Voodoo Telecaster: Cutting the neck blank

After finishing yesterday’s work I spent some time figuring out the old bandsaw I have acquired. I’ve not been able to find a manual online and the supplier wanted to charge £15 for four photocopied sheets, so I decided to go cheap. It is my first experience of bandsaw use so I’m naturally very wary of it, but after some careful experimentation and reading other manuals for bandsaws (particularly with respect to the safety procedures) I got it set up and running nicely.

It made short work of trimming round close to the template through 55mm of hardwood. I couldn’t have done this with my hand-held jigsaw which has a maximum cut depth of 40mm. Even at that depth the blade deflection starts to be significant which would have meant staying a lot further away from the line.

As soon as I’d finished I realised that I’d created myself a problem. I should have routed the truss rod channel while I still had a straight edge to run against. It is not insurmountable but means I’ll need to build another jig/template (yes, more MDF Steve!) to complete this step.

After cutting it, one of the nice things I noticed is that, by pure coincidence, the grain of the wood naturally takes a slight turn just by the nut.

[note: It is not really this red – I’ve enhanced the colour contrast to highlight the grain.]

I had been planning a standard Fender-esque headstock where the face sits below, and parallel to, the fretboard. This would mean using string trees to hold the E, A, D and G strings. Seeing this grain pattern though just cries out for a Gibson style angled headstock, and it shouldn’t suffer the traditional scarf joint weakness. I’ll be a-ponderin’…

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2 thoughts on “Voodoo Telecaster: Cutting the neck blank

  1. If I understand correctly, you’re thinking of an angled headstock that is still in the shape of a Fender-tele headstock? If so, I think that is a great idea! My Warmoth project guitar is a strat body with a Gibson Firebird style headstock that is angled. No string trees and no “varying height” tuning machine, and I feel it makes a difference. I know Warmoth also sells Fender-esque necks with angled headstocks. You might want to check out their offerings as you make your decision. I think you’ll like what you see and it will help with your own design as you build your own!

    Anyway, it’s great to see your build progress. Someday I’ll be following in your footsteps and build my own from the ground up rather than from parts.

  2. That’s exactly it. I didn’t know about the Warmoth necks. I’ll check those out.

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