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Discussion Starter #1
So... got another thread about some wood I got.... semi-related but different question.

One of the ideas I had was to take a slab of Walnut and basically cut out the entire guitar with 1 piece. Body and neck. Then put the Spalted Elm on top.

I know 1/4 cut wood is ideal for necks, but, the wood is flat sawn not quarter.

I have seen some 1-piece Walnut guitars, but, not sure what cut they are, or if a better type of Walnut since a few varieties.

So... question is....

1) Single piece a good idea?

2) Would it be better to do something like cut it up the middle, add a strip of wood in the centre, even if just 1/8" thick, and glue it all back?

Maybe having a strip of something with the grain in another direction, might help keep the neck from warping or breaking?

Never made a neck before, kinda curious if I can do it... 1 single piece would be kinda nice.

Also... how thick would it need to be? I am hoping he has something thinner than 1.75" since the top will be a bit thick... 1.375" ideally. But also thinking about the angle of the headstock.
 

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If it is your first time building a neck I would suggest don't try and build everything in one piece.
If its your first time I would suggest a fender style neck that bolts on, this leaves you with the easiest option with the largest margin off error, and the least amount of waste if you make a mistake.
It also stops you from needing to angle the headstock.
use your walnut and build a tele.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking maybe use the Walnut for a guitar back, like Les Paul, but walnut not mahogany.

Prob is for something like that, I'd hate sticking a neck on like maple that doesn't match.

Strat/Tele body however, would be fine. Seen some walnut strats that look really nice... black pickguards, gold hardware, not shabby.

Debating if should cancel that Elm. Consensus from other threads/sites is it's hard than maple and difficult to work with. Then again, for my first time, it would make everything I do after that, easier. :D
 
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Not sure what that means... to add a strip of maple for strength? or to built the entire neck out of? What am I reinforcing on the body that it needs butternut?
The body made out of butternut. The neck, either bolt on or tenon made from maple.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you may have missed the point of my original post. :D

I have a big slab of Walnut... debating what to do with it... not looking to buy other wood unless to reinforce what I have.
 

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If you have enough wood do the body and neck from walnut, and make a Tele. Again if you haven't built before, a set neck might be a little ambitious, leaving not much room at all for any error. (Maybe not though who knows). My advice as someone who has recently started some hobby building is that you will be much happier with a very simple guitar done well than a harder to make guitar that turns out alright.
 

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If you have enough wood do the body and neck from walnut, and make a Tele
Yeah make a Tele.... this won't be your last build :) ... a Tele is a quick way to get up to speed and even if you screw the neck up you can get one that will work . My first neck got 3 fret jobs before it was done....and I'm a cabinet maker....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well... I should have enough for 2 bodies of Walnut, and maybe 3 thick tops from the Spalted Elm.

I built a body once in highschool using basswood, had a hand-held jigsaw and belt sander, and a router... came out amazing. Didn't know much about paint and for some reason car paint didn't cross my mind, ended up doing a very awful paint job on it though. Old '90s style Ibanez shape.

I originally planned to make a pair of matching Tele's (for me and my nephew) but now thinking a Strat body, and use the other half as the back for a Les Paul style body with the Elm on top.

Neck wise... wood is 1.75" thick, and should be able to get a few strips out of it, maybe do a 3-ply neck?

Picking up the wood Saturday, will be able to better measure and see what's left over.

Any chance you know the rough size of wood needed for something like a Les Paul or Strat neck? Googling for neck templates, getting images too pixelated to be able to read the numbers.
 

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If you make a one piece guitar it will have to be a Fender style guitar because a) the wood is not thick enough for you to have the proper layback angle on the headstock for a Les Paul, and b) Les Paul guitars have an angled neck in relation to the body.

Making the guitar from a single piece is fine as long as the wood is well cured and very stable, and you can lay it out so that the neck will have perfectly symmetrical grain running through it. Now there are tons of guitars out there with rift sawn necks and crappy grain, but for the stability of a one piece guitar I think you will want it to be very close to perfect.

One problem you might encounter is that wood sometimes releases tension by cupping or warping when it is cut. So once you get it cut out, check to make sure that everything is still flat. If it is fine, proceed, if not, cut off the neck and you will still have a body.

To cap the body you will have to route the top of the body by the thickness of the cap - which in my opinion would defeat the intention of the 'one piece of wood' idea

I would advise you to make a full size drawing of the guitar so that you will know how long the neck will be in relation to the body, because if you are working off a Tele template, for example, you will need to have all those measurements correct so that the pickup routs and bridge placement is all correct.

In some ways making a one piece guitar is easier - it's the ultimate set neck. You don't have to worry about joining the neck properly as it's already attached. Shaping the back side of the neck is not hard and is nothing to be afraid of. The hardest part of guitar building is the fretwork and the setup
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One-piece I think was a bit much, so decided to try maybe 2 necks... depending how much wood I have.

One, a bolt on Strat/Tele and the other a set in... I'd make the Strat/Tele first since I think probably the easiest of the options.

Just wondering if doing a Strat/tele... if it were from a block of wood, what would the dimensions be? That's what I'm trying to google right now... help me calculate how much wood I need and how much I'll have etc...

Guy had lots though. Could even grab another plank, and he had maple. Maple on the Strat/Tele I'm fine with but when I get around to doing the 2nd guitar, I'd want the set neck to match which I think most people would... if of course, not painting it a solid colour. Then doesn't matter.
 

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Just wondering if doing a Strat/tele... if it were from a block of wood, what would the dimensions be?

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Rough body block would be 16 by 14 by 1.75


One thing you could do is go down to Long and McQuade and rent a Tele for a week. If you do not want to buy a template, trace the outline of the Tele and take all the measurements for the routing. Once I did a build for a guy who wanted the body to be the size of a classical guitar. So I just rented one from L&M and traced out the body shape, and did a full scale drawing for all the routing and bridge placement. Then I made my own templates out of MDF. On my first guitar build I took all the dimensions off of an Epi Les Paul.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rough body block would be 16 by 14 by 1.75


One thing you could do is go down to Long and McQuade and rent a Tele for a week. If you do not want to buy a template, trace the outline of the Tele and take all the measurements for the routing. Once I did a build for a guy who wanted the body to be the size of a classical guitar. So I just rented one from L&M and traced out the body shape, and did a full scale drawing for all the routing and bridge placement. Then I made my own templates out of MDF. On my first guitar build I took all the dimensions off of an Epi Les Paul.
I meant for the neck... if I wanted to make a neck, what size of block would I need.

Template wise, lots on Google. My plan was to go soemwhere that has wide printing, or print multi-sheets here and tape together then put to MDF and make a template. I looked online and wow, some templates are as much as the guitar! :D
 
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I'm not sure if this is helpful.
Just posting to give you (and anyone else) an idea of what's involved.

 
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