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Old 06-06-2018, 02:51 PM
sylvan sylvan is offline
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Default Guitar Neck

Has anyone thought of (or accomplished) carving the shaft and heel of an acoustic guitar neck using the rotary (4th axis)? Any thoughts would be most appreciated!
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Stinger I, SR-23 - Recoil lathe
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2018, 05:41 PM
BradyWatson BradyWatson is offline
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Sylvan,
Many have thought of it...many have tried it - but the reality is, you get better results just laying it down on the table and flipping it over from side A to B. Most of them can be machined from one side, except for the truss rod slot and back of the 'paddle' if you don't cut that part on the saw to start.

Some guys with limited Z travel lay the neck on its left, then right side and machine it that way (this is typically the acoustic guys - not so much on electrics).

The problems with using a rotary indexer to automate the table turn/flip is that you don't get enough support putting it between centers while machining. There really isn't a whole lot of meat there and the neck winds up twanging and vibrating just hanging in mid air. The other thing is the challenge of holding it between centers. It isn't a big deal if you have a glue-up big enough for ambient meat at the steb center/chuck and tailstock live center. Since most necks are made out of some kind of precious hard wood that isn't cheap, not many want to go this route because it wastes a lot of material.

Of course, nothing beats trying it out for yourself. Machine the top, command it to turn 180 deg and machine the bottom. Set your Zzero position to the center of the rotary axis and Zzero in CAM to the bed or bottom of the material block for each side. You do NOT want to try using any kind of wrapper/unwrapper on the neck in conjunction with any type of rotary job setup. Forget all of that. Just set it up as any other 2-sided job and manually command the rotary 180 in between sides.

Does this make sense?

-B
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:32 PM
sylvan sylvan is offline
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Default Guitar Neck

Brady -
Your explanation makes perfect sense and is exactly the information I was looking for. All I wanted to do was to machine the back of the neck. I had thought about laying it down, right and then left, but thought I would at least inquire whether the rotary could be used. In any event thank you for the terrific explanation!
Sylvan
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Sylvan Wells
sylvan@wellsguitars.com
Stinger I, SR-23 - Recoil lathe
FTC, Laser
1.7KW spindle
VCarve Pro 8.5
Aspire 9
Windows 10
www.wellsguitars.com
www.baystateguitars.com
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2018, 07:39 AM
Ger21 Ger21 is offline
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I have a friend with an acoustic neck making business.

He cuts his necks upside down, and can do them complete with one setup.
He uses a vacuum jig, with dowel pins to keep the necks from sliding.
You need a long bit. I think he uses a 1/2" ballnose insert cutter.



He does the dovetail by hand in a separate op in a vertical fixture.
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2018, 09:25 AM
BradyWatson BradyWatson is offline
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Sylvan,
You are welcome.

Gerry's comments are pointing you in the right direction for production...

-B
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