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Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

Neck thickness 

Hello,

Posted this elsewhere but was a bit long winded.

So simplified...
How thin can one go with a reinforced neck? Cedar and Ebony combined

Before it becomes unstable or looks ridiculous?

Thanks
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 22 2022 11:32:32
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

I think don’t go less than 21.5mm even if the Cedro is quartered at 90 and nice and stiff. I’m not convinced an ebony insert does very much beyond what any lamination would do except perhaps provide a (possibly false) sense of security.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 23 2022 13:30:32
 
Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

Thanks rob.

That's kinda what I thought/wanted to hear.

Posting on another forum seemed to be a few votes for going thin.

I've basically made a deep saw cut when I carved the neck. And I'm trying to fix it. Choice was go thinner to consume or patch it keeping the thickness.

Folk were advising against patching but that's where my instincts are pulling me. I don't want a really thin neck
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 23 2022 13:41:53
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Could you compensate for the cut by using a thicker fingerboard?

I screwed up a neck while carving a few guitars back and went to 20.5 at the first. I compensated by keeping the depth at the 8th standard, so it really just affected the taper. I also had a carbon fibre rod insert in the neck that went past the nut so I felt it still had strength, otherwise I would have swapped out the fingerboard for a thicker one. Less than ideal, though, and I was pretty freaked out about it but fortunately the person it was for has small hands so he saw it as a plus. It’s been a few years and I haven’t heard any complaint, but it’s on another continent so I haven’t been able to examine it to see how it’s settled. Maybe next time I go to the EU I’ll have a chance.

*edit* is it a diagonal cut made to help define the first facet? If it is, maybe you can compensate by carving the head end of the neck in a soft “V” shape that transitions to a more rounded “C” as you go up the neck. That way you can keep the depth, which is where the bulk of the stiffness is coming from. This is assuming you’re using facets to define the basic shape, which I suspect you are.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 23 2022 23:09:13
 
davewphx

Posts: 78
Joined: Jul. 11 2011
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Guys, I am not a guitar builder in any way and I'm just curious.. is that 21.5 mm mentioned the thickness at the nut or 12th fret, and is that with or without fingerboard?

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Dave
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2022 2:23:18
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to davewphx

It’s at the nut, generally measured at the nut side of the first fret. I tend to consider 21.5mm to be a minimum, although that’s generally what I use. If there were a standard, and I’m not sure it’s accurate to say there is, it would probably be 22.5mm, with much above getting into beefy territory, and less moving to thin. The wood being used has an influence on this, too, and the builder will try to read it and adjust accordingly.

Oh, and the measurement is taken with fingerboard on and dressed, and the target thickness is achieved during carving.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2022 4:54:16
 
Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

Hey Rob, no it was a perpendicular saw cut at the heel. I was making the two channels. (One at nut, one at 9th) which i then chiseled out.

It's really irking me this one. I'm so bloody.close to finishing this and somehow made a doozy like this in what was meant to be one of the easier parts of the job! 😄
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2022 11:01:46
 
Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

Here's a couple of pics. I tried to sand it out but realised it was deeper than I thought so I stopped...but not before id gone too far and made a big dent!

The one with colored lines was my options pic.

Take it all down to yellow line. But really thin.

Or build back up to red line. (Original target shape/size)





Few guys on delcamp were saying any patch wil stick out and highlight the flaw. But I feel that's the lesser of two evils.

I was thinking of something creative like a shape or star or something in.a contrasting wood. But not convinced

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2022 11:08:00
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13512
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

I think you can go thinner (i.e., remove material between the yellow and red lines). I have played some ridiculous thin necks and yours is not going to be that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2022 15:48:11
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

How thin would it be at the yellow line (measured in the dip)? I’m guessing it’ll be between 23 to 24mm, which is OK. The swoop of the heel is chunky so it can be brought down to a more graceful curve into the yellow line, which should consequently get rid of the saw cut. But don’t chase the cut, fill it with a piece of veneer (can be made with a thick plane shaving) and what remains visible after the heel is carved, remains. I don’t like the idea of a graft either.

P.S. if it’s less than 23mm then the fingerboard is probably closer to 5mm than 6mm and instead of a graft a thicker fingerboard might get you where you want to be. Out of curiousity, how thick is the fingerboard? It looks like 6 to me, and that’s what I based my estimate of thicknesses on while eyeballing the pics.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2022 17:46:16
 
Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

No much thinner.

Think the lowest point of the dip is about 20.5mm. 😖

It was perfect before just with the unwanted saw cut...filled with CA glue and saw dust. Wish I'd left it like that. 😐
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2022 23:23:55
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Ouch. 20.5 in the centre? And how deep is the fingerboard? Barring doing some form of major surgery, which I don’t think is a good idea, some depth could be gained by replacing the fingerboard with a thicker one. Otherwise, as Ricardo said, you’re just going to have a shallow neck which may or may not be totally fine, depending on the wood, only time will tell. That’s probably the best option, especially if you’re approaching guitar making as a journey, after all, you are still learning in the process, and there’s a good chance it’ll turn out just fine. Just don’t taper, keep the thickness even because you’ll need that 20.5 at the nut, too.

*edit* Actually, it occurs to me that if you replaced the fingerboard with a thicker one, you could use that as an opportunity to inlay a CF rod into the neck. If placed deep enough it could add strength, if you feel it’s needed.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 25 2022 0:18:30
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1594
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

I make my necks about 20 mm in back of the first fret and then 22 mm at the 9th fret. (A little thicker than 20 at the nut.)
I bet you could add material to make yours thicker in a decorative way, so it looks like a desired inlay. Maybe a contrasting wood species, shaped like...something. If you were so inclined.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2022 0:42:02
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

I make my necks about 20 mm in back of the first fret and then 22 mm at the 9th fret.


It sounds like maybe I shouldn’t have been so concerned when I did the one at 20.5mm. It’s good to know about this. Do you reinforce with carbon fibre or laminate?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2022 4:06:43
 
ernandez R

Posts: 575
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Stu,
Had an eye on your dilemma but no ideas. I’ve made many of the classic mistakes but not this one… yet ;)

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2022 15:49:01
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

I’ve made many of the classic mistakes but not this one… yet ;)


Just be patient. Most classic mishaps seem to happen to everyone at some point or another.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2022 16:03:57
 
Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

My fingerboard is on the thin side too.

I really don't wanna have to remove the fboard.

It might sound amateur but I just wanna get this finished now as quickly and painlessly as possible. (And start on the next one)

I've been consciously sitting on it for a few days and letting the advices and ideas I've received just float about in my head.

I was in a bit of panic mode originally but just getting on with some other final bits and trying to let this neck dent just 'be' for a bit.

Thanks Ethan. I was toying with that idea and I might start to think further on it.

Need some kind of cool shape/symbol that means something and isn't corny

quote:

Just be patient. Most classic mishaps seem to happen to everyone at some point or another.


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2022 19:32:34
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

quote:

It might sound amateur but I just wanna get this finished now as quickly and painlessly as possible.


Why not just carve the neck and see how it feels? If it feels OK and you’re keeping the guitar anyways you could always revisit it in the future if you decide it feels too thin or if it starts moving in ways that concern you. You can probably get another mm out of a new fingerboard and also a CF rod insert could be added for increased stability, but there’s nothing that says this has to be done right now, or even ever. If the neck ends up feeling comfortable and is stable then all is well.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2022 21:22:44
 
Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

I'd agree with that totally Rob.

However I have a colleague who's said he wants to buy this guitar.

So there's some pressure there. Even though he's an absolutely lovely chap who's buying more for the event of purchasing a guitar that a friend made than actually wanting a flamenco guitar.. (he's a steel string acoustic guy)

But to be honest I've said he's first option but as a disclaimer I've said I may not sell off its a disaster. 😂 (or if it sounds absolutely amazing! )

So I guess your point holds..I could always finish it, string it up and see where I'm at. Then decide if further work needs to be done immediately or not.

Thanks for that perspective
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2022 23:33:35
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1594
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

I reinforce with pultruded carbon-fiber bars, 2 of them that are one eighth by five sixteenths inches each, about 10 inches long. I put them in one slot that is 1/4 inch wide.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 1:15:13
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 905
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

I've been racking my brains over this since I saw it on delcamp but it goes against everything I teach, which is, you can always take away but never add...

So, what ever you do you it will stick out like a soar thumb. I think the only time I have seen something like this and probably the only reason I have never done is Was an early flamenco guitar made by Pablo. We ended up cutting the neck of and making a new one. The join became a mortice and tenon.

Some times it can feel very daunting doing the best thing especially if it feels extreme but it can also be the most rewarding and a great lesson.

Next time don't try and thickness your neck with a saw. Use a rebate plane and leave 0.5mm to 1mm excess just incase you make an error.

Hope all goes well.

Steve

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Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 8:23:20
 
Stu

Posts: 2076
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stephen Eden

quote:

Some times it can feel very daunting doing the best thing especially if it feels extreme but it can also be the most rewarding and a great lesson.


Haha, yes, but what in your opinion, is that best thing? Cos I'm not certain still. 😄

Yes, I don't own a rebate plane. I'm at that stage where I must've brought a new tool for every stage of this build. And thought ah it'll be ok...I'll just saw then chisel.... 😔 but a good lesson that even when being super careful and aware of the pit fall, it can still get you! 😠

Thanks Stephen
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 13:08:23
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

I don’t know if it’ll make you feel any better but I have this kicking around my shop…




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 14:16:40
 
davewphx

Posts: 78
Joined: Jul. 11 2011
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Did those break off the neck Rob or was there something so wrong you had to cut them off? That is tragic, but they look nice from the pic.

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Dave
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 15:07:27
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to davewphx

Those are cut-offs to save the heads for posterity’s sake while repurposing the neck woods for other uses. What’s not seen in the box is a heel assembly cut-off which I did to replace a heel that had an ugly resin pocket buried inside that only became visible while carving. I can’t remember why I cut the heads off, but it follows the philosophy Stephen mentioned where sometimes it’s better to do something over or take what on the surface may appear to be drastic measures in the service of a higher quality for the finished work. Re-frets and fingerboard replacements do happen and I’ve seen my first teacher replace tops on finished guitars that didn’t meet his sonic expectations without even breaking stride.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 15:20:12
 
JasonM

Posts: 1851
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Ugh these dilemmas!

So if you left as is, you wouldn’t be able to afford any taper I guess… 20.5 at 9th and 20 at nut. I vote for a patch at the 9th. But I’ve never played a guitar without a taper, maybe it’s fine just different. For a patch, I’m thinking maybe stick with cedar because atleast color wise it might be less eye catching.

I also have some saw marks from cutting my facets and went thinner than I wanted.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 17:25:41
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 905
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Ahh yes. Mistakes are made often and the ones that can't be convincingly diguised must be redone. I have thrown away a few necks recently and cost myself hours in work but it's better than having sub par work out there. I've got a pile of tops that I'm not happy with and everything else has been repurposed or binned.

Personally I would not go lower than 23mm at the 9th without carbon fibre reinforcement. I would prefer not to go lower than 21mm full stop. It's just too thin. If the neck is not too thin already I would leave the blemish in and carry on. At least enough to hear if doing something more drastic is worth while.

If it were me I would replace the neck entirely. Of course that does not come without risks but it would atleast give me a chance to get the neck right.

A shoulder plane can also be used for neck thicknessing.

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Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 17:30:15
 
RobF

Posts: 1318
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

I agree with Stephen to first carve as if the dip isn’t even there. At the end you’ll probably be left with a small remnant. You can inlay a compass into that spot and that way you’ll know you’ll never get lost when playing. Also, compass is very important in Flamenco.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2022 18:08:36
 
johnnefastis

Posts: 593
Joined: Jan. 10 2012
 

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to Stu

Impressive work nonetheless Stu.

I am no luthier but could you use a hole cutter to mark out a clean circle. Then flatten it and inlay another piece of cedar, then reshape that.

Just functional rather than design.

It might be unnoticeable or look cool.


Great to see the luthier foro alive and kicking

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2022 0:34:21
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1594
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Neck thickness (in reply to RobF

quote:

I don’t know if it’ll make you feel any better but I have this kicking around my shop…




I have more than enough to fill such a box. I've made necks with the wrong thickness stock, drilled peg holes inaccurately, ...

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2022 4:53:51
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