Can any of you scratch build "skunk stripe" type necks?

cmjohnson

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I have a very special project in mind. I have a solid billet of Rosewood that I want to make a TRUE one piece neck out of for an upcoming build.

By TRUE one piece, I mean it. No separate fingerboard. I want to carve the complete neck out of this billet.

This will, however, require a truss rod to be installed.

Since I don't want to use a separate fingerboard, and I don't want to carve a slot in the face of it to install the truss rod, then the remaining option is to install a truss rod from behind and cover it with a filler stick on the back, Fender style with skunk stripe.

My headstocks are angled, Gibson/PRS style.

I'll also need to arrange to have the fret slots cut. I can do that myself on my vertical knee mill with the appropriate .022 cutters but I expect to break a few. I can radius the fingerboard surface as well.

But if someone here is already set up for rear installation of truss rods, Fender style, then it makes sense for me to contract you to do the job for me.

This particular form of neck construction is not one that I'm experienced with. I've never attempted to do this, and I don't plan to experiment on this nice chunk of rosewood. So that's why I'm asking for help from someone who has the tools and the technique to do it.
 
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valvetoneman

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I think you might have to make your own jig up because I know johnp90 made pre cbs spec necks and they're beautiful but definitely a pita, he made me a tele and strat slab board plus a one piece tele, they are as good as it gets imo

He puts the whole neck on a radius jig for that bit and a separate jig for slotting one piece after the radius, he has another jig to route the truss rod from the back and angled blocks for drilling entry and exit holes

He's not building at the moment but hopefully I'll be doing some necks with him after he's got his workshop done
 

B. Howard

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Your change from a flat head to an angled one makes this very difficult., Your blank will not fit the typical jigs and fixtures as it is not Fender spec...... This will need doone custom, one off. Personally, the only way I would take a project like this is if I made the entire neck.
 

cmjohnson

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It's not at all impossible that I could do it myself, but I don't quite know the manufacturing specifics of making the skunk stripe type neck. I suppose I could get a cheap copy neck and bandsaw it in half to explore it.

The problem with having someone else build the whole neck is that my necks are fitted to the body in exactly the PRS manner, which many builders don't use. The fingerboard taper extends all the way to the end of the body end of the neck, and the body mortise is exactly matched to that and there is also the neck set angle to account for in the mortise as well. You'd have to duplicate my entire way of making guitars in order to make the whole neck to my requirements.

And even then it has to be fitted to the body that is chosen for it.
 

pshupe

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G&L cut some of their one piece necks down the center and routes the rod in from the side then puts them back together. If the kerf is thin enough and the glue joint done well it is almost unnoticeable.

Is it quarter sawn by chance? That may help as it would look like a grain line.

Cheers Peter.
 

Skyjerk

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G&L cut some of their one piece necks down the center and routes the rod in from the side then puts them back together.
You've just described a 2-piece neck :)
 

LtDave32

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I have a very special project in mind. I have a solid billet of Rosewood that I want to make a TRUE one piece neck out of for an upcoming build.

By TRUE one piece, I mean it. No separate fingerboard. I want to carve the complete neck out of this billet.

This will, however, require a truss rod to be installed.

Since I don't want to use a separate fingerboard, and I don't want to carve a slot in the face of it to install the truss rod, then the remaining option is to install a truss rod from behind and cover it with a filler stick on the back, Fender style with skunk stripe.

My headstocks are angled, Gibson/PRS style.

I'll also need to arrange to have the fret slots cut. I can do that myself on my vertical knee mill with the appropriate .022 cutters but I expect to break a few. I can radius the fingerboard surface as well.

But if someone here is already set up for rear installation of truss rods, Fender style, then it makes sense for me to contract you to do the job for me.

This particular form of neck construction is not one that I'm experienced with. I've never attempted to do this, and I don't plan to experiment on this nice chunk of rosewood. So that's why I'm asking for help from someone who has the tools and the technique to do it.
Yes, I'm set up for that.

Contact me PM, and we'll run through the details.
 

pshupe

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You've just described a 2-piece neck :)
I do not think it is. It was one piece then you cut it and glued it back together, one piece! ;-) Some would say adding a skunk strip is a two piece neck as well. Maybe contact David Copperfield and see if he can magically make the rod appear inside the neck.

Cheers Peter.

PS - don't you have some steel to hammer! :naughty:
 

LtDave32

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First, you have your billet cut to about 2 3/4 wide, just on the fret board length portion of the neck. It can be wider at the headstock. Before you cut any taper or sand any radius, you slot the face of the fretboard area. I use a .023 table saw blade and jig I made for this procedure, and indexing steel I bought from stew mac.

Now that out of the way, we turn to the truss rod channel.

This is done by routing a curved 1/4" channel in the back of the neck to a depth of.555, of which you need a "sled" jig, which is easy to make. The router runs in the sled, uphill and downhill until the desired depth is reached.

Then on each end, a 3/8" hole is drilled at a 3 degree angle, simulating the truss rod curvature.

The 3/8 holes are drilled to about 1 1/2" deep into the neck at the top where the nut is, and to the length of the adjustment nut on the body end. . They do not enter the truss rod channel. The remainder of the drilling all the way to the truss rod channel is done with a3/16" bit, after the 3/8 holes are drilled. This is necessary because of the adjustment nut to have contact "meat', and for the "bottle cap" teeth at the headstock end to have something to bite on.

Truss rod is inserted from the bottecap end, though the channel, then gently curved into the 3/16 hole from the channel to the body end of the neck, then a washer and adjustment nut are screwed on to the protruding threads.

Note that the threads will not protrude beyond the neck end. you will have to insert the adjustment nut and turn it until it begins to thread.

Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask..
 

LtDave32

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I do not think it is. It was one piece then you cut it and glued it back together, one piece! ;-) Some would say adding a skunk strip is a two piece neck as well. Maybe contact David Copperfield and see if he can magically make the rod appear inside the neck.

Cheers Peter.

PS - don't you have some steel to hammer! :naughty:
Yeah, forge-boy.. :laugh2:
 

cmjohnson

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Remember, this will be a SET neck. I do not DO bolt-on necks. So top adjustment of the rod is absolutely essential.
 

pshupe

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Remember, this will be a SET neck. I do not DO bolt-on necks. So top adjustment of the rod is absolutely essential.
That's gonna be tricky then. Have you seen one like that? If it hasn't been done before there is a reason!

Can you use Dave's method and plug the body end hole? Still gonna be difficult putting this in an angled head stock though.

Cheers Peter.
 

dcomiskey

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So, I may be talking out of my ass here, but what else is new? Is there any reason you can’t do a set neck, with skunk stripe, *with* a truss wheel instead? That way, you don’t have to do anything tricky to have the truss adjustment on the headstock. You just have the access slot open after the last fret.

Also, I still don’t get the concept of the curved channels. Is that only necessary if you’re using a one-way truss, as opposed to the newer two-way rods?
 

LtDave32

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Remember, this will be a SET neck. I do not DO bolt-on necks. So top adjustment of the rod is absolutely essential.
Edit: never mind.

Good luck with it.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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actually i was forced into digging a truss rod out from the back when i pulled the neck to thin, and to make things worse, it was a thru neck lp style. i have no pics, but it was more a labor of love. i used a narrow chisel and scored along the border and went at it.
 

cmjohnson

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The truss rod needs to be curved in order to have something for the truss rod to work against.

Look at it this way: If you apply tension to a bent rod, it will try to straighten. If the rod is being held in that shape by the filler piece within the neck, then it will force the filler piece to move.

If that rod is dead straight, tensioning it isn't going to make it any straighter.

Take a string and fold up a sheet of paper a few times and drape this over the string in the middle of it, like hanging laundry on a clothes line, with you holding each end of the string, relaxed, in each hand. Pull outwards and the string forces the paper up. If the string is already under high tension and straight, pulling harder will barely move the paper.

The rod has to work against a bend in order to move the neck. The more bend there is to work with, the more effective the rod becomes.

A dead straight rod has virtually nothing to react against.

I use PRS style dual action single rods. They work on the principle of the turnbuckle. One end is threaded right handed, through a right hand threaded anchor. The other end is threaded left handed, through its own left hand threaded anchor. The adjustment nut is welded to the end of the rod. When this is installed with a curve, as it should be, then turning the rod will either try to shrink or expand the spacing between the anchors, and as the rod is curved, this will force the neck to either bow forward or backwards. With a SINGLE rod.
 

akwusmc

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Bill Scheltema has a pretty good set of Youtube videos about Fender-style one piece necks, including how he routes the truss rod channel. The introduction:


WRT the adjustment having to be top-adjustable, does a guitar neck really care how the truss rod has been installed? Would it care if the truss rod was anchored at the heel and adjusted at the nut as opposed to the other way around?
 

pshupe

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The truss rod needs to be curved in order to have something for the truss rod to work against.

Look at it this way: If you apply tension to a bent rod, it will try to straighten. If the rod is being held in that shape by the filler piece within the neck, then it will force the filler piece to move.

If that rod is dead straight, tensioning it isn't going to make it any straighter.

Take a string and fold up a sheet of paper a few times and drape this over the string in the middle of it, like hanging laundry on a clothes line, with you holding each end of the string, relaxed, in each hand. Pull outwards and the string forces the paper up. If the string is already under high tension and straight, pulling harder will barely move the paper.

The rod has to work against a bend in order to move the neck. The more bend there is to work with, the more effective the rod becomes.

A dead straight rod has virtually nothing to react against.

I use PRS style dual action single rods. They work on the principle of the turnbuckle. One end is threaded right handed, through a right hand threaded anchor. The other end is threaded left handed, through its own left hand threaded anchor. The adjustment nut is welded to the end of the rod. When this is installed with a curve, as it should be, then turning the rod will either try to shrink or expand the spacing between the anchors, and as the rod is curved, this will force the neck to either bow forward or backwards. With a SINGLE rod.
I would imagine most modern guitars use double action truss rods. The vintage Gibsons used single action rods routed in a straight slot that was deeper at the body end. They seem to work fine.

I use double action rods in all of my non-vintage builds. They are all about the same. Some sort of turnbuckle idea where there are two rods, or one rod and a steel bar. One rod does not move the other is threaded and depedning which way it is turned it either forward bows or back bows.

Capture.JPG


I see that there are a couple of problems with putting a truss rod in a one piece neck with an angled head stock. One is that the only difference is not the angled head stock but also it's a set neck. This means the heel is much thicker. I guess you could route a skunk stripe all the way from the heel to close to the head stock transition and then drill from the head stock to insert the rod. This should work fine but the skunk stripe may look funny going up into the heel and into the guitar body. If that is fine then there is your solution.

If not then you could do the skunk stripe in the middle, see pic, and drill from the heel end and the head stock end as shown with the three separate areas circled on the drawing. The problem there is how do you make sure the heel drilled channel is straight and lines up with the route?

Cheers Peter.
 

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