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Hi all,

I've been thinking recently about the design I use for my necks, which is currently neck-though, with a recess carved out. As I use homemade boxes with thin lids, I need to accommodate bracing on the underside of the soundboard, throw pickups in the mix and I have a serious weak point. One of my 4 stringers has developed a bow, and I believe it is coming from the recess.

This is the recess cut out for a 3 stringer with a homemade box - this one is still solid but you get the idea of how much material I need to remove to allow for the fretboard standing proud of the soundboard, and also the bracing underneath.

The neck wood I have most easily available is oak, in lengths of roughly 1 metre, here is a proposed design in which the neck is cut and re-glued into supports.

[Apologies it's so poorly rendered - 5 minutes in Paint!]

The overlap forming the heel would be maximum about 150mm/6", the blocks underneath would be the same width as the neck, glued to the box and screwed from underneath to the neck - do you think this would be strong enough for a 3 or 4 stringer? (I haven't ventured into truss rods yet, nor do I have a router.) I feel that this needs to be the direction I move in so I can start messing about with resonators etc. without compromising the strength of the neck.

Your thoughts as always would be greatly appreciated.


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Very cool Richey.  Very similar to how I do it, but usually not neck thru.  Instead of 3 blocks on the bottom of the box, I usually add support the whole length

Thanks Ted - do you think this is a lot stronger? I'm thinking economically - I want to get all of the wood for the neck and supports from one 1 metre blank

have a look at my Youtube videos about canjo construction. They show how i get round this 'challenge' ! mike

I also use quite a bit oak in my builds. Old bed heads are an excellent source of timber, I get nearly all my oak and mahogany that way. I mostly make 3 strings, but the odd 4 I do make usually gets a brace about a foot long.

Thanks Mike S. I'll keep a look out.

Mike L - can you link me to the videos? Couldn't see them on your page.

the link is .....   http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mjlyam&sm=3

hope this helps. mike

YOu could always install a head block and to a bolt on neck, a la Fender.  You can have a rock solid, adjustable neck with all but the front 2- 2 1/2".  Then everything is wide open for bracing or whatever you want.  I've been doing this for years without a single neck failure.

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