Loxley Custom Guitars aka my new Strat neck build journey...

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#1
Hey guys.
My relic surf green Strat has needed a new neck for a while - the current one is too thin from being sanded down to remove the worst of a brand (the burn into wood kind) that a previous owner with a knack for poor life choices decided to add.
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I’ve thought long and hard about how best to replace the neck. Lots of mulling over the prices of stock necks versus how much extra I’d need to get something *special* and suited to this relic guitar happened, and then more thinking, and then MORE thinking and in the end I decide to message a FB friend of mine, Matt Loxley (Loxley Custom Guitars. Blow your mind here https://www.loxleyguitars.co.uk/ ) to see if he fancied making one for me. I’ve watched Matt make some incredible guitars over the past couple of years and his particular skill set *best Liam Neilson voice* has me pretty excited about the new neck Rogue is going to end up with.

I had a chat with Matt and we both thought -well, I did and then Matt kindly agreed - it’d be cool to document this neck coming to life on a thread. There’s a shit ton of work that goes into making a neck and I’m the kind of nerd who LOVES watching this stuff in progress.
And I’m pretty sure most of you are EXACTLY that kind of nerd too.
Right?
AMIRIGHT?
*holds up hand for a high five*
So, game on!
Yesterday saw Matt sending me over pictures of some maple and rosewood blanks for my perusal, and here are the ones I’ve chosen...
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Just realised I don’t know where the rosewood is from?
I’m guessing India but I’ll check with Matt and get back to you on that...
EDIT: yep, it’s Indian.
:)
 
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bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#5
Wowsers. I get the impression that the journey is as important for you as the destination! I will follow this closely!
Kudos; you’re an insightful man @Chu
Gear projects give me something safe in my head to *escape* to when other things in my head are being less than kind.
For that reason alone they’re 100% worth the cash.
Add in they bring me further joy when they’re finished and I get to play and enjoy the finished result?
That would make them 150% worth the cash.
:)
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#7
Matt’s just sent over some more pics
So here’s where we’re at.
He’s cut the blank to about the thickness the neck will be, it’s revealed some cool swirly lines of mineral deposits which’ll look awesome against the flame that runs through this bit of maple once the neck is finished...
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Here’s the area of wood that will become the neck; the centre line is where the truss rod will run and that line also gives Matt his centrepoint for the entire neck as he carves and shapes it into a more familiar S-type shape...
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Btw there’ll be no Fender type decal on this headstock. Matt and I have agreed the Loxley logo belongs on this neck.
What is that going to look like?
.

..


...
Patience, Padawan, patience...
;)
:)
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#8
Some update pics arrived from Matt today.
And he was good enough to explain what’s been happening.
Let’s get straight into it...
“Got some time in the workshop today even though I was feeling rubbish. Cleared the decks and got a number of fingerboards ready to be worked on. This is how I radius the boards. After hours of hand sanding ebony in the past this set up is brilliant. 2 to 3 passes per side and it's done. It only requires a few passes with the block.”
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“That's the router table with a radius cutting bit in it. It has a bearing that runs down the middle of the board. Three careful passes and the side is radiused. Flip the board use the centre line and route the other side.”
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I’m abandoning thumbnails for these last two pics as I’m super please at how luscious the rosewood for the fretboard looks. Tight-grained-chocolately goodness like this needs FULL SIZE pics...:cold:
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Mmmmmmmm...
:)
 

Attachments

#9
That's interesting. I bought a set of those radiusing router bits a while ago but had bad results on the one fretboard that I tried it on, so I abandoned them. I've just bought a new jig to do it with a palm router, although I'm having trouble getting the right size of collet and in any case I'm not ready to radius another fretboard yet. Soon, though.

That fretboard is indeed very pretty!
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#10
Update TIME!
And a decision to make too:cold:
Alrighty, first up some progress pics from last time;
Is that a truss rod?
You betcha...
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Sweet.
And the fretboard’s looking good too...
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Today Matt cut the neck to shape
“As the truss rod has been routed and put in place the neck can be rough cut out. A small maple fillet will be placed over the barrel of the truss rod to lock it in place. Then a hole will be drilled in the end to allow adjustment”
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The decision I have to make is about a visual detail
But if you know me at all by now, you know that I get hung up on dem details in
They’re often what can make or break the way an entire guitar looks.
So, this particular choice is what to use as inlay fill for the Loxley “L” logo that’ll be on the headstock. Here’s one filled with white MOP on a headstock for another of Matt’s builds.
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I’m torn between this or abalone.
Hmmm...
Guess what’ll be my procrastination fuel over the next wee while?
:cold:
:)
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#12
Morning guys.
My brain’s chock full of loads of Dad/life/work decisions and planning at the moment but NEVER FEAR!
One decision has been put to bed this morning and the weight of relief thatI no longer have to carry this agonising burden is...substantial;)
<HUGE deep breath in>
.


..



...
<exhales>
ABALONE it is!
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My thoughts are that the blue/green will tie in rather beautifully with the guitar’s surf green body...
:)
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#14
Morning guys
*raises coffee mug and tilts head by way of salute*
It’s been a wee while since I’ve updated this thread
But as that was due to both the forum’s apparent reticence at accepting and posting pics plus that Matt hurt his back and had to take a break from luthier shenanigans, I can happily report that both of those issues are no longer in play #Tapatalk so pics are GO....
First up, this is what a rosewood fretboard looks like when it’s been sanded to 2000 grit...

Frets? You betcha
First up the fret puty-iny-the-fretboardy-machine thing

And all in place...

We decided to go with jumbo frets but Matt’s going take a bit of height off them so that they’ll sit a bit lower.
It turned out the material he used for the aged fretboard inlays isn’t robust enough to form a clean side dot so we had to look for another option. I suggested abalone to tie in with the headstock Loxley logo inlay and Matt was able to score some rather lovely extra light in colour abalone side dots to make this work.
Bloody lovely they look against the chocolatey fretboard too...

As you can see in this^ pic the shaping of the neck profile has begun although it’s still rough.
More pics later on the gentle finessing and honing of a slim Modern C Strat profile...
:)
 
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#15
I like abalone side dots, they look good on your neck. Although I also like to have two dots on the 7th fret, which I believe is an idea that I stole from Brian May.

I see there's some nice flame in the neck. Are you going to get it stained to bring that out?
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#16
I like abalone side dots, they look good on your neck. Although I also like to have two dots on the 7th fret, which I believe is an idea that I stole from Brian May.
Thanks Jonathan
And I won’t tell Brian if you don’t...
;)
I see there's some nice flame in the neck. Are you going to get it stained to bring that out?
Absolutely.
As this neck is going on a relic body one of the first things Matt and I discussed was what kind of stain would help it *fit* a relic guitar better. Luckily for me, he already had a stain made up that he’s used on a couple of other similarly destined Fender type necks so he was able to show me what the stained necks looked like once they’d been oiled and finished.
If this turns out even half as good I’m going to be very pleased indeed!
:cold:
Side note: the relic vibe of the body was what caused me some agonies over deciding whether to go with abalone or white MOP for the headstock logo and side dots. I was concerned that abalone looked too “modern” for a relic guitar but the other problem was that white MOP didn’t really go with anything on the guitar in terms of colour. The final decision to go with abalone was made mainly because the colour of the bod this neck is going on is a aged sonic blue/surf green so the bluey greens of abalone should fit with the guitar’s colour scheme in a way that ties the whole guitar - neck and body - together and, importantly, the aesthetics shouldn’t jar the brain of anyone looking at it up close...
:)
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#17
Progress?
Will it be the death of us? *wears all black, sips espresso while stroking chin and reflecting on the irony of humankind*
Well shit.:cold:
FFS, enough of that;
Here’s some progress of the GOOD-TO-THOROUGHLY-AWESOME kind
Namely progress pics from my Strat neck build down at Loxley Guitars.
First thing to mention is that the shaping - modern C - and fine sanding of the neck profile is all done...
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Hang on.
Loading pics is being weird.
Brb, hopefully with more...
:)
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#18
Ah hah!
It seems Tapatalk is the way.
So, all that shaping, shaping, goddamn shaping, sanding, then more sanding, more sanding, SAAAANNNNNDING is not the easiest where fancy flamed maple is concerned. Which makes sense now I think about it, in that there’s different grains going on all, over the shop
Right then, enough preamble.
Cuz booya, all the hard work that Matt has done means that when he adds some stain to that grain?
It kinda looks like this...:cold:



And maybe...
MAYBE...
Shucks; who am I kidding?
I’m a romantic soul at heart and what with it being M&my 10th Anniversary a few days back, when Matt asked me if I had any preferences for a serial number?
Heh.
Our wedding date felt like the only choice:)

A couple of layers of oil have gone on - Crimson finishing oil, for those of you interested in these things- but there’s more to go and then the buffing and polishing will commence.
I’m loving this.
And the caramel look of the stain is exactly as I hoped.
It should look bloody ace on a relic Strat body
:dance:
 

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#19
Ah hah!
It seems Tapatalk is the way.
So, all that shaping, shaping, goddamn shaping, sanding, then more sanding, more sanding, SAAAANNNNNDING is not the easiest where fancy flamed maple is concerned. Which makes sense now I think about it, in that there’s different grains going on all, over the shop
Right then, enough preamble.
Cuz booya, all the hard work that Matt has done means that when he adds some stain to that grain?
It kinda looks like this...:cold:



And maybe...
MAYBE...
Shucks; who am I kidding?
I’m a romantic soul at heart and what with it being M&my 10th Anniversary a few days back, when Matt asked me if I had any preferences for a serial number?
Heh.
Our wedding date felt like the only choice:)

A couple of layers of oil have gone on - Crimson finishing oil, for those of you interested in these things- but there’s more to go and then the buffing and polishing will commence.
I’m loving this.
And the caramel look of the stain is exactly as I hoped.
It should look bloody ace on a relic Strat body
:dance:
That grain is lush!
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#20
Hi guys, soooooooo...
The neck arrived at mine yesterday (after some ParcelForce fuckeryness which did cause a bit of stress as you can imagine:cold:)
It looks GLORIOUS and happily fits Rogue’s neck pocket perfectly.
Fingers crossed I'll have time over the next few days to take the neck and body up to GG and get the neck holes drilled and the neck and body put together.
Cuz wow.
I can’t wait to play this thing!
:bounce:
 
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