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Recessing Tune-o-matic Bridge

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The idea of recessing a bridge to reduce neck angle was mentioned on another thread.

I'm at the planning stages of a 24 3/4 inch scale, extended tenon set neck joined to body at fret 22, 6 string. When I draw out the side at full size I find that the neck angle comes to 6 degrees. (Thanks to Perry Ormsby for his diagram in another thread that shows how to do this part of the design) (How do I attach an image to show the design?)

I can reduce this angle by raising the neck relative to the body, but then the connection between the neck and the tenon becomes very thin as the tenon will stay below the 3/4" lam top.

So, what about recessing the TOM bridge?

On the pro side, it would reduce the neck angle, and bring the strings closer to the bridge pickup, so it doesn't have to sit high of the body.

Are there any cons? It's string through body, so I don't need to worry about the height relative to the tailpiece.

How would I go about recessing a TOM bridge?

Thanks in advance,


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6 degrees seems like a lot - do you have a very thick carved top?


It's going to be a 3/4" thick goncalo alves top on a 1" thick swamp ash body (for a total 1 3/4" body at its thickest)

6 degrees is a lot....that's why I'm looking for ways to reduce it.



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Wow, 6 degrees?  At what bridge height did you make this assessment?

It's a TonePros System 2 Nashville style. I don't have the actual bridge yet, so I took the measurements from the website, and got to 17.5mm (just over 2/3 inch) from the top of the body to the saddle.

I'll be happy to hear if I'm way off, but the thumbwheel is 0.125", the bridge itself is 0.421" without the saddles, so I guestimated the height of the saddles plus some space for adjustment (0.134" together).

I too was surprised to see such a high angle.


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What type of carve are you planning on doing? in an LP 3 degree should be planty because you angle the top thus reducing the total angle necessary. I suggest you look at Setchs LP tutorial here to have an Idea of what I mean.

The reason for the recess TOM is not to reduce the angle but to use TOM on a no-angle set up. Can you post pics of your guitar? Mine is 1" maple and 1" walnut and I didn't did any angle on the neck and recessed the TOM, and it barely sits into the body!

There is this tutorial again by Setch on carving a top. 6 degrees sound like a archtop hollow guitar set up, and this is a bit extreme too.

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Either way, I don't see any cons recessing the bridge. You are removing a negligable amount of material and as long as you get the "cavity" as small as you can you wont even be able to tell its there.

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