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 Post subject: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:09 am
Posts: 86
I have a hypothetical question of which I have never seen on the forum. Suppose I have guitar with a nut width of 1 and 11/16" and I want to change it to 1 and 3/4" or wider. How would I go about that? I know I could buy a new neck, fingerboard, etc., but how would I change the width of an existing neck/fingerboard?


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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
you can't make larger only smaller
so you would have to replace the neck and bridge

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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:18 am 
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I've been thinking for a few minutes here about ways one could conceivably graft on material to make a narrow neck wider...and I can't come up with anything that would give a decent result. Or even a functional but ugly result. The only sane way to get a wider neck is to remove the old one and carve a new one.

I suppose one could remove the old neck, remove the fingerboard, rip down the sides of the neck so they're flat and parallel, glue on filler strips, glue on a new fingerboard, then shape that into a new, wider neck...but I think that would be more work than just carving a new neck from scratch.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:39 am 
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Location: Hegins, Pa
It is a difficult thing to pull of but hey you can try and if it doesn't work then make a wider neck.
You could split the neck and widen it that way. make a filler for the truss rod and new headstock veneer. That would solve the neck shape issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:50 am 
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Yes -- splitting the neck down the middle and adding a filler strip would be the way to do it, I think, if one wanted to attempt something like this. Better than adding on the sides as I was thinking.

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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:32 pm 
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The neck has a dovetail joint which I have just about the way I want it so splitting the neck in half would introduce more problems with that joint, I think. I have a way I'm going to try. I'll let you know if it works, or not.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:59 pm 
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I have the answer!!! (I'm happy that I finally have a unique solution to a problem)

Replace the fretboard, making it slightly wider than the neck. Then, sand the fretboard so that it is in profile with the neck, but with an outward flare. You'll end up with a surface area that is slightly wider than the neck, therefore increasing your fretting surface. You'll also have to replace the nut, which will have to be profiled to the fretboard and the headstock, so the shape will be slightly different.

I did this on the project guitar, which had a narrow neck. It worked really well. I made sure that the top edge of the fretboard was not a sharp V; it had a flattened 90 degree top edge, which allowed me to properly slot and insert the fretwire.

I'm really terrible at freehand Photoshop drawing, but this is a visualization of what I'm talking about. for 1 3/4", you're only talking an increase of 1/32" on each side, which is doable. When you sand the fretboard to the size you want, you'll also sand the neck a tad to make it appear that it's continuous to the fretboard. Same for the nut. I would show you a photo of the fretboard, but I finally sold the guitar a few months ago. But, I played it for more than a year and had no problems at all.

Attachment:
wider fretboard.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:57 pm 
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Diane, your idea is sort of what I have in mind. Remove the fretboard, cut off 1/32nd from each side, add a fretboard binding of 1/16" on each side, sand and feather the binding into the neck. This adds 1/32" to each side or 1/16" to the total width. What do you think??


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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:00 pm 
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nehsgolfer wrote:
Diane, your idea is sort of what I have in mind. Remove the fretboard, cut off 1/32nd from each side, add a fretboard binding of 1/16" on each side, sand and feather the binding into the neck. This adds 1/32" to each side or 1/16" to the total width. What do you think??

I've never bound a fretboard, so I've no experience with binding.

I would think it would work just to add area to the sides of the fretboard. But, if you want the additional fretting area between the strings, or at the very least the same distance between the strings as you've got, you'll lose distance by cutting off any wood from the sides of the existing fretboard. When you cut this wood, you have to cut the fretwire as well, leaving you with less fretting area. Strings 1 and 6 might easily slip off the fretwire while fretting. The reason I widened the board on the old guitar was to gain a little more space between the strings.

It all depends on your playing style and reason for widening the fretboard.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing neck width
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:13 pm 
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Why not forego the trimming and just use 1/32" (or thereabouts) binding? LMI sells maple strips 0.035" thick by 1/4" wide (PF1)
http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-woo ... fling-trim

You'll probably want to extend the frets as well, so it will also be a re-fret job.

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There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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