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Thread: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

  1. #1
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    I have a round neck on a mandolin that I think I would like to V. I’m not sure how to do this and Im not sure if it is possible. Having played some thin V neck instruments lately I realize that the round neck actually pushes against my hand and is not really comfortable. I kind of wish I’d never played a V shape now because I wouldn’t know. Now it’s in my head.
    Stew Mac has this template for a 23 GIBSON v profile https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool..._Mandolin.html

    What else in the way of files etc would be needed for a project like this? Is this a horrible idea? Any ideas, warnings, advice? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Well depending on the make you best find out where the truss rod is in relationship to the outside of the neck, that may not come much into play if you want a V though as long as you do the sides equal and not much off the dead center back of neck? I've turned V's into round-knocking the V down and sanding round but found out how deep the Trod was from maker. Depending on your mandolin you may want to leave alone and get something else as it'll hurt value! I don't like a deep V deck, a little V is fine but small rounded I find the best for me-most comfortable but I'm sure not going to take the V off my 24 Loar!

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  4. #3
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    I can't help with the modification, but I also don't like a round neck it hurts my wrist, I played a collings mt and a the loar 310 that both had a V neck, very comfortable. My Kentucky KM150 has a round neck, not comfortable I wish it was a V also the nut is too wide I think I'd like it thinner. Weird part about that is I was a guitarist first but I like thinner neck mandolins probably cuz I also play fiddle?
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

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  6. #4
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    I've done several of these in the past, including an Altman and a smaller amount on a Heiden and a Kimble.

    (Taped off the neck at headstock transition and nearing the body and did a cosmetic transition at the end.)

    Leaving the midline alone (at least no deeper than the finish), I used a flat block with sandpaper attached. I simply sanded up & down the length of the neck at a constant angle (~45 degree) until there was a mostly flat surface produced. (You can judge by looking at light reflection on the surface changing from a line to a plane.)

    Did this on either side of midline, thus producing a 'V'. Slight sanding to smooth the transition from one side to the other. Avoid damaging binding along the fingerboard (taping helps). Progress to finer sandpapers and eventually to 0000-steel wool.

    I applied just a fingertip of Tru-oil and rubbed it into everywhere I sanded, since I wanted a 'speed neck' result also. I've been very happy with my results.
    Feel the shape of the neck as you go, and stop when it feels good.

    Disclaimer: I don't know your skills. Not responsible if you mess up!
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

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  8. #5
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Thanks Philpool. I already have speed neck so the finish has already been removed. Would you recommend taping the midline?

  9. #6
    Mandolin & Mandola maker
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Easiest way to do this is to use a scraper. Scrape to the shape you want, smooth with sandpaper, then finish. I have done a few.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
    http://www.petercoombe.com

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Hey Ky
    I use a standard single edge razor blade. sit in a chair or on a couch,put a towel over your legs to catch the dust/pieces, place the mandolin body upside down in between your legs, get comfortable ,use VERY gentle pressure, hold the blade perpendicular with both index fingers and thumbs. start at the headstock end, let the blade do the work, drag it down a straight path towards the heel. you'll be amazed how easy and fast this will be. once you achieve the shape on both sides that you prefer, finish sanding with finer grades of sandpaper, 360/600/800/1000, or thereabouts. actually you may just need to finish with some 600-800 and that's enough. if you want a finish, apply it after a few days to make sure you don't want to take more off.

    remember, you can take more off, but you can't put it back on(lol), take your time and try it out playing over a few days as you adjust the sides to suit your hand would be my recommendation.

    you'll only need one, maybe two blades. don't dig into the wood, if you do, you are applying too much downward pressure, again, light drag, let the blade glide and remove little by little. only takes a few minutes.

    if I understand correct, you already have a speedneck, so you will not have to deal with finish removal, yea!

    don't work the center much at all, the TR should not be in the shoulders where you will be removing wood.

    where in Ky are you located?

    d

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  13. #8
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ky Slim View Post
    Thanks Philpool. I already have speed neck so the finish has already been removed. Would you recommend taping the midline?
    No need to put tape in midline, would just be in the way.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

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  15. #9
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    where in Ky are you located?

    d
    Prestonsburg. Couple hours N of Big Stone Gap on 23

  16. #10
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ky Slim View Post
    Prestonsburg. Couple hours N of Big Stone Gap on 23
    I went to high school at Prestonsburg. Parents live in Banner, about 2 miles from Allen.

    d

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  18. #11
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    I went to high school at Prestonsburg. Parents live in Banner, about 2 miles from Allen.

    d
    If you're up for a visit we should do some pickin'!

  19. #12

    Default Re: V-shaping a C or round shaped neck

    I draw a line with a pencil off center on either side and use that as a no go line and only cross it when I'm ready to do the finish sanding.

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