had to make a new template

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Skyjerk, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    You might have seen my post in the "workbench" thread show ing two Strat necks I was making.

    The template I used was a replacement, because my original template met a sad end last year when a bearing jumped the edge and the bit tore into the template right by the nut.
    that destroyed template was perfect though. I made it from an original vintage Fender neck, not really sure what year, but it was a pre-CBS slab neck so it had to be 62 or older.

    Anyway this time I didnt have access to that neck so I bought a pre-made neck template that looked fine at first glance. Well after the necks I made with it were cut out and tuner holes drilled something about the headstocks just felt "funky" to me

    So I put one side-by-side with a neck I had made with the old template. that old neck got set aside because I had made the headstock thinner than I wanted but it was made from my original template, and dimensionally it was perfect

    Differences seemed pretty clear. To my eye the new neck headstock has more wood below the center line, its slightly longer, and the tuner holes dont go far enough toward the end of the headstock. The curve into the headstock on the bass side is sharper and doesnt flow as smoothly. Its just a bit different and I dont like the differences.

    Top neck in this pic was made with the "store bought" template, bottom one with my original template.
    [​IMG]

    To be clear, this neck would work perfectly fine. The differences wouldnt interfere with the function. Its the right length overall, the tuner holes will line up for straight string pull, etc. and I doubt your average joe would ever notice the difference, but I noticed, and if I noticed others will too.

    Long story short, the first pair of necks I made are now firewood. I made a new template last night using the old neck as the pattern and I will be making both necks again from scratch. So thats where I take a step backwards in order to move forward again :)

    Heres how I got the pattern for the new template. This was the old neck with the skinny headstock. I never got to the carving point, but stopped work on it once I realized the headstock was too thin (Its just under 1/2") so fortunately it was still flat as a board on back. I couldnt use it as it was as a routing template because all my router bits have the bearing on top. I wasnt ever going to use the neck anyway, so it gave its all for the greater good. Threw it on the band saw and took a clean slice off the bottom. Of course I made sure I'd miss the truss rod and carbon fiber. Didnt feel like wrecking my band saw blade :)

    [​IMG]

    Heres the "store bought" template on top, and the new one on the bottom I made with the slice of the old neck.

    I suspect some might say I'm nuts, but I know others will understand. Right is right and wrong is wrong. The top one is just wrong and I cant live with it :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  2. pinefd

    pinefd V.I.P. Member Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    I sure hope you made a spare template this time, Chris...just in case!


    Frank
     
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  3. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    I actually made two new templates AND I'm keeping the slice I took from the old neck :)
     
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  4. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Senior Member

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    I just had to scrap the neck I was making for my Supernova build because the skunk stripe ended up a small fraction of an inch off center, so I know what you mean. I hadn't gotten to the carbon step yet (my first time trying!), so it was just a little bit of maple and a little bit of time that was "less productive" :)

    I agree the store bought template looks a little off, I spotted the differences before reading what you thought was off and we are in agreement there. I commend you for your attention to detail, which is an order of magnitude greater than my own.
     
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  5. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Since you noticed the same issues, and you tanked your own neck because the skunk stripe was a fraction off center, Id say your attention to detail and your tolerance for things being
    "not right" arent any less than mine :)

    Since I bought all my maple at Hearne as rough cut 8/4, the monetary loss of the two necks wasnt that great. I do wish I'd noticed the issue before I glued in the carbon fiber rods.
    That added about $25.00 to the loss. I suppose I could cut them out of the necks and re-use them, but that would be a PITA to get them clean enough to re-use.
     
  6. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    I'd suggest finishing these necks and sell them to some one else. Id buy one, that difference doesnt bother me.
     
  7. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Perhaps I will. That'll take time and money (fretboards, frets, inlays, truss rods) though, so maybe some time in the future.
     
  8. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    Yes it will but is definitely better then burning them, as you said they are perfectly good necks they just have a minor visual difference from vintage correct.
     
  9. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Well, it was more of a figurative labeling as firewood :)

    I wasn't really going to literally burn them other than to say that for my own builds they are definitely burned :)

    Stratocasters were my first love in the guitar world. I lusted after them continually as a kid and looked at pictures of my favorite players (Ritchie Blackmore for instance), but couldnt afford one and my parents werent about to buy one for me. We werent well off. You all know how that story goes.

    Because of this, while my Strats dont have to be "vintage correct", they damn well have to look vintage correct. What you call a minor difference sticks out like a sore thumb to my eyes, so they just wont work for me :)

    Thats not to say your take isnt perfectly valid and I have no problem with you being fine with the differenced. Just not for me.

    Of course my taste in guitars has changed somewhat over the years and you see the stuff I build now, but I'll always have that soft spot for Stratocasters :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  10. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    This is the internet Chris. Did you think I'd read between the lines. Hell no everything on the internet is the total truth. Right?:hmm:
     
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  11. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Of course!
     
  12. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Funny how we all see things differently......very minor shape change triggers someone's OCD yet the very obvious 22 fret bit doesn't.
     
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  13. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Indeed. The headstock shape kicks mine in a lot more than other aspects. Twenty-one frets looks goofy to me :)

    Well, like I said I'm not about being vintage correct.
    I use carbon fiber rods, a 2-way spoke wheel TR, 22 frets, and a hard tail bridge. Nothin vintage about any of that.

    I just like the body and headstock shapes to be authentic, and I like the traditional look of a tobacco burst over an ash body :)

    The one I'm making for myself is gonna have rails pickups as well. Neither traditional look OR sound.

    Even Fender got their shit together with regard to how stupid a 21 fret neck is, and 22 frets is pretty much the defecto standard anymore unless you're talking about vintage re-issues.

    For myself, I actually do play up there so it's also a practical consideration for me.

    Not that you can't bend that 21st fret an extra half-step to hit that high E, but bending that much that high on the fretboard takes a bit of extra effort :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  14. JMT Guitars

    JMT Guitars Senior Member

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    Hands down agree new one looks off. Could see the differences immediately- is that new template you bought taken from Fender's current spec? I mean if it aint broke why fix it?
     
  15. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    No. As I understand it the person that made it found a "generic" shape on-line. He didnt make any claim it was authentic
     
  16. JMT Guitars

    JMT Guitars Senior Member

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    Well that makes it better- seems there is a market gap for accurate fender headstock templates then!
     
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  17. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Probably due to the legal aspect. The body shape is free for anyone to use, but Fender has a lock on the headstock shape...
     
  18. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    an un-looked-for bonus.

    Making two new necks with the new template, this particular piece of hard maple has some nice, subtle figure that the goofed up ones didnt.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. nuance97

    nuance97 Premium Member

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    I was curious what it would look like superimposed...for anyone else who’s curious

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Very cool. That shows very clearly the difference. Well, not so much different as "shifted". The "not good" template has the same basic headstock shape, but its shifted down and to the right while the tuner holes are shifted leftward in order to keep the string pull straight.

    The "good" one taken from the real fender neck is the fainter image that has more wood above the center line and is a tad shorter
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017

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