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Veneer In The Neck Pocket?


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I'm building a guitar for to a friends specifications, with the understanding that as I'm not master of this trade yet, and he and I will come to an agreement as to whether this guitar will be mine or sold to him after it is finished. (Honestly, I'm liking this enough I don't know if i want to give it up - but that's not the point of this post)

Originally, the guitar was to be equipped with 2 P-90s, and with a nice one-piece mahogany body I purchased from Will (Sound at 11). As such, I routed the neck pocket planning to hide the join with the neck p'up. Had we decided against a neck p'up, I would have done what i did on my last guitars, and fitted the neck underneath a separate top. (Probably would have sliced the top off the same blank.)

Now, I'm told he has his heart set on a single-p'up guitar. I kind of agree, there's a nice minimalist vibe with this guitar. Unfortunetly, this makes hiding the neck join a problem. It's not glaring, given the neck and body are the same type of wood, but I just don't like looking at it the way it is. I've thought of sun-bursts and pickguards, but I neither option appeals to me. (The guard is planned to be an LP type) I could add a top, but I'd prefer not to. I suppose I could just go with an extended fretboard (I haven't glued the board yet).

But looking at the body the way it is, I'm thinking that almost drawing a bit more attention to the join might be the way to go. I'm really enamored by the idea of sanding down the neck joint a bit, and adding a veneer or two in there. I think a crisp black line, or maybe a b/w one, in this small, square little bit of joint extending off the board, could look really class with the design of this guitar. I'll have to photoshop something up. I guess I've been inspired by seeing some guitars here and other places with veneers in the scarf joints and stuff, drawing attention to the joinery.

So I guess my question is, if I glue this in properly, can I expect structural issues with this approach? Would routing a channel for a purfling to sit, slightly recessed, be a better way to accomplish this task? The veneer approach seems easier, I suppose. Also, a veneer could go the full depth of the neck echo the line along neck/body join (it's a full-width tenon) and join up with the heel-cap. But yeah, any thoughts about the structural aspect of this?

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I'm building a guitar for to a friends specifications, with the understanding that as I'm not master of this trade yet, and he and I will come to an agreement as to whether this guitar will be mine or sold to him after it is finished. (Honestly, I'm liking this enough I don't know if i want to give it up - but that's not the point of this post)

Originally, the guitar was to be equipped with 2 P-90s, and with a nice one-piece mahogany body I purchased from Will (Sound at 11). As such, I routed the neck pocket planning to hide the join with the neck p'up. Had we decided against a neck p'up, I would have done what i did on my last guitars, and fitted the neck underneath a separate top. (Probably would have sliced the top off the same blank.)

Now, I'm told he has his heart set on a single-p'up guitar. I kind of agree, there's a nice minimalist vibe with this guitar. Unfortunetly, this makes hiding the neck join a problem. It's not glaring, given the neck and body are the same type of wood, but I just don't like looking at it the way it is. I've thought of sun-bursts and pickguards, but I neither option appeals to me. (The guard is planned to be an LP type) I could add a top, but I'd prefer not to. I suppose I could just go with an extended fretboard (I haven't glued the board yet).

But looking at the body the way it is, I'm thinking that almost drawing a bit more attention to the join might be the way to go. I'm really enamored by the idea of sanding down the neck joint a bit, and adding a veneer or two in there. I think a crisp black line, or maybe a b/w one, in this small, square little bit of joint extending off the board, could look really class with the design of this guitar. I'll have to photoshop something up. I guess I've been inspired by seeing some guitars here and other places with veneers in the scarf joints and stuff, drawing attention to the joinery.

So I guess my question is, if I glue this in properly, can I expect structural issues with this approach? Would routing a channel for a purfling to sit, slightly recessed, be a better way to accomplish this task? The veneer approach seems easier, I suppose. Also, a veneer could go the full depth of the neck echo the line along neck/body join (it's a full-width tenon) and join up with the heel-cap. But yeah, any thoughts about the structural aspect of this?

If I was going to do something along those lines I would go for purfling style. That way I could leave the neck pocket alone. You would not have any structural issues if you install a veneer securely in the pocket. It would do nothing to improve the joint and of coarse you run the risk of a tweaking the pocket as you re-fit to accomodate the thin veneer. If the guitar is bound and or purfed. You could match and carry it around the area you are working in. Good luck with it!

Peace,Rich

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One idea I had for my project --since I didn't want to bring the fretboard too far into the body was to leave a long extension on the fretboard but then slope the fretboard down until it meets the body. I thought it might look pretty cool, and it would hide the neck joint. But I didn't need to do it.

If you're creative enough, you could make some kind of inlay in the fretboard extension, or add frets...

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  • 1 month later...

Hi J, what about using some of the leftover Mahogany wood to cut a small block to fit in the cavity? Might be kinda tricky (of course a dark finish or sunburst would cover it).

One thing to consider is what Gibson uses on the Tom Delonge model 335. It has no neck pickup, so it has a little decorative plastic cover over the neck joint, kinda cool looking. What could look really cool would be to do that out of wood (say, the matching mahogany) or the fretboard wood.

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