Fat neck Les Paul build

ExNihilo

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Hey Peter,

I bet you could make a perfect jig (using cnc) and router templates for the pickup cavities. Have you thought about just routing those by hand with a jig?
 

pshupe

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Hey Scott - yes I have thought of doing it by hand but was thinking I could just as easily make a jig for the CNC machine. It's actually been something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I just have not had time to devote to it. It shouldn't be that difficult, but again I just need some time to figure it out.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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Gonna be making some progress on this soon. Picked out some fret boards and some maple for the inlays.
IMG_0600.JPG


Will be going with one of the ones in the middle. The 4 on the left were all cut from the same board.


IMG_0602.JPG


Just some plain hard maple for the inlays. I will also use the same piece for the wood binding on the board.


Cheers Peter.
 

failsafe306

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Gonna be making some progress on this soon. Picked out some fret boards and some maple for the inlays.
View attachment 494051

Will be going with one of the ones in the middle. The 4 on the left were all cut from the same board.


View attachment 494052

Just some plain hard maple for the inlays. I will also use the same piece for the wood binding on the board.


Cheers Peter.
I’ll take the middle one :)
 

cmjohnson

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1.2" thick? That's ridiculous! What, is he a double bass player and looking for a familiar feeling neck?

I just can't imagine anybody wanting a neck that thick on a guitar.
 

pshupe

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1.2" thick? That's ridiculous! What, is he a double bass player and looking for a familiar feeling neck?

I just can't imagine anybody wanting a neck that thick on a guitar.
Well I guess it's a good thing you have nothing to do with it then, isn't it? :naughty: IMO it's a great way to build a neck. No worries about being too thin. I can add a nice cover strip over top of the two way truss rod, which makes sense in a lot of different ways. No downside as far as I am concerned. As far as whether it's playable, clearly it is if someone is interested in having it built. I'd rather not hear from anyone regarding their opinions on the design. Thanks.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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So I have the wood picked out. Time to work up the fret board model for my CNC machine. I start with the drawing shown earlier and cut out just the pieces I need for the fret board.

I use AutoCAD for most of the design work and copy out the outlines so that I can just extrude them and create the 3d model.

CAD file -
fret board.JPG


I take just the fret board and inlay outline and the radius section and spend about 5 mins modeling it in Fusion 360.

fretboard_fusion.JPG


Add the fret lines from AutoCAD and project them on the curved surface of the fret board as a sketch.

frets_fusion.JPG


I can now use the 3d geometry and sketch lines to create the toolpaths to cut the profile of the board, the radius, the inlays routes, and the fret slots.

Cheers Peter.
 

Wallied

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Out of curiosity, how did you go about modelling the top contours, Peter? I made my model a few years back based on the Bartlett plans and Scott's carve templates, and back then I did most of the work on the top in Solidworks by lofting, followed by some surface knitting and a bunch of operations I don't even remember anymore. After transitioning to Fusion I refined the model some in the mesh workspace and have been using it happily ever since. Still have a couple of creases and dimples in there, but nothing that wouldn't disappear the second I touch it with the ROS.
Now I'm considering taking some time in front of the screen and making a new 59 CAD model based on the new plans, and would like to avoid, like we say here in Finland, climbing the tree arse first.

As for the angled routes, I've just roughed the routes with a straight or a ballnose bit, often followed by a lollipop-, dovetail- or keyseat cutter depending on the application. This does leave some little material, but the rest is a breeze to remove with chisels (a bottom cleaning one is handy here) and sandpaper. This of course stems from the fact I've found I personally make less mistakes the less fixtures I use :naughty:
 

DFI9

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This is probably unnecessary, but just to clear some things up... I’m the guy commissioning this build and I’m beyond thankful that Peter is willing to work with me.

I’ve been playing guitar for over 35 years, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found normal necks cramp my hand quickly.

Years ago, I was lucky to find a guy willing to make me some oversized necks for Stats and Telles. I’ve found that any thickness from 1.15” to 1.25” is comfortable for me, and interestingly, the profile doesn’t matter as much as thickness.

This is my first, and money wise, probably only opportunity to have a LP style guitar that “fits”, so thankfully, Peter is willing to help me with some other quirks of mine, like going “all wood” and with skinnier frets in the upper register.

I know this build is not for a traditionalist, but I not a traditionalist, so it is what it is. I don’t mind if people don’t like it, but personally, I’m crazy excited.

Thanks everyone and rock on!
 
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Freddy G

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Well I guess it's a good thing you have nothing to do with it then, isn't it? :naughty: IMO it's a great way to build a neck. No worries about being too thin. I can add a nice cover strip over top of the two way truss rod, which makes sense in a lot of different ways. No downside as far as I am concerned. As far as whether it's playable, clearly it is if someone is interested in having it built. I'd rather not hear from anyone regarding their opinions on the design. Thanks.

Cheers Peter.
truss rod? You think it'll be able to do anything? :cool2:
 

pshupe

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truss rod? You think it'll be able to do anything? :cool2:
I think so. People put 2 carbon fibre rods in necks and the rod still seems to work. It would be interesting to figure out the equal force between adding the fibre rods and then a thicker neck. Carbon fibre rods are extremely rigid in that direction as you know. Maybe a flat sawn neck would work better than quarter sawn?? I'll be sure to let you know when it's done. Only if it does though. LOL. Maybe I should put two in like Rickenbacker?? ;)

Regards Peter
 
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cmjohnson

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Actually I can see that a thick neck could be helpful for people with issues with such things as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. I just had to think about it. I have occasional twinges of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, in my right hand, and when they occur, two things that help (besides daily B6 vitamins, which make a world of difference) are relaxing the tension out of my hand, and hand position. A more open hand position helps to keep things better in that hand. I can very well see how that thick neck might be just the thing to help. I'd also look at how high the guitar is and where the neck is positioned relative to your body. For most people, the lowest stress position is basically the position you're taught when taking classical guitar lessons. Playing Jimmy Page style, with the guitar around your knees and with your belt buckle safely over and above the guitar body so it won't scratch the finish, is a bit less ergonomic.
 

smk506

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I think it’s great, I love a fat neck and it’s tough to find on a lot of guitars these days with such consistent neck profiles being made.

It’s not like you can just search and search until you find a freaky large neck on a lot of guitars anymore, they’re not speced that way, so they’re not out there.

I’m at the point where if I’m dropping the kind of money that the guitars I like cost, I don’t want to compromise on something so important.
 

pshupe

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Picked out some more wood for this build and should be going full steam on this one soon. I have quite a bit of figured maple around the shop and even though this is destined to be a gold top, I may put a slightly flamed maple top on this build. Here are my wood selections.

A nice Honduran Mahogany one piece body weighing about 2.75 lbs/ b.f. A nicely quarter sawn Honduran Mahogany one piece neck blank. A medium flamed maple top and a selection from the fret board pic above.
IMG_0679.JPG


Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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I decided to switch out the top wood on this build for book matched plain hard maple. This will be a gold top guitar, so no need to have a figured top. Also the flame maple I had there was soft maple and we have tons of maple around these parts so I bought a nice chunk of 8/4 rough cut white hard maple.

rough cut plank -
IMG_0691.JPG


jointed -
IMG_0692.JPG


re-sawed - note the smoke. I guess it's time for a new blade? ;-)

IMG_0693.JPG


thickness sanded and edges jointed. Ready for glue up.

IMG_0694.JPG


Should make a very nice top.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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Glue up day yesterday. Thicknessed the top closer to final spec and glued up. Very nice piece of white hard maple.

IMG_0695.JPG


Cheers Peter.
 

ARandall

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Are those longer clamps working to keep the 2 pieces on the same plane, as well as clamping the glue joint.
 

pshupe

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Are those longer clamps working to keep the 2 pieces on the same plane, as well as clamping the glue joint.
Kind of. ;-) If you rest the body on the bar and tighten it can help to keep the two pieces on the same plane but if the edge is 90 degrees to the body on both pieces it will keep them on the same plane. How ever you joint those edges, you need to ensure they have a nice tight joint and are 90 degrees to the surface. Then there is no issue. I have never had an issue with that. I do usually leave the pieces a bit thicker than I need for final thickness incase the top / bottom are not lined up perfectly, but that is what the two yellow clamps are for at each end. I put those on lightly first, then lightly tighten bar clamps, then tighten the yellow clamps, then crank the sh&t out of the bar clamps. ;) I probably over do it, but have not had an issue and I can glue up tops and bodies very quickly with this method.

Frankly it is more important that the edge is 90 degrees than whether the edge is completely flat. As long as it is 90 degree. I can apply enough pressure with those bar clamps that it will squeeze tiny gaps completely closed. For body blanks I can really apply the pressure. Tops I am a little more careful but 3/4" thick tops seem to also go together well also. 1/4" tops I am very careful because it is easy to put too much pressure on each side of the top and have it bow, but again it is important to have those clamps at the ends holding the seem tight together.

Another note, I always thickness both sides at the same time both on the thickness planer and thickness sander. Then I know they are the exact same thickness and the end clamps keep both faces exactly flush.

Cheers Peter.
 


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