Guitar Neck Shaping and Carving will improve the feel and action of a guitar. If done properly a player will benefit from a slimmer thinner neck. Guitarists with smaller hands will especially feel a difference in the neck thickness. In turn, this will facilitate their playing style and speed. Neck shaping is one of the best custom guitar modifications a player can do for themselves if necks are too thick.
carving and shaping a guitar neck
Most players want their guitar neck to be shaped symmetrically all the way down. I used to use a digital caliper gauge to check for symmetry and thickness. After several years I have gotten to the point where I could feel if it was the shape I was seeking. Running my hand across the surface will give me a good idea how close I am to final shaping. As far as thickness, the thickness of the neck to be what the player specifies. After all, I’m not doing the necks for me but for the owner of the guitar.
For example if he wants the neck a standard thin, then the first fret to be about 0.800″ and at the 12th fret about 0.92″ unless the customer specifies something else. These dimensions seem to be comfortable to most average players. The key is to help players all over the spectrum not simply average players.
final guitar neck shaping measurements
Once I get close to the final size the customer needs the calipers come out more frequently. When the guitar neck is carved and shaped to where it needs to be I’ll sand, smooth and add a finish to protect it. If it’s a neck someone has brought in, then I’ll match the finish to color and style. It’s perfect if it looks like nothing has been done to it. My feeling is the less invasive the better. Sometimes the entire neck has to be reshaped for a player so they can play more comfortably. In the end, that why we do guitar neck shaping, for the players.