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Neck Too Short! Crisis!


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So just when I thought I was making some headway on this guitar some events transpired and now my neck is too short (at least I think it is) to fit in to the neck cavity. My original plan was to do a deep set neck tenon, but now as it stands I will have a very short neck to body joint.

The way I see it, I have 3 options:

1: Glue something onto the end of the neck blank to lengthen it. This will be tricky, but most likely doable.

2: Find some nice wood to put in between the scarf joint to lengthen the neck a bit. Maybe some ebony?

3: Start over. Don't want to.

The thicker part of the neck is not for the neck tenon, I cut the part closer to the headstock a little thinner than where it would join the body just so I could cut the scarf joint, then I was going to cut it further down toward the heal and make it thinner where get it exact and taper it.

neck1.JPG

Close up. Ignore the blue tape, thats just there to hold it in place to represent the scarf joint being glued as is.

The guitar will have an 18" fingerboard, which is why I marked it there.

HELP!

Edited by wwwdotcomdotnet
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did you not take into account the headstock when measuring the neck?...for a deep set tenon it's about 6" too short which is a lot to mis-calculate by.

I wouldn't add anything to the scarf joint, that area is quite weak as it is without adding extra little bits plus it will look horrible. I would suggest cutting off the heel part & move it along the neck so that it extends into the body. You shouldn't need any more than a couple of inches for a heel, the rest can be set in the body.

The main problem is going to be the fingerboard & trussrod. 18" is approximately the length from the nut to the 21st fret of a 25.5" neck. 18" is also the usual length of a modern guitar trussrod so you might not have enough neck to fit one properly.

Lets see what others say, I expect that you'll need to start again. I certainly would...maybe build a ukelele next :D

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As it is - deep tenon's out but it looks like you have enough for a standard gibson sized tenon. Looks like you have plenty of gluing area there, especially with it being a singlecut

You could add an extra inch or so between the neck shaft and headstock but i really dont think its necissary with what you have there

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As it is - deep tenon's out but it looks like you have enough for a standard gibson sized tenon. Looks like you have plenty of gluing area there, especially with it being a singlecut

You could add an extra inch or so between the neck shaft and headstock but i really dont think its necissary with what you have there

Wes, really?

There is only about 2 inches on the left and 1 inch on the side of the single cut where the neck extends into the body. That just seems so short to me.

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Wes, the thicker part of the neck is not for the neck tenon, I cut it thinner just so I could cut the scarf joint, then I was going to get it exact and taper it.

not quite sure what you think i mean, I can see you have a step in your neck blank but that doesnt really have anything to do with the issue of neck join at this stage does it. It does mean you still have a lot of wood to play with!

but here is how i see it

You have 19" between the nut and the end of the neck blank.

You need 18" for the fretboard and around 18" for the truss rod so you have 1" extra wood that will extend into the neck pickup route

You have two inches of wood going ito the body on the bass side but only one inch on the treble side

. . .

As it stands that would work as a neck join but would not be the strongest. Lots of SG's have been made with inferior neck joins and still managed to survive - and some people actually like them.

I would consider moving the neck 1" further into the body. If that pushed the bridge into one of your chambers i would consider filling the chamber with a block of wood so it didnt - if thats going to be inside the guitar then no-one will know anyway :D I havnt seen the design so dont know how much that would change the visual impact of the guitar

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I would also consider going with a shorter scale length. . . i.e if you planned for a 25 1/2" scale length but now used a 24 3/4" scale you could keep the bridge in the same place and have the neck set 3/4" more into the body.

. . . but then i am not very fussy about scale length - i know some people are and that would be a major cop-out for them

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You have 19" between the nut and the end of the neck blank.

You need 18" for the fretboard and around 18" for the truss rod so you have 1" extra wood that will extend into the neck pickup route

You have two inches of wood going ito the body on the bass side but only one inch on the treble side

I would consider moving the neck 1" further into the body. If that pushed the bridge into one of your chambers i would consider filling the chamber with a block of wood so it didnt - if thats going to be inside the guitar then no-one will know anyway :D I havnt seen the design so dont know how much that would change the visual impact of the guitar

wes, you are correct, thats what i meant. i have a fretboard with a 24.75" scale. perhaps i could go with 21 frets instead of 22 so i could move the neck into the body. i am no guitar pro, im a rhythm player in fact, so that wouldnt matter to me at all. i wont have a problem with moving the bridge either, i left plenty of wood in the middle of the body to support the maple top.

what i may do in addition to the above is put some ebony between the scarf joint. ive seen that done and i like the looks of it. i just want a deeper joint than 2" on one side and 1" on the other, that just seems too weak to me.

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If you do add wood between the scarf make sure you have CF reinforcement as well -i dont think i would trust it without that extra precaution.

the important thing is to not panic when these mistakes happen on your own personal guitars - there are always lots of options available to sort it out, i always used to take a day or two to think about how i wanted to proceed when these mistakes used to happen to me (i am going to keep on pretending i dont make major mistakes any more)

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You are pushing the body neck joint at the upper bout to about the 19th fret and the lower bout to about 21st if you are using a 25.5" scale. If you go with 24-3/4" your going to have your upper bout setting at about 20 and the lower at the 23rd. If you were using a layout similar to say a Strat or LP you would have the upper bout meeting the neck closer to the 16th fret(15 to 15-1/2" ish). Either way at 19-1/8" you have the end of your neck set at about the 24th fret on a 25.5" neck(which would be perfectly fine normally). You have just pushed the neck way futher than what is standard. What does the back of the body look like in the heel area? Did you plan for an AANJ of some sort?

Again, As I see it your problem is how far you are pushing your fret access. If you have taken extra measures in your design to accomodate this it may be workable, if not I would suggest you back off the upper fret access.

Peace,Rich

P.S. I am basing most all of this on your picture of the measuring tape. More pics would help.

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After taking some more measurements, it looks like I jumped the gun on this one. When things didnt seem right I just defaulted to the "I RUINED EVERYTHING" mode and posted my "problem" here. I should have more than 2" on the left and 1" on the cutaway side for the neck tenon. That measurement I gave was to the 18" mark, thats only wherethe fingerboard ends, however the fingerboard obviously extends onto the body for a few frets. All is well now :D

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man it's the second time you make this kind of mistake. in the Sg you had to cut off the last frets, now you've considered losing the first one.

glad to see you figured things out. but you need to be more careful.

think 100 times before making any cuts and glue stuff.

make full size drawings! plan everything.

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man it's the second time you make this kind of mistake. in the Sg you had to cut off the last frets, now you've considered losing the first one.

glad to see you figured things out. but you need to be more careful.

think 100 times before making any cuts and glue stuff.

make full size drawings! plan everything.

Mistakes happen. Like I said, I won't be losing the top fret, its just an option.

In this case it wasn't from poor planning at all. Lets just say that cutting the scarf joint was no walk in the park on this build, and that the table saw decided to eat the end of the neck (again, freak accident) and I had to cut that portion off and cut the joint again. Thats not important though. Luckily I bought 36" of wood!

I did learn quite a bit from my first build, and of course patience is the most important thing to have. If anything comes up (like this thread) I will post it on GF before I do anything so I can get experienced opinions.

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After taking some more measurements, it looks like I jumped the gun on this one. When things didnt seem right I just defaulted to the "I RUINED EVERYTHING" mode and posted my "problem" here. I should have more than 2" on the left and 1" on the cutaway side for the neck tenon. That measurement I gave was to the 18" mark, thats only wherethe fingerboard ends, however the fingerboard obviously extends onto the body for a few frets. All is well now :D

Sorry for a second responce here, but I am just curious. What fret will the neck and upper bout meet at? Also just to be sure I have a clear picture. What is the scale length you will be using?

Peace,Rich

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Looks like it should join the body at the 19th fret at the cut away side and about the 17th at the left non cut away side,

I am using a 24.75" scale

Cool, So you will have more like 3.75" body/ neck overlap at the upper, and 2.75" at the lower bout. That is plenty.

Good luck with the build!

Peace,Rich

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Looks like it should join the body at the 19th fret at the cut away side and about the 17th at the left non cut away side,

I am using a 24.75" scale

Cool, So you will have more like 3.75" body/ neck overlap at the upper, and 2.75" at the lower bout. That is plenty.

Good luck with the build!

Peace,Rich

Looks like I will be fine after all. I almost had a melt down earlier though haha. PHEW! I guess its just more embarrassing that I even had to make this thread lol

Edited by wwwdotcomdotnet
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Mistakes happen. Like I said, I won't be losing the top fret, its just an option.

In this case it wasn't from poor planning at all. Lets just say that cutting the scarf joint was no walk in the park on this build, and that the table saw decided to eat the end of the neck (again, freak accident) and I had to cut that portion off and cut the joint again. Thats not important though. Luckily I bought 36" of wood!

I did learn quite a bit from my first build, and of course patience is the most important thing to have. If anything comes up (like this thread) I will post it on GF before I do anything so I can get experienced opinions.

hi there, sorry if my reply sounded bad, it's just that my english is not very good and sometimes it's hard to communicate like a polite person would do.

in my case when mistakes happen I always start all over again, just because when I look at my instruments and they have something that went bad, I can't help but only see that bad spot. and that mistake will haunt you forever. :D

so after my 2nd build I got into the "making everything right even if it means starting something again policy"

that's one of the reasons you see some very nice guitars going to the Wall Of Doom. and so many others being left behind and not being finished.

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Mistakes happen. Like I said, I won't be losing the top fret, its just an option.

In this case it wasn't from poor planning at all. Lets just say that cutting the scarf joint was no walk in the park on this build, and that the table saw decided to eat the end of the neck (again, freak accident) and I had to cut that portion off and cut the joint again. Thats not important though. Luckily I bought 36" of wood!

I did learn quite a bit from my first build, and of course patience is the most important thing to have. If anything comes up (like this thread) I will post it on GF before I do anything so I can get experienced opinions.

hi there, sorry if my reply sounded bad, it's just that my english is not very good and sometimes it's hard to communicate like a polite person would do.

in my case when mistakes happen I always start all over again, just because when I look at my instruments and they have something that went bad, I can't help but only see that bad spot. and that mistake will haunt you forever. :D

so after my 2nd build I got into the "making everything right even if it means starting something again policy"

that's one of the reasons you see some very nice guitars going to the Wall Of Doom. and so many others being left behind and not being finished.

i can definitely understand.

my policy is that if i mess something up and there is a solution to it, i will usually take that option if i am not compromising my intentions.

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yeah, there is always a solution - it sometimes just takes a little time to find it.

If you really did have a problem here i would have suggested starting a new neck - but even that shouldnt be looked at negatively because you could easily have saved the shorter neck blank for something different

Glad all the measurements worked out in the end

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Well, if dotcom's neck join is okay, then the one I'm working on should be fine as well (it's looking like I'm going to have about the same measurements Rich mentions as being good for his build with my current plan) But running across this thread in a search brings up something I've never really quite been able to figure out - how small a glueing area is too small? Assuming a standard size heel, how deep should the tenon go into the body as a minimum? My first couple of builds had quite long neck tenons (all the way under the bridge, although the taper of the neck meant that there wasn't much left that far back) and my last build I just copied the tenon length from a set of LP plans, considering my body joined up on each side at about the same position as an LP. But I don't really know if there's a rule of thumb here or not? I've tried searching and I'm just not picking the right terms I guess.

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