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Oh No! Not Another Neck Angle Question!


jch4v
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Hello!

Here's my question:

I am building a Les Paul (Like) guitar. Actually, it's going to look a lot like the Bob Marley Les Paul Custom... I don't want a carved top. I like the look of a flat top. BUT.. I do want to use a tune-o-matic bridge... so I know that I will have to use a neck angle. I understand how to cut the angle in the pocket or on the neck itself. That's not my problem. My problem is that, if I am understanding this correctly, when you usually angle a neck, you have to carve the top to hide the angle, and so that the fretboard can rest on top of the body nice and flat.

My question is this... I know that there are some FLAT TOPP Les Pauls... at least they look flat to me. So, if I don't carve the top, how am I supposed to hide the angle? Do I still have to sand an angle into the top portion of the body? Has anyone done this before? Do I just sand the shape of the fretboard into the body - at an angle?

Maybe I am making this more complicated than it has to be... I just can't seem to grasp the concept in my head. Any help would be appreciated greatly!

Thanks,

J

P.S I did a search and didn't really come up with anything. My apologies if this question has been asked before!

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You don't, really. Carved tops can, but do no always 'hide' the neck angle. Just have the fingerboard/neck sit a little bit proud of the top (see f'r isntance David Myka's isntruments, or any flat-topped superstrat with a floyd and a neck angle). There will be a tiny wedge visible, but not in a bad way.

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I don't think you need to worry about "hiding" the neck angle at all. The neck angle is used to compensate for the height of TOM type bridges. The neck angle really doesn't have anything to do with whether or not the top of the guitar is carved.

Even on a carved top LP, the area where the bridge sets is not carved and is in line with the angle of the neck. Anybody feel free to correct me if I am wrong. :D

Edited by Fender4me
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My thing is this:

The fretboard will not sit flush with the top of the guitar unless the top is angled the same way that the neck is. What will end up happening is that the fretboard will be sticking up a little bit on the end and then will angle back. I just wanted to see if this was the normal procedure, or if there was another way to do this? When the guitar is carved, this does not occur.

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The angle is actually very slight, not all that visible really --have a look for pictures of old Melody Makers, Crestwoods, Coronets, etc. All have angled necks and flat tops.

I've certainly never been bothered by that little bit of angle showing on my Melody Maker, and I kind of scratch my head about anyone that would be bothered by it.

The arch on Les Pauls was done to imitate arch top guitars, not to hide the angle. That just became an added side benefit.

Also, you don't have to have an angle for a TOM --you can have no angle at all, but usually in order to do that, either you have to raise the neck higher above the line of the body (look at the SG in Hickock's book, or my 350 in progress for that matter) or you recess the bridge into the body somewhat. There are also thinner TOM-type bridges though I think, that let you avoid that all together.

It all comes down to what you prefer, really.

I like the flat top look too, by the way.

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My thing is this:

The fretboard will not sit flush with the top of the guitar unless the top is angled the same way that the neck is.  What will end up happening is that the fretboard will be sticking up a little bit on the end and then will angle back.  I just wanted to see if this was the normal procedure, or if there was another way to do this?  When the guitar is carved, this does not occur.

It can be done both ways. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of the neck showing at the end of the fretboard. On a carved top the neck will show a bit at the end unless you intensionally hide it with the top. The body and neck on a carved top doesn't have the same body/neck angle (that would mean no neck anlge). I would probably leave the neck proud of the top with a flat top. It seems more natural than trying to drop the neck deeper and add carving in only that area with the rest of the top flat.

Peace,Rich.

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My thing is this:

The fretboard will not sit flush with the top of the guitar unless the top is angled the same way that the neck is.  What will end up happening is that the fretboard will be sticking up a little bit on the end and then will angle back.  I just wanted to see if this was the normal procedure, or if there was another way to do this?  When the guitar is carved, this does not occur.

I own two Les Paul Customs and both of them are done the way your wanting to do them. The fingerboard is all that sits proud of the body, and isn't hard to do like that. In my opinion it also looks better, but that's just my way of thinking on it. If I'm building a set neck, it's the way I do it. There are many ways of doing this. What I did on the JV-1 guitar was route the neck pocket angle first in the body, then later use a router jig that was setup the same angle to route the top of the body where the neck joins, so that when the neck is in place only the fretboard shows above the body. You could also do it with just block sanding but would take you longer. I'll take a picture of the guitar side to show you what I'm talking about.

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