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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning, I'm building a custom Les Paul style guitar for a friend. He has issues with his fretting hand, which causes pain when gripping the guitar neck. He has determined that a very large neck reduces the pain significantly, which allows him to play. So he contacted me to see if I could build him this guitar with a very large neck.

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I've been wanting to build a fixture for a while to hold a Les Paul carved top style body on my CNC machine so I can machine the PUP routes and neck pocket at the correct angle. So I have this designed but I still have to actually build it.

The CAD design -
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and the 3d Model in my CAM software

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and here is the wood selection.

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Cheers Peter.
 

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R9 is hardly a very large neck. Its the second smallest with R0 being the smallest. R7 is the largest. I owned an R7 and loved that baseball bat neck.
My techs R9 has a pretty big neck. Fatter than any studio, trad or standard i've played.
 

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My techs R9 has a pretty big neck. Fatter than any studio, trad or standard i've played.

Which traditional did you have? I had a 50's traditional, has the 50's neck profile and it was bigger than the one r9 that I've played. 60's traditional has the slim taper. I don't know as much about studio's but the ones I've casually picked up weren't big necks. The R7 is the biggest neck I've ever had on a Gibson. Similar to Fenders Nocaster U. Everybodys idea of a big neck is different. Some may think that the R9 is a big neck but its too slim for me.
 

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Which traditional did you have? I had a 50's traditional, has the 50's neck profile and it was bigger than the one r9 that I've played. 60's traditional has the slim taper. I don't know as much about studio's but the ones I've casually picked up weren't big necks. The R7 is the biggest neck I've ever had on a Gibson. Similar to Fenders Nocaster U. Everybodys idea of a big neck is different. Some may think that the R9 is a big neck but its too slim for me.
I had done the les paul blitz at L&M when we thought we had secured a Gibson deal (ha). I think they had both the 50s and 60s trads in stock but honestly can't remember. I like the '59 carve of the studio and custom. Haven't had the fortune of trying an R7 yet. I like the Nocaster U on F-style builds, but I go slimmer on G-style I think. PRS wide-fat works well for me also.

I look forward to seeing this build proceed!
 

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I've had a '59 LP for a very long time, whose neck was the typical carve, in-between 58 and 60 slim-taper.

Now I have an R8, which replaced it, and the neck is substantially beefier. That's why I chose it over an R9 at the time. My Oxblood R4 is somewhat larger still, by a small margin. Both are very comfortable to these old hands.

You should have him try an R4 before he settles on a carve. I suspect he'll find it more comfortable still.
 

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This is the neck on my Cindy custom guitar. Dont know if it comes out so great in the picture but it is easily the largest neck on any guitar I have ever picked up. This is the boatneck that Rick Kelly taught her and uses. Over 1 inch thick all the way.

Cindy insisted that even with her small hands, this huge neck is more comfortable than anything...and I have to agree. I think your friend will love the huge neck and it will help him play more.
 

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I consider the R5's neck to be the "Goldilocks" among Gibson carves. Definitely substantial in the hand but it never feels like too much. It's absolutely perfect for me and is the carve I'll be asking to have reproduced on my Jr project.
 

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R9 is too thin for me. My R8, which is noticeably thicker (instantly) is much more comfortable to me. I have a 52 Esquire copy I am working on that has a Allparts nocaster U and that is the standard for fat necks (pretty much 1 inch , no taper, deep c or d shape). I suspect it will be too large for me but I'll find out when it's done. The only way to know is play them. For a long time.
C
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I decided to switch out the top wood on this build for book matched plain hard maple. This will be a gold top guitar, so no need to have a figured top. Also the flame maple I had there was soft maple and we have tons of maple around these parts so I bought a nice chunk of 8/4 rough cut white hard maple.

rough cut plank -
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jointed -
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re-sawed - note the smoke. I guess it's time for a new blade? ;-)

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thickness sanded and edges jointed. Ready for glue up.

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Should make a very nice top.

Cheers Peter.
 

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Did I read that right, 1.2" from nut to heal? I have a Warmoth neck that I bought 6-7 years ago on a tele that is 1" all the way through and I thought it was a big neck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got around to cutting the fret board. We're using hard maple trap inlays with a rosewood fret board with maple binding. Cut a small piece of maple and thicknessed on the CNC machine.
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then cut the trap inlays.
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routed the inlay pockets and glued the inlays into the flat board. I left it on the CNC machine and will radius and slot after the glue dries.

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radius

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and finshed up. I love using wood as inlay material because you can cut it almost exactly the same size. The glue makes the wood expand and you get great gapless inlays.

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Cheers Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I cut a strip of the same material I used for the inlays for the binding. Then re-sawed it down to about 1/8" and then stuck it to a piece of rosewood to bring it down to final thickness.
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I also managed to thickness the body blank and machine the indexing holes in the top and back as well as cut the wire channel.

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Cheers Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I cut the wire channel in the Mahogany body blank. So my next procedure is to drill index holes in the top and cut the under side of the top for the recess of the control cavity and switch cavity. You can see the hidden lines underneath the top in this image from Fusion 360. My CAM software.

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I've matched the top carve ending up with about a 3/16" top thickness in those areas. So I index the maple blank upside down on the CNC and carve those recesses.

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then I can flip it over and glue it onto the body blank. I've started to clamp the maple side down so the glue doesn't drop into the wire channel. I also use the indexing pins to perfectly align the top with the body and I should hopefully see the wire channel and recesses in the correct position when I machine the back and front later on.

Time to get out all my clamps.

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Cheers Peter.
 
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