View Full Version : Necking

03-24-2018, 12:15 AM
Beau Hamman has a new thread with tips on neck making and as I don't wish to hijack his thread and am currently making a neck, this new thread gives some idea of my thoughts and methods as a hobby maker.

If I'm in the mood, it can be satisfying making a neck. However, it takes some time and so when not in the mood, I wonder if it is worth the effort. I use Chinese bridges, often Chinese fretboards and so why not Chinese necks? I've used a couple of Chinese necks just to save time in trying out the bolt on neck method (about which I have mixed feelings). My usual joint is the tapered dovetail, at first I did it with a saw and chisel, now I have home made jigs and a router.

I've tried many types of construction, including laminating and use of scarf joints and built up heads/heels.

So, here are some photos of the present neck (laminated Tulipwood (ex Ebay offcuts)) with scarf jointed head.

There's a photo of the laminated starting point, the roughed out neck (wings were added to the head) alongside a Chinese 5 neck, the dovetail joint, and the jigs and tools I use. I rely heavily on a round Stanley Surform tool, rasps, and a cork block and 80 grit sandpaper. I do sometimes use a spokeshave or scraper, but these are not my preferred tools for this task.

At this point I've established that the joint is good, the neck is correctly aligned both horizontally and vertically: this is largely down to careful setting up of my 2 jigs.

I've just glued on a bookmatched headplate. Tomorrow I'll clean up the head and drill the holes for the tuners. I'll then glue on the fretboard and when dry, carry out final shaping of the neck and ensure the neck/box fit is still satisfactory


03-24-2018, 06:42 PM
Yes, as a hobbyist builder, the neck is the most time consuming and anxious part of the process. Why? Because I don't do a lot of it. If I made necks 6 days a week 8 hours a day I would probably get pretty good at it or go crazy with boredom. There is some strange geometry involved which would confuse Stephen Hawking if he was still alive which he ain't.