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  #1  
Old 12-03-2017, 02:49 AM
Prizen Prizen is offline
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Default Best way to measure/draw neck profile for a luthier?

Hi all

I need to describe my favourite neck profile for a custom build. I will probably try copy my current guitar. What methods are best so I can communicate the neck size and profile over email?

Thanks
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:05 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by Prizen View Post
Hi all

I need to describe my favourite neck profile for a custom build. I will probably try copy my current guitar. What methods are best so I can communicate the neck size and profile over email?

Thanks
Don't do it via email.

Buy a profile gauge, make patterns of the profile in 3 locations, take caliper measurements of the width & depth of the neck.

Mail it to him. What will a couple of days delay mean in the scheme of things?

Nothing.

Here's the item that will make it come out as close as possible:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Buil...FZJDNwodX0wJtA

HE
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:30 AM
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That is exactly what I did, got one of those gauges at the local hardware store for a few bucks. I did a profile at the 3rd, 5th fret I think 12th fret. Trace that onto construction paper did 3 each and sent the construction paper cutouts to the luthier and that's what they used to make the neck and it came out perfectly.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:56 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
That is exactly what I did, got one of those gauges at the local hardware store for a few bucks. I did a profile at the 3rd, 5th fret I think 12th fret. Trace that onto construction paper did 3 each and sent the construction paper cutouts to the luthier and that's what they used to make the neck and it came out perfectly.
Tom,
I took the template from my 1930 Gibson TGL-5, but the reality is that unless the body is also the same shape/size/depth etc, there will be a perceived difference in feel.

Fret size also counts, as does 12th fret width, etc.

Howard
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:24 AM
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Neck shape is vastly more subtle than most people realize. Tiny dimensional differences can be deal breakers for some people. As a tool for getting another persons ideal neck into their ball park, I have found overall width and depth dimensions at the 1st and 10th frets in combination with profile and shoulder descriptions to be more useful than any attempt at tracing a template.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:52 AM
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Default Best way to measure/draw neck profile for a luthier?

You can also use a guitar neck you like and have it replicated. Ie, an Olson profile, a taylor profile, etc. Most luthiers can replicate these.

Of course this only works if it's replicating a builder that is consistent and you don't have a more custom neck.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
As a tool for getting another persons ideal neck into their ball park, I have found overall width and depth dimensions at the 1st and 10th frets in combination with profile and shoulder descriptions to be more useful than any attempt at tracing a template.
Bruce,
Will you provide an example, please?

Steve
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:57 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Wouldn't your luthier give you a guideline as to how and what measurements are needed?
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:46 PM
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Smile Good questions!

And a bunch of good answers already.

If you are dead set on replicating your fave, and why not? Have you considered sending your Luthier the one you love so he has it in hand while doing your new carve?

I am doing just this with John Kinnaird for my upcoming build. And he did my fave carve on my former build! But he uses no CNC and every carve is a bit different.

Of course you need to pack like crazy, insure up the wazoo and pray while shipping... Ameritage cases and DOUBLE boxing relieve some worries...

And you need a couple spares! Tell your spouse. Good excuse to have a couple extras! Haha

Hope you get just what you are after!

Cheers

Paul
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2017, 06:47 PM
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For instance: 1 7/8" at the nut, 2 5/16" at the 12 th fret, 54/64 thick at the 1st fret and 62/64 at the 10th fret, and a mild V (with a noticeable but not quite sharp transition) with a slight shoulder breaking onto the fingerboard.

This is a language everyone speaks, in measurements that anyone can make with a $20 plastic body veneer caliper. Plastic is hard to damage the finish with.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:33 PM
jessupe jessupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
For instance: 1 7/8" at the nut, 2 5/16" at the 12 th fret, 54/64 thick at the 1st fret and 62/64 at the 10th fret, and a mild V (with a noticeable but not quite sharp transition) with a slight shoulder breaking onto the fingerboard.

This is a language everyone speaks, in measurements that anyone can make with a $20 plastic body veneer caliper. Plastic is hard to damage the finish with.
Yup, then its all about connecting the dots and describing the over all shape as you describe. This is what I've done in the past and it's always seemed to work out.

Unless my client had some experience drawing, drafting, advanced woodwork knowledge etc. I be some what concerned about the accuracy of the template I was presented, two pencil lines can add up quick, and having a one dimensional representation may be deceptive...and well I can just envision a "but that's the exact size that you sent me" kind of thing

One thing I do ask is if there are any factory guitars that they know and are comfortable with, this certainly can help steer one in the right direction as far as what the type of feel they are look for.

I'm glad I make my own guitars because I had a bad hand injury long ago, and while I have complete function of my hand, I did loose some fingertip on my left middle finger, end result is I only feel comfortable playing necks that are as fat as a baseball bat, lol which I know most people don't like or want.So I think I;d have a hard time describing what I wanted shape/feel wise. The only professional I know of that likes fat necks is Steve Miller. Go figure
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:19 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessupe View Post
Yup, then its all about connecting the dots and describing the over all shape as you describe. This is what I've done in the past and it's always seemed to work out.

Unless my client had some experience drawing, drafting, advanced woodwork knowledge etc. I be some what concerned about the accuracy of the template I was presented, two pencil lines can add up quick, and having a one dimensional representation may be deceptive...and well I can just envision a "but that's the exact size that you sent me" kind of thing

One thing I do ask is if there are any factory guitars that they know and are comfortable with, this certainly can help steer one in the right direction as far as what the type of feel they are look for.

I'm glad I make my own guitars because I had a bad hand injury long ago, and while I have complete function of my hand, I did loose some fingertip on my left middle finger, end result is I only feel comfortable playing necks that are as fat as a baseball bat, lol which I know most people don't like or want.So I think I;d have a hard time describing what I wanted shape/feel wise. The only professional I know of that likes fat necks is Steve Miller. Go figure
Jeff Beck; the original signature Strat was 1" all the way down...
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2017, 09:21 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
Neck shape is vastly more subtle than most people realize. Tiny dimensional differences can be deal breakers for some people. As a tool for getting another persons ideal neck into their ball park, I have found overall width and depth dimensions at the 1st and 10th frets in combination with profile and shoulder descriptions to be more useful than any attempt at tracing a template.
That is how Howard and I did it on my SSD. I took detailed measurements of a couple of my favorite vintage Martings, discussed my preference in shape and feel and went from there. He said we could make some molds of my necks, but he didnít feel that was necessary. It helped that my preference was vintage Martins, which Howard knows pretty well. Regardless, he nailed it. Most comfortable neck I have on any new guitar and the equal of any of my vintage Martins. Perfection.
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2017, 03:52 PM
JSDenvir JSDenvir is offline
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My only experience with this to this point was sending my customer a profile gauge and a package of 5 minute epoxy.

He took the profile of his favourite neck at the 1st and 9th frets, locked the gauge down with the epoxy, and sent it back to me.

No issues over transferring templates, and I had the exact pattern to work from.

The cost of a pattern gauge, some epoxy, and postage.

Steve
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2017, 04:21 PM
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Plaster cast.
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