Vintage Guitar - July 2018 - open - 76
COLUMN Shop of Hard Knocks
ing the wheels in my head. The build process
with a neck-through is distinct from bolt-on
or glued-in instruments, and this month I'll
show you how I transformed my neck-through
blanks into a really cool doubleneck guitar.
Tackling a Double Neck-Through Kit Build
By Will Kelly
n the world of Spanish-style electric guitars,
there are three predominant designs - the
glued-in neck popularized by Gibson,
bolt-on style championed by Fender, and the
relatively rare neck-through.
Neck-through guitars are built using a single
piece of wood that makes up the peghead,
neck, and central "core" of the body. Perhaps
its most desirable feature is that it lacks a
mechanical neck joint, which means the heel
can be smaller and less obtrusive, making
it easier for players to reach the upper frets.
An early use on mass-produced guitars was
Silvertone/Kay's K-136 model in the mid '50s,
though more players are aware of Gibson's
application for the first-generation Firebird
beginning in 1963. It was later incorporated
by a few builders in the "superstrat" era and
remains a hallmark of top-shelf instruments.
Though neck-throughs have seen sporadic
fits of "popularity," far more necks have been
glued or bolted to guitar bodies. And when
fledgling builders set a course, they typically
start with bolt-necks before graduating to
glued/set-neck guitars. Few attempt the
DIY guitar kits have also traditionally been
one or the other, but I recently found neckthrough blanks online, and they started turn-
1) The blanks were 42" long and at the
body end measured 2" wide by 13/4" thick.
They have a 25.5" scale with 22 frets and a
12"-radius fretboard. The headstocks had a
"blank" paddle shape.
2) I used cardboard and marker to create
two design templates so I could better visualize
the necks, the body pieces/wings, and spacing
between the necks (which is 51/2").
3) I then traced a composite of the two
drawings on a piece of laminate board, fine-