Starting to think  that  maybe I'm  making my necks too  thick. I think it  carried over  from my 2 string bass (from the free plans). I  start with 2x2 poplar or oak, trim it down to 1 inch, and then  add a fretboard.

Just got Shane's book, and am a little  surprised at his use of 1x2 (3/4 x 1.5) and apparently no added fretboard.

What do  you use?

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try hickory, you can make it thinner and its trong and sounds great!

Might be hard to find near me...

When I began building to sell, I was using 1" thick Walnut, with no fingerboard. I moved on to 3/4" thick with a 1/4" fingerboard. And i used Pine, Poplar, Maple,Cherry, walnut, Spruce, Oak, Mahogany, just whatever was available .,Chestnut, Oak, or Poplar for fingerboards.,  In my opinion it sort of depends on what gauges of strings you plan to use.,.,high strung light gauge, you could use 3/4" Pine with no fingerboard.,., heavier gauges require a little more stiffness.,.,and not all wood is created equal.,.,   did I muddy the water enough.,??

What I'm going for now is 1. the standard "Shane" cbg, tuned Gdg, as well as a setup tuneable to Ebe/Gdg, and fretted pentatonic only (open-3-5-6-7-10-12).

My Home  depot has good stock of hobby wood. The oak 2x2 I got  for the 2 string bass has awesome  grain. The walnut fretboards have some  nice figure sometimes. Varathane Ipswich Pine stain on oak and walnut. Is pretty  damn cool looking. The oak goes golden and the  walnut goes nice and warm.

Do any of you use rout round-over bits on the neck to contour the back a bit?

Yes, 1/2”

I have used a Harbor Freight hand held router with a 1/2" round over bit since day one several years and 65 guitars ago.. Takes a while to get a handle on it but works like a charm. You have to move in the right direction though i.e. from where the neck attaches to the body up to the headstock and then back the other side from the headstock to the body. Of course all of this is done before the neck is attached to the body. You have to figure out now to avoid nasty gouges from a bit that is REALLY spinning and shreds so much wood off you think you are a woodchuck or maybe a beaver or even a woodpecker! You have to do some finishing with a file at the neck and the body. You also have to learn to set the bit at the proper depth so that the roundoff of the back of the neck is more or less perfect. I also ALWAYS glue a fretboard on the neck for extra strength. So far no complaints from customers. Good luck!

I have a Ryobi router that I use, and a router table that I have yet to set up. Last build I used it but that neck is still a little thick (1 inch with 1/4" fretboard). That one was a 1" diameter roundover, and I just ordered a 1.5" .

Hi James, my necks are 1" , 25mm, overall including the hardwood fingerboard.

I select my timber with grain oriented as in the photo, for stability. I use a 1/2" round over bit with bearing. I prefer to move the material rather than the router so I clamp the trimmer as shown in the photo. If doing a larger round over I would suggest taking smaller bites at a time so as to minimise any tearout. 

This method works well if you have a peghead that kicks back or a heal on the neck.


I have a router table that I  haven't set up yet,  but will soon. Agree with  grain  direction.

Bunnings Tassie Oak Taff? lol


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