View Full Version : Clunky Necks: I'm Hit or Miss

09-19-2017, 06:57 PM
I just made my first one piece neck. I've always made stepped heal necks and decided to try a one piece neck.

I have always had a problem with one piece necks for two serious reasons:

1: It is extremely wasteful of wood
2: The run out at the nut area is weak structurally.

Anyway, I love this method. Zip zip. Cut out the shape and zip zip to profile.

My question is: When it comes to neck profiling I have done it by "feel". Well feel just doesn't cut it. I made nice necks and clunky necks and I suddenly realized I don't have a clue. "Feel" just doesn't cut it. Do you luthiers have a model or something you work off of? This is an area that totally flumoxes me.

Here are my measurements on my roughed-in current neck. I think they are clunky:

First fret: 0.74 inch or 19 mm
Fifth fret: .87 ot 22 mm
Seventh fret: 91 or 24
Tenth fret: 1.04 or 26

I know these are too thick, but what is the target on a tenor neck? Picture below.


09-19-2017, 09:13 PM
From the horse's mouth:

Here are some dimensions of our tenor uke neck for you -

Nut - 1 3/8"

Fretboard width -
1.417" 1st fret
1.679" 9th fret

Neck depth (taken from spine of neck to crown of fingerboard not including fret) -
.6432" 1st fret
.6859" 3rd fret
.7346" 5th fret
.8166" 9th fret

Hope this helps!

Mark Althans
Collings Guitars

Of course, these dimensions aren't mandatory but they're a pretty good place to start and will get you in the ballpark. For example, a 1 3/8" nut is at the bottom end of the scale and a lot of players will be more comfortable with a nut in the range of 1.4" to 1.5".

09-19-2017, 10:23 PM
My necks tend to be wide, because of the fretboard width.

Nut width 1.425"

Fretboard width, with binding
Nut 1.550" (nut is inset between the bindings)
1.590 1st fret
1.790 9th fret
1.880 14th fret

Neck thickness from profile template (no fretboard, which is about .200)
.565 1st fret
.700 5th fret
.820 10th fret

You made get out the mic for that one, but interesting to see comparisons, which I've never done before.

09-20-2017, 01:35 AM
I don't know if this will help it's the dimensions I took from an original 1930's Martin concert neck...It was posted last year but Photobucket removed it:mad:
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4413/36504989144_22f5c3f928_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XBPBsy)concert neck (https://flic.kr/p/XBPBsy) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

09-20-2017, 12:03 PM
I make all my ukes 36mm wide at the nut unless someone specifies otherwise.

12mm thick not including fret board at the nut/first fret.
16mm thick not including fret board at the transition into the heel.
Fret board taper varies depending on scale length, but all of them have a 42mm string spacing center to center at the saddle. Fret board offsets of 4mm from string centres at nut and saddle give you the taper.

09-20-2017, 06:33 PM
Thanks all. I took the neck down today to what seems to be the consensus. It looks and feels right. To me at least. Measurements with fretboard in place which runs about ~ 20-25 mil (0.20 - 0.25 inch) or 5 to 6 mm.

1 fret: ~ 70 mil / ~ 17 mm
5 fret: ~ 77 mil / ~ 19 mm
7 fret: ~ 81 mil / ~ 21 mm
10 fret: ~ 94 mil / ~ 24 mm

Vespa Bob
09-21-2017, 05:59 AM
I've been busy taking notes, as I've always just "winged" it in the past, when it comes to the side profile, anyway.