Erlewine Neck Jig

Erlewine Neck Jig

Erlewine Neck Jig

Item # 5399
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Erlewine Neck Jig

About This Item

Redesigned and improved! The revolutionary string tension simulator, for fretwork without guesswork. Now more versatile than ever!

A revolution in fretwork
Dan Erlewine developed the Neck Jig using the breakthrough idea of simulating string tension with the strings off. This results in the most accurate fret and fingerboard work ever: no guesswork, and no unpleasant surprises when the instrument is restrung. Just a very satisfied player!

Proven in pro repair shops
Evolving through years of fretwork for demanding players, the Erlewine Neck Jig has become a valuable asset in busy shops around the world.

NEW! Rigid aluminum design
Sturdy aluminum beam construction adds extra rigidity without cumbersome weight, and is unaffected by humidity. Enhanced stability and reduced flex make neck deflection measurements more precise than ever before.

NEW! Adjusts for any fretted instrument
All components now feature adjustable positioning. You can jig guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins and more, including asymmetrical or custom-shaped bodies, easier and faster. The cross beams have convenient etched measurements for instrument body alignment.

The big difference: using the playing position
Turn the Jig so the guitar is in the same position as when it's played. This is the way to measure and adjust fretboard action, instead of laying the guitar on its back with gravity pulling the neck and strings downward.

Clamp the Jig to your bench in this playing position to read the neck. (Rotating between the playing and working positions is easy with our Neck Jig Workstation.)

With the strings on, the neck's curvature is zeroed-in with dial calipers. When the strings come off, the Jig holds the neck in the same position as when it was strung up in the playing position. Now you can do your fretwork with total accuracy, because when you string the guitar back up the neck doesn't change.

    The Erlewine Neck Jig includes:
  • Precision dial indicators for measuring neck deflection
  • Height-adjustable jig rods
  • Peghead tensioner and jack
  • Swivel-top levelers that conform to the instrument body
  • Wooden body support slats
  • Body straps
  • Sturdy eyebolt for convenient storage on your shop wall
  • 4 setup wrenches
  • Neck Jig Bracket for Angle Vise. Also sold seperately
  • Instructions


CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


Video

Instructions

Product Instructions

Erlewine Neck Jig Instructions

How to assemble and jig up a guitar.

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4.5
  • 4.54 average rating from 13 reviews
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4.0

Great save for one machining issue

By

Verified Buyer


I've been a woodworker for 48 years, and into guitars for over eleven. Have built 87 solidbody electrics, now I do all kinds of repairs on multiple stringed instruments. My main career was Industrial Maintenance Engineering, Industrial Engineering, with a strong emphasis on Continuous Improvement, so I am used to things being just perfect, not just OK or good enough.

My old way of leveling frets was to use a set of strings the same gauge as the owner wanted, (which I burned and ate the cost), using them as a straight edge, loosening and tightening them as I went. I would use a straight edge ruler to check neck straightness, then start with the radius blocks. Obviously I would use the Stewmac radius blocks and multiple different fret files, but I always wanted one of these jigs. This version seven (I think), tipped the scales and I popped for it.

To learn the nuances of the jig, I used one of my own guitars, an older Samick that has been upgraded with a few things.
Taking all the instructions into account, after proper assembly I mounted the guitar as described and set all the stops, gauges, straps, etc.

Then I took off the strings and watched the movement of the neck. Fun to watch the dials move. I was able to readjust my neck as required with the nut strap and peghead mount until the gauges were again right at zero.

This is where the problem showed itself. I have a small shop, so I reached over for the box that keeps all my files, radius blocks, etc. My foot hit the bench leg that the jig was on, but not hard. The bench probably vibrated a tiny bit, but nothing spilled or really moved. Still, I decided that before I started doing any fret leveling I would do one last check of all things, and noticed that one of the dial indicators was now almost .020 off. Looking closer, I found that the hole that the brass rod sits in that holds the dial indicator was in was drilled too large. Even with the tightening screw, the brass rod, (with dial indicator along for the ride), would rock back and forth in the hole of the mount that bolts to the main beam. Somehow I need to either put a flat on the brass rod so it will stay still, or ask for a new mounting block for one dial indicator.

Once I knew where it needed to be, (although I could not make it solid, I knew where it showed zero), I leveled the frets, re-crowned and polished them up, then restrung the guitar.

On this one, my own, I wanted to see just how low I could go without any fret buzz while being played. This is a 12" radius neck. Original frets. I was able to achieve an astounding .032 at high E, and .048 at low E, no fret buzz or vibration issues when being played. Fabulous!

Using the traditional standard of 1/16, (.061), and 3/32, (.093), this was a new level of achievement for me, will let me blow these numbers out of the water, and will allow me to set up guitars at almost unheard of low action, at least on electrics. I'll have an acoustic on it soon enough.

I am retired from my engineering duties, but still run my woodworking shop and do a lot of repairs here in SE Tennessee. The shop I work for will be pleased. But I have to fix that one bad hole that the dial indicator mount rides in, that for the money, I would think things like this would not happen.

4.0

Love It But -

By

Verified Buyer


There are already plenty of 5 star ratings so although I am very fond of the thing I'm going to be a little critical. I liked my old version enough to upgrade to the metal version and the metal version is not only a vast improvement - but a smart one. However - something I've had against both versions is the hold-down strap that goes around the neck right behind the nut (not the ones holding down body) and I've never had a job where it wasn't necessary. Hold-down strap Never, I repeat, NEver holds steady. The little plastic flipper clamp does not hold it in place. I've tried using a clamp to hold it in place but that just swings around and moves my dials all over the place. Even just the fact that it's a strap going thru a narrow eye hook creates unstable movement. As the vid points out, even just moving the jig from 90 to 45 deg will change dial readings. It's amazing how sensitive the whole principle is and that one simple danged strap is soooo counter to the whole jigs purpose. There really needs to be some sort of rigid adjustment mechanism for this. Otherwise I would give the product 10 stars.

5.0

Couldn't have made it better myself

By

Verified Buyer


This is an amazingly well built tool that after assembling came to the conclusion that I could not have built something even half this nice for the same price and time it would have taken me! would 100% recommend this to anyone!

5.0

Grandiose :-)

By

Verified Buyer


I am very happy with this purchase, thank you very much .

5.0

Best One Yet!

By

Verified Buyer


This is my third neck jig. The first one I built myself, the next one was an original style. This new is the best one yet! SO nice to set up. Much quicker than the older styles due to the sliding parts. I like the smaller dials, the infinite adjustment, the light weight, and the fact that it looks like I'm using NASA tech! Very very please with the jig. Thanks Stewmac and Dan Erlewine!

5.0

Finally pulled the trigger.

By

Verified Buyer


Got the neck jig finally. After years of doing levels by feel, I finally wanted to SEE what my neck is doing while I am working on it. The affect gravity has on the neck is mind blowing when you see it for yourself on the gauges. I've seen as much as a .020 difference from playing position to working position. That's plenty of fret buzz causing movement for sure!

Setting it up was fairly easy. I am regretting not getting the stand and vise with it though. Moving the entire jig with a guitar mounted can be scary.. The only issue I had with it, is that the machining is a little rough around the edges. Enough to slice into a finger without mercy. So break out your files and round those edges before setting it up! Your finger will thank you... Mine is still a bit angry with me.

Do you need this? No, with experience you can do accurate fretwork without. But this takes 20 years of experience out of the equation and gets you turning over accurate fret jobs ASAP! So do you want this? YES! Worthwhile investment in the long run.

5.0

Remarkable!

By

Verified Buyer


I can't believe I waited so long to get the latest version of the Erlewine neck jig! I started 30 years ago with the plans and built the 1st version ( tilting top w/slat table) eventually moving up to the 2nd version wood model (with a shop stand & tilting vise). Now, with this new Neck Jig, the ease of setting it up and the adjustability are unsurpassed! Odd shaped and small instruments no longer pose a challenge. The rigid construction means you have absolutely no movement when leveling frets! Dan and the folks at Stew Mac R&D really knocked this one out of the park! Thank you.

4.0

Fun setting this up

By

Verified Buyer


Had to take a few attempts getting all the parts correctly in place. Got it working today, set up one guitar and so far it seems to be correct. Bigger and better made the I had expected.

5.0

Neck jig

By

Verified Buyer


Excellent!

2.0

Not impressed

By

Verified Buyer


I just got into doing my own repairs a few years back, but saw the need for a way to simulate string tension while doing fret work. I racked my brain trying to figure out a cheap way to do this. I was frustrated with this tool because the usage directions didn't stress certain points enough. It was during this time that I realized how I could simulate neck tension for under fifty bucks. Regardless it is a great tool but way over priced. I have to give two stars because of the pricing. There is a much simpler way for only a few bucks.

Response from StewMac


We are sorry to hear you were not impressed with this tool. The Erlewine Neck Jig, along with all of our tools and parts, are covered under our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not happy, please contact our Customer Service Department to return it for a refund. - Spencer, Customer Support

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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 30 See Erlewine Neck Jig
on page 30 of our StewMac Digital Catalog