Re-Shape Back of Neck. SE Wide/Thick

SamIV

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Bought an SE 245 recently and do not have the greatest admiration for the Wide/Thick neck carve. Bought it at a price where I would not mind doing some work on the back of neck which would require me to remove the finish and re-shape it to a Wide/Thin. Anyone here ever take on that challenge, and was there enough wood to remove without any damage? Don’t want to see the truss rod route when I’m finished.
 

SamIV

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Do not consider myself in the same league as a luthier. I do fret levels while under tension, set ups and the like. I have done this in the past to few other bolt on necks and one other glued on neck with success. Most I have refinished with dyes, wipe on poly or rattle can nitro. Don’t get the big deal of applying nitro. Don’t find it too difficult.
 

show_a_little_faith

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I've never done it, but am intrigued. Do you do it by hand with sandpaper, or use a belt sander or...?
Also do you have specific measurements you're aiming for or just gauge it by feel to "know" when you're done?
 

SamIV

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I used a palm sander on the last necks. It’s what I have. Hand sanding I find is inefficient. You have to be judicious with the sander though. Just did It by feel on the others. The carve was already there. I just made all thinner.

Would like to replicate the carve on my 98 CE 24 this time though. Still trying to figure this out and how to to accomplish clean lines at the head stock and the heel. My others had a complete re-finish. This will not. I have seen others use rasps and final hand sanding after. I don’t own a rasp.
 

SamIV

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Let me say the guitar plays extremely well. It’s also a great looking guitar. The pickups are just okay. It is the Korean made SE 245. The neck shape gives me hand cramps where the thinner ones do not. My favorite is the S2 pattern regular neck though. Can’t carve that shape, it being thinner width wise by a small amount. I can hopefully carve a wide/thin if it decide to carry this out.
 

SinSir

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I've personally never tried this besides taking gloss and/or finish off. I've thought about it when doing this but more so about being careful not to reshape when experimenting. As inefficient as it is, I'd take my time by hand reducing grits to keep the shape. I'm not a professional and amateur is probably an overstatement but that's how I'd go at it first. Either way interested in seeing how it turns out. Good Luck!
 

Alnus Rubra

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I used a palm sander on the last necks. It’s what I have. Hand sanding I find is inefficient. You have to be judicious with the sander though. Just did It by feel on the others. The carve was already there. I just made all thinner.

Would like to replicate the carve on my 98 CE 24 this time though. Still trying to figure this out and how to to accomplish clean lines at the head stock and the heel. My others had a complete re-finish. This will not. I have seen others use rasps and final hand sanding after. I don’t own a rasp.
You may not need a rasp for the amount you will be removing. Rasps are usually for initial shaping from a neck billet.

You may find files helpful.
 

ViperDoc

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Neck shaping is an art. The key is to control your reshape without losing your references. Once you start filing/sanding away, it's tough to know "where you are". If you've never done it, plan on being disappointed when you're done. It's hard. Get a pattern jig tool to measure the shape of your neck at various points. Trace it onto card stock and make a pattern. This way you can superimpose the old shape on your work to see where you've gone. Use sanding blocks to make sure you're straight! Calculate and make reduction saw cuts to give yourself something to work towards. Remember that you can't undo anything!

No shame in calling a luthier. But if you take it on, may you have success. Good luck.
 

SamIV

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Dec 7, 2015
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Neck shaping is an art. The key is to control your reshape without losing your references. Once you start filing/sanding away, it's tough to know "where you are". If you've never done it, plan on being disappointed when you're done. It's hard. Get a pattern jig tool to measure the shape of your neck at various points. Trace it onto card stock and make a pattern. This way you can superimpose the old shape on your work to see where you've gone. Use sanding blocks to make sure you're straight! Calculate and make reduction saw cuts to give yourself something to work towards. Remember that you can't undo anything!

No shame in calling a luthier. But if you take it on, may you have success. Good luck.
Thanks for all your advice. Looking at contour tools now and Stewmac has some neck shaping templates as well. Don’t see anything PRS though. I am in the beginning stages of this.
 

Alnus Rubra

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If you have a neck that you’re comfortable with, take measurements from it with a contour gauge (bought cheaply online). Make up cardboard templates, from the measurements, as @ViperDoc suggested. They will keep you right.

As I’m sure you’re aware, go slow, keep checking against your template/s. You can always take material away, a bit more difficult to put it back.

Best of luck.

As far as replacing the finish, is it a stained lacquer or clear?
 

hord1080

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this seems like a cool project. I had an SE Singlecut that was inexpensive enough to try something like this. I ended up selling it because I only like the thin neck profiles.
 

SamIV

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If you have a neck that you’re comfortable with, take measurements from it with a contour gauge (bought cheaply online). Make up cardboard templates, from the measurements, as @ViperDoc suggested. They will keep you right.

As I’m sure you’re aware, go slow, keep checking against your template/s. You can always take material away, a bit more difficult to put it back.

Best of luck.

As far as replacing the finish, is it a stained lacquer or clear?
I would believe all poly finish being it’s an SE, but I don’t know for sure. Whatever it is, it’s more durable than what’s on my S2’s. I would not mind leaving it without finish, or just a light coat of hand wipe poly.

Just need to figure out how to get a clean line by the headstock and the neck joint. Not in a hurry to start the project. Will order the contour tool here soon.
 

Nice F Holes

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Get another neck and practice. It doesn't make any sense to do your first try on a guitar you like. You might find that you're sensitive to small inconsistencies and therefore saved yourself a wasted guitar, or you might find you have a skill for reshaping necks. If you mess it up, you won't like it and neither will anyone else.
 

SamIV

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Get another neck and practice. It doesn't make any sense to do your first try on a guitar you like. You might find that you're sensitive to small inconsistencies and therefore saved yourself a wasted guitar, or you might find you have a skill for reshaping necks. If you mess it up, you won't like it and neither will anyone else.
This will be my fourth neck that I have re-sized as mentioned in one of my post at the top. This will be my second glued in neck. Appreciate the advice even though that was missed.
 
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