I'm a newbie at this so please be patient with me. I've been trying to make my own necks but my woodworking skills are a bit clumsy. I've been able to make scarf joints but I'm very sloppy when I try to notch the headstock for the tuners. How bad would it be to make the neck out of 0.75" wood and then the headstock out of 0.5"? I'm sure the answer is somewhere but I just can't seem to find it. Many thanks in advance for any advice or hints/tips.
Yes you can make a neck using different thicknesses of wood like that, in fact you’ll find plenty of that method if you search through the archives? But, I’ll leave you with this: the only way to get over your clumsy woodworking is to do more of it. Take it slow & easy, gradually work it to the correct thickness. Also, the right tool is essential too, sometimes a rasp can take off too much, too fast if you’re not used to one? I honed my woodworking skills on scraps every chance I got, I think you just need more practice. Good luck on your build :)
That's pretty much the way I do it. I usually cut the scarf joint into my 3/4" board and after I glue it, I take the headstock piece down to around 13.5mm thick.
Hi Brian, Thanks so much for responding, I really appreciate it. Without a doubt practice, practice, practice to get my skills up to speed. I'm less concerned about notching out for the body, simply because it's hidden (ok, that's the laziest excuse ever right). It's at the headstock that I'm more "on Show". I did a pretty good scarf joint but then butchered the headstock by gouging out way more than I should have. That got me thinking about using thinner wood for the headstock and the regular wood for the neck.
Again, I totally get what you're saying there are no short cuts (no pun intended) when it comes to this stuff.
Hi Sam, thanks so much for responding. I really appreciate it.
Make sure you’re using some quality hardwood for those thinner parts, better safe than sorry?
What is your process for notching the headstock? Using a Rasp, Chisel, Saw, Sander?
Hi Brian, I’ve been using a dovetail saw and/or flush saw and then follow up with a chisel and a shinto saw rasp. I’m not the neatest but they’re pretty good, just not good enough for the headstock. I’ve been using oak 1x2 for my necks
It sounds like you’re making dado cuts with a Saw & chipping them out with a Chisel, then leveling it out with the Rasp,right? You’ve got all the right tools, you just need more practice with them. Have you tried thinning the headstock just using the Rasp? The secret to a Rasp is a gradual, even stroke & some patience, but it’s real easy to get carried away with a Shinto they’re so dang sharp?
I recently just got back into building, and have been using 1x2's for my necks as well. I bought this big miter saw at home depot for like $10 and I can get a really long scarf joints that are almost perfect right off the saw, I simply clean it up with a block plane and glue away. Also this might be preference, but I much prefer the look and feeling of a scarf joint where the end grain ends up under the fingerboard. (Top neck is a quartersawn "white wood" 1x2 from Lowes I couldn't resist buying and using, and the bottom is "mahogany" from Menards)
Thanks Sam for the great info