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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Mahogany
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First name: Roy L
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I'm always trying to adapt to my fat fingered style of fingerpicking, and have never owned or played an electric guitar, so I decided to buy a different neck (advertised as made for a 12 string) and adapt it to one of the Fretwire Ash Strat kits. So I'm at the assembly stage and realizing I may have outsmarted myself (not the first time). So, here's the most obvious problem:
Image
I cut down the neck to the same fret distance as the kit supplied neck, and took all the extra wood mounting material off one side, when I should have taken an equal amount off both sides. The pix shows the treble E string to the bridge is gonna have too much fretboard when you get pretty far up the neck. Thinking I might cause myself some problems, I actually bought another wide neck, so my current thought is I will adapt it's mount to the body and see if I can't keep it centered so the bass and treble strings can share the extra fretboard width.
But I thought I'd ask a few questions first...
1. Any real problem with finishing the assy with the neck I'm showing just to see how it plays? I never play past the 12th fret. Yet
2. Is there a bridge that lets you space the individual strings apart a bit to match the neck (might still need that with the backup neck).

I know I could install the narrower kit neck, but I've been called stubborn before, and it probably fits.
I'm sure I'll have other questions when I get past this little issue, but for now, appreciate any advice.
Roy


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:27 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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A wider neck like a 12 string one will require a wider bridge or the strings will trail in from the edges. You could maybe use a 12 string bridge that matches the neck and only install 6. But I have never seen a 12 string trem bridge....

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:45 am 
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Mahogany
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Yeah, you'd think I might have foreseen that sort of problem. I'm still gonna string it up with this neck just to see what it feels like and make sure it sounds like an electric should. Then I'll start looking at the neck that came with the kit. I haven't done anything to it yet thinking I might run into a problem I couldn't deal with. Thanks for the feedback.
BTW, the original kit neck has a very thin nut, I'm assuming it's plastic, not sure. I'd be inclined to change it to bone, but I'm used to the wider bone nuts like an acoustic has. Do I start looking for bone electric nut blanks, or do I think about widening the slot?
Again, I appreciate the feedback. Roy


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:49 am 
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flemsmith wrote:
BTW, the original kit neck has a very thin nut, I'm assuming it's plastic, not sure. I'd be inclined to change it to bone, but I'm used to the wider bone nuts like an acoustic has. Do I start looking for bone electric nut blanks, or do I think about widening the slot?
Again, I appreciate the feedback. Roy


Fender style nuts are thinner. You can buy bone blanks that are small like that. I usually just use an acoustic saddle blank since I have those around, they cost pretty much the same as the nut and if you're careful you can get 4 out of them, 2 for sure.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:10 am 
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Roy, I haven't actually built an electric twelve string but I've looked at them and at some of the 12 string conversion necks (primarily Warmoth). From what I can tell the conversion necks are wider at the nut (1-3/4 vs 1-5/8 or 11/16) to allow room for the additional strings, but ARE NOT wider at the bridge. It seems like the 12 string conversion bridges are standard Fender string spacing.

This means that the strings will be slightly closer to the edge of the f/b at the body joint but not so bad that they will fall off the fretboard. This also tells me that a 12 string conversion neck could work for six strings and slightly wider spacing at the nut by simply making a new nut (and chopping of 6 of the tuners).

A trem style 6 string bridge that does allow string spacing to be changed (in small increments) is the Kahler - I've used three and am pretty impressed by their engineering and all the adjustments, but they are incredibly expensive ($300 +) and I wouldn't recommend them for an experiment. What I would suggest is going ahead and putting the 12 string neck on, make a nut (you can buy bone blanks in the correct width from any of the sources like StewMac, be warned that some Fender necks have flat nut bottoms, some are curved) and see what you've got. Don't widen the slot.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:12 am 
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ps - I should add for clarification that on acoustic 12 strings the bridges are almost always wider but that doesn't seem to be the case with electrics. I don't have a lot of experience with them but from the reading I've done I think that is true.

pps - I will add also that the neck centerline really does need to coincide with the centerline at the bridge, or to say that differently, the bridge needs to be centered between the edges of the neck. You want the same distances between the two E strings and the edge of the neck - usually around 0.100 or so (measure a guitar that you like)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:23 pm 
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Mahogany
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OK, thanks for the inputs. A $300 bridge is not gonna happen...certainly not now. But I will take some time and make the other wider neck fit properly just to see what I have. It's not like I've rushed this build so far anyway. Will report back when I get something accomplished. Roy


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:49 pm 
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Someone makes a 12 string Fender Strat-style whammy. I've seen them, but I'll be danged if I can remember where I saw them. Bet it would be a colossal pain in the hindquarters to make work...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:34 am 
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As I understand it Chris, what Roy wants to do is put a neck with a wider nut on a standard strat body and keep it a 6 string. The 12 string neck should work if the width is correct at the pocket but he will have some issues with the space from the strings to the edge of the f/b. I would say if it was designed to work with 12 strings it should be fine with 6 as long as he gets it centered.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:37 pm 
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Not an electric guy so forgive me. . . If he makes the nut wider and the bridge spacing wider, is that going to great problems with pickup pole placement? I could be way off here but figured I'd mention it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Koa
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Bryan Bear wrote:
Not an electric guy so forgive me. . . If he makes the nut wider and the bridge spacing wider, is that going to great problems with pickup pole placement? I could be way off here but figured I'd mention it.


The whole point of the 12 string conversion necks is that the bridge doesn't get any wider. If the nut increases by 1/16 and he keeps the same distance to the edge of the f/b the spacing at the 12th fret will increase by 1/32, or 1/64 on a side. That may or may not be a problem. As you go off the end of the f/b the neck pickup is approximately the 24th fret so the increase will be 1/64 total, or 1/128 on a side. That should be well within the range of the pup.

For most of us who play acoustic 12 strings we want both a wider nut, commonly 1-7/8 and a much wider bridge spacing. However all Roy is trying to do is make the nut a little bit wider and keep everything else the same.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:43 pm 
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Mahogany
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Not sure if I'm giving up, but for now I'm at least gonna first try and make it work with the normal neck that came with the kit. On the plus side, it should encourage me to do more playing up the neck where there's a little more space...But I'd still like to replace the nut that's on it, (spacing about 0.020' closer to the side with the treble E string, and mebbe 0.010 with the bass E). Dunno if it's plastic, but I woudn't be surprised. I tried a moderately eager tap to the side thru a hardwood stick the right width. No budging. I may go ahead and file the existing nut down since I went ahead and leveled and rounded the frets, and it seems to want to play all the way down the neck. So here's my question...the existing nut is 0.130" wide, I have some saddle material that is 0.120". Not sure if it would be a mistake to use that to make a new nut, or should I try and source some saddle material the right thickness? Related question: Seems like I saw someone saw thru the middle of the existing nut and then use a chisel to get it out. Is that reasonable? I'm in no rush on this. Pix as it stands now. Roy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:22 pm 
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To get that nut out, (it's likely plastic if this is an offshore kit guitar) grab it with a pair end nippers and gently rock it back and forth, it should break the glue bond that's holding it in and then it should easily pop out.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:02 am 
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I tap the end of the nut with a center punch and try to drive it out sideways. If that won't do it saw down the middle (easy if its plastic, difficult if its bone. Be careful of the little extension on the fretboard on the other side of the nut. The new one should have one tiny drop of CA to hold it in place but not enough to make it hard to get out in the future.

When it comes time to make the new one I highly recommend the StewMac string spacing rule - you can eyeball it or do the math but the rule makes it simple


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:36 am 
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A little late to the party, but just to add that I too like a wider neck and a little more space. I made a Tele with 1-7/8” nut and 2-3/8” string spacing. No off the shelf bridge was going to work, so I purchased single string saddles.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:34 pm 
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Mahogany
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rlrhett, Very nice, you must have made that on your own. Thanks for showing it can be done.
My little kit doesn't make it so obvious how I would modify or replace the bridge if I needed to. Since I never played an electric, I dunno what I'd do with a tremolo, which it comes with. Turns out the guitar plugged in has an electrical problem and since I have to take the strings off anyway to get to the electronics and try and figure it out, I figured I might as well spend some time working on the backup wide neck first. So I'm starting on it from scratch, all I've done so far is cut off the two extra frets, shape the headstock and add some veneer to it. Will be awhile before I can show anything and tell whether Freeman is right that I should be able to make it work with the existing bridge. Later, Roy


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:20 pm 
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Mahogany
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One of the interesting things about this 'hobby' at least for a first timer is that every step has the potential to totally ruin a build. On the other hand, if you get past a stressful step there's a pretty darn good feeling.
Back to trying to get a wider neck to fit. I managed to chisel out the sides and clamp it to the body so both sides are pretty well centered at the bridge. So now I'm trying to install the insert nuts. I typically would use liquid soap as a lubricant, for some reason I thought I'd try some silicone spray. Not a great idea.
Image
Guess which insert had the silicone spray on it's threads? So if there's something I should be using better than liquid soap, pls advise. Even those lifted the maple at the top of the insert. I think I can sand them flat if I can fix the crack in the corner...One thing I forgot to do is use my calipers to probe the hole depth; I was just going by the depth setting on my drill press. Duh.
Image
Focus a bit off in that pix, but I did get a bit of squeeze out of the Titebond when I tightened the clamp.
I'll see tomorrow what happens when I bolt it on. A 0.5 degree wedge had my straight edge right at the middle of the bridge screw height, so I should be able to tell if that's way off after this.
As a final aside, the original neck that came with the kit is still a viable option if this one turns out to be a failure. Roy


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:51 am 
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Mahogany
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OK, that glue job looks like it may work ok. I clearly did not drill the pilot holes quite as deep as i should have. Lesson learned, double check, preferably with more than one measurement technique. Now there'll be a short (?!?) delay while I get the neck painted just a bit and the fretwork leveled and polished. Oh, and the holes drilled for the tuning pegs. I don't really have a reamer, is that to keep from tearing out the veneer around the tuning peg holes? Is there a decent workaround, or do I need to start looking for where to buy one? May be a long delay. Roy


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:06 pm 
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Mahogany
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Finally got the wider neck painted, frets leveled and installed. FF pic shows the spacing at the 12th fret. I think it's gonna be quite workable.
Image
I did make a noob mistake in choosing the head design; I didn't take the spacing of the machine heads into careful enough consideration; note the Bass E string route from the nut to the machine head.
Image

I think it's gonna work out ok.

Roy


Last edited by flemsmith on Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:51 am 
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Wider string spacing got me started building gits years ago,
so I can relate.
Looks good to me.
Just wondering if your peghead is slanted back.
If not you might need string trees to hold the strings down better.
I wouldn't worry about the string angle of the low e.
Look at a Gibson.
Nice job!
Alan


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:36 pm 
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Mahogany
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Yep, the head of this neck was angled back from the frets. I think it was originally intended for an acoustic 12 string. Roy


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Mahogany
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Fat fingered Strat is alive and well! The outboard strings especially are not directly centered over each pickup, but the amp doesn't seem to care. Enjoying the extra real estate on the fretboard.
Image
Full disclosure; I had a bit too much copper tape in the output plug-in cavity, and was shorting out the tip connection. duh.
Never played an electric, but it seems like it's gonna be fun. Thanks to all who helped with encouragement.

Roy


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:43 pm 
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Koa
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Good job, Roy, and thanks for the update. Enjoy your chubby necked friend.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:42 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Nice axe!
Do you have an amp?
Alan


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:44 pm 
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Mahogany
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Yes, sorta. I have a Fender Chorus, but only the clean side works. I get what sounds like good tone at decent volumes, but if I try to play it quietly, I'm getting a hum that's annoying. Should probably try my son-in-laws amp over the holidays so I can confirm it's the guitar vs the amp.


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