I have been having an issue with the action on this unit since I got it and today decided to pull off the neck and do a real check on it. I know without a truss rod you can have a little relief which all guitars normally have but too much creates a problem but with a bow like this to start with it is not good. If the bow were reversed it would be better as long as it is not this much because then the tension would straighten it out. Today with a straight edge on the neck starting at the 1st fret with the straight edge the bow starts bowing at the 3rd fret and ends at the 19th fret. To me that is excessive and is why I have had to make other adjustments to be able to get the strings low enough for finger picking but now have buzzing as I approach the 14th fret up to the 18th. I would like a few opinions if possible. I am thinking about calling the builder again to see if he can just send me another neck.

Thanks for any info.

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Bummer, it seems like any good repair is about the same work as a new neck would be. If they won't replace it you need to decide if you want to try to fix it or not. For example you could try to reverse bend it with heat but it could ruin it entirely. Or pull all the frets, plane flat and add a fretboard. Maybe a compromise would be to refret with jumbo frets and file them to make it as flat as possible.

I agree Kigar. It is a bummer for sure. I thought for sure the neck would be straighter than this that is why I took it off just to find out. I was shocked. I do not want to have to send the whole thing back unless I am going to get a full refund. I would rather just have the builder send me a newly fretted neck. I will do the cut outs and install it. I do not mind doing that at all. I would like to just have a straight neck. Also, I made a mistake initially. The bow effect starts at the second fret so basically the whole thing is bad. I think your suggestion of defreting and then planing it straight is probably the best thing and then I would know for sure it is done right. I also noticed none of the fret slots are even. Some were deep and others shallow.  I do not see how anything on this neck was done correct. Unless the thing started bowing afterward. It does have an oak fret board so I thought the chances of getting a bowed neck would be slim but I guess not in my case. 

If you bought it then it should be right when you get it. It's called quality and integrity. Replace it instead of going through the hassle of fixing. Now if the neck was poorly made you may get a poorly made replacement. 

How much is the neck out of true?  How thick is the neck? What is the timber that the neck is made from? Answers to these questions may give some indication of what has gone wrong. However, if it's wrong , it's wrong, so send the guitar back and either get it fixed or get your money back. I've had a fair number of cigarbox guitars from other makers through my workshop which have needed new necks. One common problem is that people spend money on something that isn't right, and try to get it fixed by the same person who doesn't have the knowledge to know why it was wrong in the first place, and doesn't have the experience and skills to sort it out. Send the whole thing back, not just the neck.

Ok John. The neck is made of red oak and so is the fret board. The neck looks like it is 19mm thick with a fret board about 6mm thick. I guess it appears like it started out as  a 3/4" neck and 1/4" fret board in thickness.  I start seeing light under the 2nd fret all the way to the 20 fret where the straight edge rest. The maximum bow at about the middle of the neck at 0.80mm or .032" between the 7th -10th frets. Measurement taken from top of the frets to the bottom of the straight edge. Thanks for your help John.

The Rat is spot on, for a purchased guitar, that really is not good enough, and a repair, to a good finish, is near as much detail work as a complete new neck started with straight timber. Kigar makes a good point as well, but I,d be hesitant to try to bend it into shape, as you would need to initially bend it beyond straight, then let it return, and my feeling is that would be hard to measure and control. As to the fret slot depth, from the pic, they do appear very deep, but to my eye they seem pretty well seated, and unless the slots are very much wider than the fret tang, I doubt that is causing that much relief by itself. I,d be going back to the vendor, as Rat suggested, and see what he can, or will do for you, to me, it,s all on him.

Thanks for your input Darryl. I just figured I would get some opinions from others to see what they would recommend. I do not think I am exaggerating anything at all. When I put a straight edge on it is very apparent. The builder told me to keep an eye on it and that  if it got worse to send it back but I think it is bad enough as it is. After taking it apart I was able to really see the issue very easily.  I think I will give him a call and see what we can do. I just did not want to send the whole thing back because I figure I could put it back together and make some improvements on it. If I can just get a replacement neck that would be fine with me. 

That's pretty bad. I guess if the builder sold it as a "slide only" guitar he could get away with it but I don't think most builders would let something like that leave the shop.

If you can, work with the builder on an amicable solution. If that's not possible, you could fix it by removing the frets, leveling the fretboard then re-fretting it.

I told the builder I wanted to play both finger picking and slide. I just think the neck just started to go bad after tension was put on it being a four string.  He was kind of surprised too and wanted me to keep in touch if it got worse but the way it looks I feel I will be in contact because I feel he is an honest guy to deal with.

Hi, looks to me that the neck has way too much relief and that's without any tension of strings. I would think planing the fingerboard would require the removal of a lot of material and weaken the neck even more. The frets slots are way too deep and also contribute to a weekend fretboard/neck. I'd recommend replacement.


Yes Taffy that is what I am thinking also. Thanks for your reply.


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