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  1. #1
    Eruption
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    Default The Making of a Kramer Beak Neck ala EVH 1983

    I've been wanting to do this for some time now so I started at 7:00 this morning and stopped at 10:30 to let glue dry. I'm making a Kramer Beak Neck from one piece of Birdseye Maple. Holding true to the specs of the neck that EVH had on his Frankenstein in 1983 it is 1 3/4" at the Nut and 2 3/16" at the Heal. I'm doing a 12" - 16" Compound Radius because I like the feel and an Assymetrical Rear Profile because I like that too. Jumbo Frets and a Locking Nut Shelf that will be slightly short allowing the Nut to hang over the edge a bit like the original. Drilling for Schallers (10mm). There will be a Walnut Plug and Skunk Stripe and the Dot Markers are Rosewood. I'll use black plastic dots on the side. I am going to seal up the neck once I finish with some Nitro-Cellulose Lacquer.
    Finding the best line in the grain I pencil a line all the way around the blank (front, back, and ends) and trace the outline for my neck.

    Next I determine how deep I want to cut my fret slots based on the fret tang height and the radius of the fretboard. I don't like the little gap on the sides when the slots are cut too deep.

    Marking for the fret slots is next. This is a 25.5" scale.

    I test the depth and squareness before I start the actual slots. This is a make or break part of the construction so I check it a few times before starting.

    Cutting the slots. That's a blur not 2 slots.

    Slotted

    Now I want to mark and drill the tuner holes. I do as much as I can while the blank has square edges; it's just easier to work with.
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  2. #2
    Eruption
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    Default ... more



    I don't have a milling machine so I do the truss channel with my router and an edge guide. I use a 1/4" straight bit and I make a test dot so I know I'm centered before I start the channel.



    Now I bandsaw the neck out as close as I can leaving enough to clean up with the router.

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  3. #3
    Eruption
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    Default ... and more

    The Rosewood Markers are next so I measure and mark for the 1/4" dots and drill.


    Glue and press in the dots. I start them with a small hammer and then press them in with a clamp.

    To be continued... tomorrow...
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  4. #4
    On Fire Hammer Guy's Avatar
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    Default

    WOW! I wish i had the patience and knowledge.

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman
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    Default

    That is a truly awesome step-by-step, Kyle. Thanks for sharing it.

    I never knew the EVH beak neck was 1 3/4" at the nut. Ed really loved a fight back in the day.

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight bmstang's Avatar
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    07.25.08 @ 11:44 AM
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    Default

    This is good stuff right here. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to see more tomorrow.

  7. #7
    Eruption
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    Default

    I got it from a great source that it was 1 3/4".
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  8. #8
    Eruption
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    Default

    I couldn't wait until tomorrow. Nighttime is valuable glue drying time so I wanted to get the trussrod in and do the Walnut skunk stripe and plug at the headstock.
    Clamped on my template for routing the final shape

    Removed the template to finish the routing

    Nice and smooth

    Hit it with the sander to really smooth the edges

    I lay out the locking nut shelf and the taper down to the headstock so I can remove most of the material with my bandsaw. This is something I do very carerfully and then I smooth it out with a rasp. I'll sand it smooth once I'm done with the truss rod hole and plug.


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  9. #9
    Eruption
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    I extend the centerline down so I can drill for the truss rod.

    Drilling...

    Test fit the end of the truss rod so I know the depth is correct.

    Test fit the truss rod
    Drill for the adjustment nut at the heal

    I screw the nut on and check the depth to make sure it's pretty flush with the end of the heal.
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  10. #10
    Eruption
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    I make the tapered shim to bend the truss rod about .200" and glue it in and then install the truss rod for the final time.


    Test fit my Walnut for the skunk stripe and then cut it with a reverse taper so it follows the trussrod. I sand the ends with a block and round them off.

    Glue in the Walnut and clamp it for a while.


    Once the Skunk stripe is dry I'll sand it flush with the bottom of the neck and flip it over to do the Walnut plug.
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  11. #11
    Eruption hotforteacher921's Avatar
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    i cant begin to tell ya how awesome that thing looks, divebomb! i'd love to build a guitar from scratch someday!
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  12. #12
    Eruption
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    Friday
    Okay, I started at 0630 this morning and sanded the skunk stripe flat then I glued in the plug at the headstock. I cut the excess off with my old fretsaw that was replaced by the blade on my radial arm saw. You can tell it's neglected by the rust.





    Next up is the locking nut shelf. I have a jig that assures that it remains flat. I determine the depth by the fret height and the action that I like (low and fast). Remember this shelf is intentionally short so the nut will hang over the edge.

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  13. #13
    Eruption
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    I rough the taper with my sander and then go to a fine grit for smoothing everything out.


    Mark my mounting holes for the locking nut and drill from the top. I use a brad tip bit and just let the tip puncture all the way through leaving me a centering point for the countersink on the back.


    Now I drill the countersink.

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  14. #14
    Eruption
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    Next I go to my sander with a radiusing attachment. I can do anythng from 8" to 17" with this sucker. I'm set for a 12-16" Compound Radius for this neck. Another greeat investment!




    I use an old Kramer neck for the heal and use my router to cut away material under the end of the fretboard.

    I have a jerry rigged router table for doing the taper down from the heal to the head you can pretty much see what I've got going on here and what it does.
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  15. #15
    Eruption
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    The belt sander handles some of the transition and then I rough the profile at the heal and head.


    Another brute force tool here. I use a cheese-grater rasp to remove most of the material and get close to the final profile.


    I use a block and 80 grit to take it down more and get closer to the smooth finish.
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