How Custom Necks Are Built

Step One:
My neck billets come from many different suppliers. When received, I plane all 4 sides of the rough billets to see the grain orientation and to make sure the quality is good. Then they are stored for 8 to 12 month, to cure and stabilize.

Step Two:
After the neck billets have been stored for 8 to 12 months, they are rough profiled to a basic neck blank shape and stored for another 6 to 8 months. If any of the rough shaped neck blanks warp or twist or show any signs of defects after this amount of time, they are rejected and sold to other builders.

Step Three:
The next step is to route the truss rod slot, glue on the peghead ears and rough profile the heel.

Step Four:
After the truss rod is installed, the fret board and peghead overlay are positioned and pinned in place. Then the excess wood is removed from the side of the neck, leaving a 1/8th inch step for the binding installation.

Step Five:
Then the fret board and overlay are glued & clamped in place.

Step Six:
Glue and tape binding in place.

Step Seven:
Now the hard part begins. Shaping the neck with a draw knife to remove the bulk of the excess wood and then using a rasp to bring the neck close to the finished profile.

Step Eight:
Shaping the peghead and drilling the tuner holes are the last steps in getting the neck ready for all the final detail work like doing the inlay work on the peghead, installing the frets, installing position side dots and final sanding to prepare the neck for the finishing process.