This session explores the key choices when making your first Bolt-On Neck
How to Make a Bolt On Neck
A Great Intro to Guitar Making
This video course will guide you step by step through the process of making your own Bolt On neck with over 30 videos laid out in logical order plus bonus videos to help make your first build as easy as possible.
It assumes you already have a working full scale drawing/plan as this course starts with a finished design and an outline of supplies needed – if not, it is best to complete the Design Your Own Electric Guitar course first.
This course is intended as an add-on module to Build Your Own Electric Guitar, and ONLY covers the neck build. All other build instructions are within the BYO Electric course.
The neck on this course is made from Maple with a Rosewood Fretboard and has 21 frets – but you can adjust the design to suit yourself.
- Build Videos
- Bonus Videos
- Essential Tools for Guitar Making Ebook
Mark Out the Neck How to Mark Out the Neck Mark the Centreline Mark the Neck Profile and the Nut Mark the End of the Neck Fitting the Truss Rod Drill the Hole for the Truss Rod Adjuster You will need: neck blank neck profile pattern/headstock pattern pencil short /long metal ruler square truss rod
The first thing we will do is drill the hole for the Truss Rod Adjuster – it is easier to to this while the neck workpiece is still a square lump of wood.
How to route the truss rod slot – including setting the depth of the slot and how to get the best results.
A tutorial on cutting out the neck profile, including close ups of how to tackle the tricky areas!
Route the Neck Profile AKA ‘Profiling’ the Neck This video demonstrates how to use the router to effectively and safely profile using a pattern. It will show each pass needed to make a smooth and accurate neck profile. You will need Neck profile pattern Double sided tape Blade Ruler Pencil Clamp Router Top bearing router […]
Drilling tuner holes made easy using the Neck Profile Pattern as a Drill Guide.
A fillet is glued above the trussrod to hold it in place and stop it from rattling or vibrating.
The Fillet was glued in oversized and now must be trimmed flush to the surface of the neck.
Prepare the Fretboard for Gluing In this video I explain how to prepare the fretboard for gluing. Mine is pre-made so all I have to do is trim it to length with the desired number of frets and then drill the two tiny location holes for the pins that will stop it from moving […]
Glue the Fretboard It is very important that the fretboard does not move during the gluing process! Be especially careful when you put the clamps on as they can push or pull the fretboard out of position. What You Need Everything from the last job plus: Glue 5 or 6 clamps Damp Rag
In order for the tuners to fit correctly the Headstock should ideally be 15 to 15.5 mm thick
Shape the End of the Fretboard The end of the Fretboard should blend smoothly into the face of the Headstock. What You Need Small Round Microplane or Rasp Round Sanding Block (short length of plastic pipe or broomstick handle)
The neck will be carved in stages: First we will make facets, then smaller facets, before finally blending in to make a smooth curved shape for the back of the neck. In this video I explain how to mark out the neck for carving.
Here I demonstrate how to clamp the neck for carving and also recommend some Neck Carving Tools
This is the first stage of carving the neck – we need to remove the material between the two lines. The side facets should be flat and even for the length of the neck and then taper out at each end – make sure to stay within the lines.
This is the most important part of carving the neck – the Top Facet will determine its depth (or thickness).
Refine the Side Facets Carving the Top Facet will change the shape of the Side Facets and so they must be checked and re-carved as needed to make them flat and even, just like they were when you first carved them. Finish refining the Side Facets by using a Flat Sanding Block loaded with your […]
All the hard work done, we can now add more smaller facets to finish ‘rough carving’ the back of the neck.
Use the ‘Sandpaper Trick’ as demonstrated here to even out and remove any last lumps and bumps from the back of the neck.
Carve the Heel and Volute
Level the Fretboard What You Need Sanding Blocks 80g, 120g, 240g Sandpaper Straightedge
Not Using a Pre-made Fretboard Here are some tips on how to Level the Fretboard if you have decided to do it the hard way and make the fretboard yourself. It’s basically the same as I showed you in the previous video but it will take quite a bit longer…
Install the Front Dots
Sand the Fretboard
Prepare for Fretting
Prepare the Fretwire
Install the Frets
Install the Side Dots
Clean Up the Sides
Cut the Nutslot
Power Sanding the Neck