Don’t let any internet forum jerk (even if it’s us) convince you otherwise. You’ll also want to invest in a drill bit kit that includes at least a 1/16” bit and a 5/64” bit, the two most common bits we used for drilling pilot holes. 8. Let the pros handle it; we ordered our Warmoth body with a simple clear coat and for the cost of their in-house paint job and the ridiculously high quality they deliver, it’s just not worth your time. . COVER STORY: Ben Kweller on the Making of His New LP, Performer’s Step-By-Step Guide to Building Your Own Partscaster. Hopefully the picture below helps to illustrate what I mean. First, it made the project feel real, to see that logo staring back at us, like it was a real guitar all of the sudden and not some generic blank. I had left the truss rod in the neck and I was afraid that it might have gotten glued in permanently and that would have been bad because I still had to cut the heel shorter to make the dove tail joint later on… but thankfully that was not the case, I was able to knock it out quite easily by clamping the end of the truss rod in a bench vice and tapping lightly with a hammer on the heel end of the neck. Acoustic vs Bass Guitar: Which is better for Beginners. Something we didn’t catch, but a trained eye saw right away. Here’s what we learned: We did the decal first for two reasons. Commercially made bolt-on acoustic necks, like you’ll get from suppliers like, Bolt On Acoustic Guitar Neck: Pros and Cons. I found it took be pretty easy to work with, it seemed to plane quite nicely and it was relatively easy to install an inlay into it. With over 30 years’ experience, they will deliver exactly what your project needs, and they’re amazing to deal with. So finally, the wood for the neck also needs to be hard and dense. In their book Natelson and Cumpiano took the next step of carving out the heel, but I decided not to carve the heel until I had finished the dovetail joint. We can’t recommend their gear enough. They’re simply good people who make incredible replacement bodies and necks here in the USA at a fair price. If you plan on painting and applying a finish to your instrument yourself, ReRanch has all the supplies and tips you’ll need to do it right. Then after drilling holes through the neck block, the neck is secured with flat-top furniture bolts. I’ve been experimenting with dry fitting the fingerboard without any glue. There are two ways to think about the size of the neck. So, for obvious reasons, the wood for the neck needs to be strong. It’s potentially a bit of a tricky balance finding wood that’s strong, hard and dense but easy to carve. You may be tempted to start bolting your neck to your body right away, but trust us, one slip of the drill and you can easily ruin a bunch of your dream parts in one fell swoop. I did this because I didn’t want to use a veneer to cover the headpiece and it wouldn’t have looked so good to have a joint right in the middle of the headstock. Heck, tons of guitars come off the line with neck shims from the factory. Here’s what we learned: You’re going to need some tools to put this all together, obviously. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. The same is true for an adjustable truss rod. If weight is a concern for you, they have a showcase of pre-built bodies that list the weight – an awesome touch! Copper shielding tape is easy to apply, and widely available online for cheap. The two main types of Mahogany used for acoustic guitar necks are American Mahogany and African Mahogany (a.k.a. We personally think adding a Fender logo to a guitar Fender didn’t build is not only lame, but dishonest and really getting into counterfeit territory, even if it’s for your own personal use. Position it over its pocket and GENTLY start easing it downward, rocking it ever-so-slightly to lower it into place. THEN do your set up. Finally, the neck plays a supporting role in the tonality of the guitar. This is just how we did it; we’re not going to get into a nitro vs. poly debate. It’s hazardous for starters, and you’re likely not gonna be skilled enough on your first attempt to do a showroom worthy paint job. I made the neck truss rod as detailed by Natelson and Cumpiano, shown below (I found it to be a very clever, simple and effective design). That’s just the trade-off. It’s like cute cat videos for musicians. The problem originates in the fact that the headstock thickness is smaller than the neck thickness so in order to minimize waste that fact must be taken into account before the cut is made. Continuing on with this theme of articles about the best materials for acoustic articles, this article will discuss the best wood for guitar necks. googletag.pubads().refresh([gptAdSlots]); Your neck fit is going to be perfect, and the nut/bolt attachment provides huge security in holding everything together. It’s the most difficult and expensive repair for an acoustic guitar with a traditional neck. ReRanch Guitar Refinishing – www.reranch.com. You’ll also need some more specific gear like a soldering iron, so we recommend a 40-watt iron and 60/40 rosin-core solder (you only need one spool for a project this size). (CLICK FOR FULL SIZE) pilot hole chart from www.woodmagazine.com. Soldering sucks. Your decal: First up, apply your logo or decal (duh). If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Their folks are excellent to work with and will provide guidance every step of the way during your project. What we learned: One thing we recommend is that no matter what type of guitar you want to build for yourself, whether it’s a Strat or Tele style, Jazz Bass or something else entirely, try to match it up against another production model that is at least somewhat similar so you don’t forget to order any parts. Working on small parts one at a time is the way to go; we learned that the easy way. Create an inventory list in a spreadsheet program with all of your parts, the quantity and price for each so you can budget properly, and a running total of items ordered, items yet to be ordered, items arrived and your total running cost. Here’s where you’re gonna spec out all of your parts, down to the nth degree, exactly how you want them. It sprays easily (do it in a well-ventilated area or outdoors), and it hardens fairly quickly, too. Required fields are marked *. For the neck, you’ll need to make some decisions about what kind of neck you want. The final appearance of a bolt-on neck on an acoustic guitar will be identical to a traditional dovetail neck unless you look inside the soundhole to see the nuts or bolts in place. Your decal: First up, apply your logo or decal (duh). Being able to spec out your instrument with all the electronics and features you want is a cool way to learn what goes into making guitars. There … ( Log Out / First, we recommend drilling pilot holes (again, consult the chart for the right drill bit to use) for the strap buttons, pickguard, pickup mounting, tailpiece and bridge. Most pieces come from the Far East and quality varies, but if the name of the game is saving money, it’s a starting point. You heat up metal, let some solder flow over what you’re mating, and give it a second to join before removing the heat. Excellent source for replacement bodies, necks, hardware and electronics. Lollar Pickups – http://www.lollarguitars.com/. Neck assembly for kit guitars is fairly straightforward for the most part, but there are a few things you will want to avoid doing. That’s it. We’ll assume you have the basics like a Phillips-head screwdriver, a drill and a small hammer. You can inadvertently chip some of the finish or worse, misshape the pocket so that your neck won’t fit snugly when assembled. Worst case, the fingerboard is detached from the top where a shim is applied, if needed. You’ll be taking the neck on and off the body many times, and it’s easy to reach in and spin a wingnut. FIGURE 1 – Final Warmoth Jazzmaster Assembly. It’s a pain in the ass, and anyone who says otherwise or claims to enjoy it is a dirty rotten liar. Your email address will not be published. You don’t need to impress anybody. In particular, of course, we are looking at acoustic guitar necks. However, with a bolt-on neck, this adjustment is about 15 minutes. Now, on to the build process! However upon reading the neck section in Natelson and Cumpiano’s book I soon realized that in the end by using a single block of wood I would end up with a weaker headstock because the grain of the wood wouldn’t be parallel with the headstock.