Aluminum neck guitar

I made this guitar a while back (April-May 2023) on the longmill mk2 with a makita router.
Solid aluminum neck, Richlite fingerboard, black walnut/curly maple body with aluminum inlaid binding.

Aluminum is a different animal, while a similar wooden neck can take 2-3 hours to machine, aluminum is about 4 times that, had to go with very shallow passes I think it was about 1/64th deep at a time and thus takes roughly 4 times as long to machine.

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@yoskop Wow what a beautiful project! I have been thinking of a Telecaster project and didn’t even cross my mind to do an aluminum neck. With that neck I am guessing no inserts required? Now you’ve got me thinking. I don’t know if my fingers work that well to play but I sure as heck can build. Thanks for sharing this. What a cool project.

Thanks bill, I have built a few guitars so far, and this was my favorite.
You are correct, no threaded inserts.
I tapped the aluminum for 1/4”-20 threads and used SS furniture bolts and it is a rock solid connection.
If you’re wondering about weight,
It ended up weighing about 8.5lbs completed, it is still neck heavy though.

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@yoskop beautiful guitar! Thanks for sharing! Did you make that for yourself or someone else? I’m still mastering wood, so have a ways to go before attempting anything in aluminum. Very nice inspiration.
Jake

I made this for my dad, he heard about aluminum having great sustain and asked if I can make him one

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I know next to nothing about guitars but I know that one is beautiful. Well done!

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What a beautiful job you did on this guitar! I would have to dig pretty deep for this kind of perseverance. Your craftmanship really shines through here. The combo of materials is a great idea.

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Without taking over the thread, welcome @gmal55 to the forum. You are absolutely correct, beautiful craftsmanship for sure. Hope to see you around Allan!

Very nice work! I don’t have a Longmill. What software did you use to carve the 3D neck contours?

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Hi, I use Fusion 360 for CAD & CAM,
gSender for running the gcode.

That’s awesome! I haven’t made a guitar yet, but I really want to. I need to find someone who plays or at least can tell me what parts I need.
I wonder if you created some pockets, like a honeycomb pattern, on the bottom of the neck of that would improve the weight distribution?

Yes! You should totally do it, although guitar building involves many steps and takes some time it’s worth it.
I don’t play guitar myself but I know people that do.
There’s no shortage of information online for guitar building.
a telecaster is probably the easiest guitar to make, you can buy files online or create your own.
Roughly speaking you’ll need a
13x21x1.75 blank for the body
4.5x30x0.75 blank for the neck (fender style with flat headstock)
And a fretboard blank 3x21x0.375.

I haven’t made any pockets in the aluminum, I did however use weight relief pockets on the body itself.
Fusion 360 (and maybe other programs) gives you the volume of parts, which can be used to calculate the final weight using known material weights.
I tried different methods to get it balanced, but I think at the end of the day if it’s an aluminum neck, you’d need a pretty heavy body to balance it, which would be worse than a neck heavy guitar.

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