; if I mess it up, I'll learn from fixing it, If not, good for me. After all, I have two basses for a reason.
  8. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010

  9. bronzehydra


    Oct 14, 2008
    Mukilteo, WA
    I would not feel safe doing this with a spokeshave
  10. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
  11. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    I may try to use the cabinet scraper idea. Hand sanding would take a century, so its just going to be for finish work. I'll work up a plan of action and post it soon.
  12. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    You ask, everyone says it's a bad idea and you say you're gonna do it anyway. I don't get why you asked in the first place if you were just gonna do it despite what people with experience had to say.
  13. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    What's wrong with taking an extra while longer if it means you get the perfect neck?
  14. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    If you read more, you could see that as of right now its about half and half. A few people at the top ok it, one or two say just to sand, one guy says to use a cabinet scraper, others lean towards not trying. Since I've previously spoken to my local luthier who said they use a spokeshave to thin out necks, so I figured it was a safe bet to try. And since this is a project bass, which actually needs fretwork, a new nut, and a number of other repairs, it seems like the best media to start on.

    But thanks for contributing to the conversation and not just being critical. And I'm also glad that you realize my initial question was about HOW to do the procedure, and not IF I should do it.
  15. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    Honestly, there's nothing wrong with it. But I want to reshape the transition to the heel a bit too. This neck feels like a 2x4 from the 12th fret down. At minimum I'd have to shape that much down to the necks original radius.
  16. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    You wanna cop attitude it's no sweat off my balls sonny. Just because ONE luthier said he used a spokeshave doesn't mean it's an easy tool tool to use or that it's an especially common method for fine shaping a neck....it isn't, block sanding is. Since you're so stuck on it though here's one that I own and know works well: Veritas Low-Angle Spokeshave. Practice on an old baseball bat or something first or you will **** up your neck. It probably doesn't really matter very much though......with all the worry you have about getting it done fast you'll probably ruin the thing whatever method you use. :rollno:
    Now go out and prove me wrong!
  17. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    To the OP:

    This style is my favorite. I make mine using blades from Ron Hock. They can take exceptionally fine cuts or hog off a lot of stock depending on how the throat is adjusted and the blade is set.

    You may want to practice a little before you try to shape your neck.

    Attached Files:

  18. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    The only attitude in this thread is your own.

    OP, you could use a spokeshave, but considering the neck is already finished, sanding will be easier to help you reach your goal. It won't take forever, it goes pretty quickly actually and allows you much more control in the process. Even though its an inexpensive bass that you can learn on, its still nice to have pleasant fruits of your labours...
  19. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    Really dude, this falls as deep into the "why bother" category as anything I've said. The OP seems to have the necessary determination to pull this off and I'm pretty sure he can deal with my badgering his own self.

    This advise sounds vaguely familiar....
  20. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    Oh yeah, I'll definitely be practicing A LOT on some scrap hardwood or maybe closet rod stock beforehand. It may not be the same since its a softer wood, but it should help me get down the fundamentals of usage and allow me to experiment and find the right blade settings. I'm all about over-preparation for things, if I wasn't I wouldn't come here. Come to think of it, I maybe be able to get a broken little league bat from one of my friends if I talk to him. Oh, the perks of knowing teachers/coaches.

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