Neck Check Guitar Repair Luthier Supplies Tools offers a simple, yet elegant tool to check your guitar neck for bow. I’ve been using this for a couple of years now and it blows away using a capo and feeler gauge and needing an extra set of hands.
For real, it’s this simple. Pick your scale length – the one in the link has 22.5″ on one side and 24.75″ on the other. Apply it to the actual fingerboard – I put it right down the center, between the D and G strings. Confirm if your neck is straight.
If it’s not straight, break out the truss wrench, make your tweak, and check it again. No joke. Quick and easy and accurate. What’s not to like.
Better yet…want to do a quick check of the frets? Just move it on up and on top of the frets. Bam. Done.
I like this method, because you are actually checking the fingerboard and not the frets. Your frets could have been installed by a lunatic (ask me about the 3rd and 8th frets of a neck I had built this past summer), and you might get all out of whack based on them.
My necks have never been straighter, so that means my setups have never been better and the playability is better as well. I’ve been able to get action as much as 50% closer to the fingerboard in some cases. And that’s saying something, if you’ve seen a few of my guitars. haha!
But you say that you play bass or have a PRS scale? They have this tool slotted for those too! Other items include a crowning tool, leveling board, trem stopper and string height gauge. I find the leveling board and crowning tool to be much more fool proof that some of the other options…so that suits me just about right! lol!
This is the one tool that I find myself recommending more than anything else on a regular basis. It stays out on the work bench and every guitar I touch has been in contact with this tool. You’ll find I rarely swear by a piece of gear, but this is one of those times.