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Warmoth Neck X-ray and thinning!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dean N, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm refinishing a Warmoth Jazz (not thin taper) neck. I figured it's a good time to thin it a little bit, too.

    After looking at a bunch of threads that discuss thinning Warmoth necks, a few people mentioned that short of x-rays, it's just a crapshoot when doing this. One might simply sand into the truss rod cavity or end up on the steel bars. I'm not going for a Geddy or Soundgear neck... just a little more trim.

    Anyhow, turns out that I actually can x-ray my neck. I'll be doing that tomorrow, though I'm not sure exactly how much useful information I'll glean from it. I figured you guys here at the LC might be interested. Any thoughts on how to make neck x-rays useful or helpful?

  2. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    the amount of metal in the neck may create too much of a ghost image or shadow for it to be much good. but try it anyway!
    i have so much metal in my hip+back it makes xrays of the area almost useless.
  3. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Should be interesting. It may not show you much, but it's always fun/interesting to use expensive machinery for things it isn't intended for. :D

    Post the images when you get them so we all can see. :)
  4. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Quick update - I shot two test films to see how they came out, but wasn't able to do larger ones to cover the whole neck. I'll definitely be doing that on Monday, and I ought to be able to post pics shortly afterwards.
  5. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Cool. I'd like to see it.

    I've got an x-ray of a Lakland neck, from the web.
  7. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I finally shot the films.



    There's always distortion on x-rays, and though it's subtle, it makes it pretty much impossible to simply cut and paste images together to get an accurate full-size. Doesn't matter though, since that won't be necessary to get the measurements I want.

    These are really bad cell phone pics. I'm going to use a good camera (tomorrow, hopefully) to get crisper pics. By measuring actual neck thickness at each fret, and measuring the thickness of wood behind the metal at each fret on the films and using good ol' algebra, I should manage to figure out how much to remove safely.
  8. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    That's pretty cool. :)

    Thanks for sharing.
  9. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Westchester County NY
    A whole lotta metal there.
  10. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    I'm guessing carbon fiber stiffeners look like metal on the x-ray.
  11. Tristan


    Jan 28, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    It looks like you could remove a ton of wood and still be OK.
  12. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I don't know how they would look on x-ray, but Warmoth uses 1/8 x 1/4 steel stiffening rods.
  14. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    They have carbon fiber as an upcharge option.
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Right, but, looking at those x-rays, I'm pretty sure those are the steel ones.
  16. BossOnBass


    Aug 11, 2012
    This is so cool! Thanks for posting.
  17. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Most likely Warmoth's truss rod sits at the same depth (from the fretboard) regardless of what the back-of-neck profile or thickness is.

    At least for those necks with no skunk stripe.
  18. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Those are definitely steel rods. Thanks for posting the dimensions, Hopkins, I didn't have those specs. They might help to determine how much I can shave off the neck.

    Carbon fiber has a much lower density than steel, so it would appear much darker on x-ray than the steel rods.