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My question is sort of a complex one: It requires a couple of other questions to answer. A little insight into my build will also aid in determining the answer. I want to hear what other builders/luthiers have to say about how to go about designing and executing an angled bolt on neck for my electric solid body builds. I'm sure there are mixed answers to this, as I have already read a great deal of online resources on the subject, as well as on ProjectGuitar.com That being said, I really do not want to go the route of using angled shims. I am a luthier/shop owner, and want a permanent solution that does not reduce the neck-to-body contact, while maintaining the direction of building bolt on necks. Since this post is kind of lengthy, I will organize it into categories. The first of which, introduces my build and brings about my first question. The build: I am building an electric solid body, "explorer" style. I am building a bolt on neck. Since I am using a tune-o-matic bridge, I will need to angle the neck in relation to the body for proper action. A very important note, is to point out that my body is made of one hunk of Yellowheart hardwood, 2 inches thick and 10 inches wide. I cross-cut the slab and will be gluing the halves together, side by side, to get get the width I need for an "explorer" style body; the "wings" protrude rather long outward. This wood is so dense it almost does not float in water! Please do not question my reasons, I am doing this for tone, which is subjective. Anyway, the reason I am pointing this out, is that the wood is very heavy and I want to reduce the weight. I would like to go with the standard body thickness (1-3/4") but that will be too heavy. So I would like to reduce some of the weight by going with 1-1/2" thickness. Of course considering my cavities and their depths. 3/4" for one humbucker cavity, my electrical cavity not any deeper, and my neck pocket cavity, hopefully at 5/8". This brings me to my first questions: What to do about the dimensions of my neck pocket? Do I reduce the thickness of my neck's heel, or do I reduce the thickness of the neck joint where the bolts mount? I would like to have a neck pocket depth of 5/8". My thinking is that the Yellowheart will be strong enough to allow for a neck joint that is only 7/8" thick. What do you guys think? This also ties into my entire post about an angled neck, which brings me to the next category... Angled neck: I have seen guys like the pros at StewMac suggest angled shims for bolt on necks, but I do not like that solution. My thinking is to angle the neck pocket. However, one idea I had is to angle the neck heel itself. Right away I can see the con in that. An angled neck heel will be tough to replace. An angled neck pocket means the owner can replace the neck with a standard square heel. What do you guys think? This also leads to another concern: With an angle in the pocket, the neck heel will now approach the bolts at an angle. Should I not square the heel? Rather my thinking is to offset the squareness so that the neck heel fits the pocket at all sides and gives enough room for my bolt holes. I would hate to have a gap at the end of the joint. How to create an angled joint: How to go about building an angled neck pocket? Or how to go about some other method? One idea I had was, to support my neck pocket routing template with an angled shim, so that my router approaches the pocket at the desired angle. What comes to mind though is: Do I route from 7/8" on up so that my minimum pocket thickness is 7/8", or do I route so that my maximum pocket thickness is 7/8"? Again pondering if the Yellowheart will be strong enough. I think it will. Of course the height in which the neck rises beyond the body face is most important to string action. This leads me to think that 7/8" should be the maximum thickness for the neck joint. What do you guys think? Thank you all ahead of time for any suggestions. I rarely seek help and am usually solving problems on my own. Seeing as how this slab of Yellowheart cost me around 120 bones, I really do not want to do anything I will regret. So you guys are saving me a lot of headache on the matter. Sometimes a second opinion can be necessary. Thank you!
Here are some shots of a recent build. It was a wedding present from the bride to the groom. I was able pull off a bunch nice tricks on this guitar while still trying to keep it classy and personalized. The back plate was a letter from the bride. She told me he was in tears when she presented it to him. I hope to go to a wedding someday and see this guitar on stage with the band. The body was CNC's. This was my first venture into that world. I mainly wanted to make sure the logo was cut right. And for having the body cut quickly it still took a ton of work to get it to the finished product. Interesting items: Body - Swamp Ash Toneguard - flamed maple Pickup covers - Ash Fretboard - Flamed maple and canary wood strip Gotoh bridge and tuners Cardnial Laquer
Hello all, I'm reading 'da bible' (Melvyn Hiscock's book) at the moment. Pages 94 and 95 mentions a fixture for drilling the truss rod holes in both ends of a bolt on guitar neck. Has anyone ever built this fixture or know where to find some detailed blueprints to make one? I'm trying to figure out how to drill the headstock end properly. Thank you, ken