First off hello! I have been lurking here for a few months and built two CBG's.

I am trying to get a little more professional in the look and feel so I was wondering what sized roundover router bit and any tips you have for rounding the back of the neck? I ordered a surform shaver and rasp to try and form one by hand too. But I figure a router must be quicker.

Any tips are appreciated!


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I just use an angle grinder and finish of with sand paper.worked for me.

I use kitchenware.

The Thai made kiwi brand shaping knife cost me $1.85 at my local Asian grocer.

Their potato peeler at $5 was a little more expensive but takes off more controlled shavings.

A fine stick grater from Aldi makes a great rasp.

I also like to use a torture board, which is sandpaper glued to a bit of 2*1 board the length of one sheet (about a foot) for most uses. This gives you a great fretboard flattening tool as well. I put a coarse grit on one side (40 to 80 grit) for shaping and flattening and a fine grit (120 up) for finishing and fret levelling. To renew the sandpaper a hot air gun and scraper to soften the glue and scrape off the sandpaper.

The angle grinder with the sanding disk works great but is both noisy and messy, not to mention quick and needing deft control.

I use a combination of four-in-hand rasp, belt sander turned upside down in a vise, and 120 and 220 grit sandpaper to shape my necks.

I just use my hand....yep, my hand, no rasp, no sandpaper, just hand and skin....Ok carry on........

I use an oscillating drum sander to round the necks. I don't like the little flat spot left by round over bits. 

I tried a router a few times but was never really that happy with it...and went back to spokeshave and sanding. The thing that kills it for me is that for a conventional 1/4" collet hand held router I couldn't get a round-over bit big enough...and one that would be big enough (3/4" roundover for a 1/2" collet router) would be pretty dangerous to use in a hand held router.

+1 for hand tools. Spokeshave-rasp-bastard file-sandpaper. With practice you can have a neck roughed out in half an hour.

awesome, thanks for the feedback guys. I will grab a piece of stock and practice on it with hand tools first

Get poplar wood to practice on if you can. It is easy to shape so you can get a feel for the tools plus it is suitable for a neck so any successful results from practicing can be used on a CBG.

I just wanna add...

That carving the round in back of the neck is imho the most zen-like and joyful part of the entire guitar making process. In fact for me it's the part that compensates me for the parts that piss me off these days (winding pickups, levelling frets...)
So the idea of surrendering that pleasure to a mechanical process like plunge or table routing is quite distasteful to me, I've never understood why so many here do it...

Ukulele Building....Turning Uke Necks in the Lath…:

This video shows how necks can be shaped on a lathe. The guy demonstrating it saw it being done this way in the Martin guitar factory. Essentially you clamp two necks together with a spacer between the two and turn a tapered cylinder. Ken's lathe is a classy metal lathe so can do these sorts of jobs almost automatically. The ones he saw in the Martin factory were purpose built.

I use a router table with a 3/4" round over bit.  It is quick and easy.  BUT PAY ATTENTION WHERE YOUR FINGERS ARE AT ALL TIMES.  It is an extremely dangerous tool!  I still have all my digits as my dad taught me very early on about the dangers using power wood working tools.


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