Here are two original 1950’s Fender necks. The Telecaster neck from 1952 and the Stratocaster from 1959. I chose these to show the evolution of the Fender Maple necks.
Notice the earlier neck features have much more handwork to finish them, whereas the later one is left much sharper edged, almost directly from the machine. These necks were made on an overhead pin router and spindle moulder.
Notice the details of the early Telecaster neck include close spacing of the 12th fret markers and 2.4mm side dots, face dots are 6.4mm. Despite what you may read elsewhere on the internet these dots are made from black celluloid not fibreboard! 1970’s black dots were made from phenolic or ebonite ¼ inch rod also, not fibreboard. They did use fibreboard but not until the early 1980’s. So, anyone doing a refinish on a 1950’s Fender neck needs to be careful as these celluloid dots will melt with thinners/paint stripper etc! Notice the headstock swoop is much more pronounced than on the 1959 Stratocaster neck. Another detail is the slightly wider skunk stripe on the back which is mahogany, not walnut as on the Stratocaster.
All the changes made by Fender were to reduce production costs, even down to the thinner finish on the later Stratocaster neck.
Please note we do not offer any copyrighted headstock shapes like the ones below, this blog is purely for information purposes.