Thursday, March 31, 2011

mocking up 1

In the last few weeks, I finished the routing of the body cavities, with only the neck pocket left to route. The routing went very well, and although it's not super clean, it's done, and I learned a few things experientially that will help me make the next guitar's routing cleaner.

I was intentionally waiting for the neck to arrive before I routed the neck pocket, so I could make any measurements or adjustments to my templates that I wanted, for a true perfect fit.

Well, I got the neck in from Tommy at USACG last night.

I know I said all this before, but I have never seen customer service on this level before - nothing comes close. When I got the neck, let's just say I found a few unexpected and very welcome surprises.

Not only did he throw in the ebony board at no extra charge when I ordered the neck, but, to my surprise, he gave this neck a gorgeous "marbled ebony" fretboard. I had never heard of marbled ebony, much less seen it, but man, it looks like, well, marble. It's got some streaks and such, and just has a very subtle cool to it. And it's as smooth as glass. I couldn't believe it was wood and not something synthetic - it just feels otherworldly. Next up, he had rolled the fretboard edges - again at no upcharge. Any guitar player knows that this is a godsend, and any luthier knows that it's no easy task. Hats off to Tommy for taking care of his customers with little extras like this.*

The flatsawn maple is solid and feels very, very smooth --- if I didn't know better, I would think this neck could get away with no finish. The 6150 frets didn't seem as big as I was expecting them to be, but I may feel differently once the neck has some strings running over it.

Looking from the heel end up towards the headstock, it's easy to see that this is the straightest neck I've ever seen or held --- it was just absolutely perfect. The perfection of the radius and the straightness of the neck were a little unbelievable. The rolled fretboard edges felt great, and the fret ends were - you guessed it - perfect.

Anyways, considering the price, I can't fathom getting a better product for the money without feeling like a thief.

Here is a full resolution picture of the picture above, so you can check it out up close.

It's cool to see the body with a neck mocked up on it - what do you think about the mock up?


* You may be thinking "hey, he didn't get what he ordered! Maybe he didn't want rolled fretboard edges or marbled ebony." I made it clear to Tommy at the time of order that I was open-minded and that as long as the main specs were in place (contour, radius, nut width, profile, scale length...) that I was all good.


  1. Really digging your work so far man. Soon as this ran stops and I can head down to Lowes and buy some MDF I will be starting my next project. It will be a Les Paul Jr meets Telecaster. I really have to get a drill press and a sander cause using hand tools take a longgg time.

  2. Thanks a lot!

    LP Jr. + Telecaster sounds like a great concept - very bare bones, I can dig it.

    The power tools were well worth the money --- makes working fun.

  3. Finally, someone who lieks the reverse headstocks.

    Nice job so far (I'm Blacksheep from Jeepin', btw)