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My guitar design


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Hello again boys and girls. Just recovered from a rather messy bout of food poisioning (the local pubs been trying to kill me) so it's good to be back.

Can you lot give me your opinion on my ideas....

....I'm intending to make a guitar (stating the obvious) and want to use no glue in the process (with exception of the inlays). The neck will protude about 3/4 of the way down the length of the body and will be as thick as the body (so you can see it from both sides). This will be held in place by friction alone.

The peg head will be angled back at 13 degrees (although I need to check this, I remember a thread a few weeks ago). The entire neck and peghead will be from one piece of wood with no glueing. There will be no fret board.

Inlays, knobs and small marker dots will be made by myself.

The body is going to be one piece quilted maple (not decided on the shape yet-minor detail). Fixed bridge and a niffty way of holding the strings at the nobbly end (but I'm not giving that bit away).

Pick up cavities will be routed from the back leaving a thin piece of wood in place on the top of the guitar as a cover (so it looks like it hasn't got any pick ups). Is this possible? I realise that I may have to raise the area slightly towards the strings to allow for this.

Two humbuckers will be wound by myself. Two tone pots, one volume and one balance will be bought in.

I can see a fair few problems arising with this design, but nothing which can't be solved if I think hard enough (I'm an engineer after all). I'm after a nice warm warm tone, sort of bluesy.

So what do you think? Are there any features that the ideal, absoulute dogs knackers guitar should have? I just want the best tone possible. Please feel free to debate amoungst yourselves.

Oh yeah....I'm reserving the right to call it ToneMonkey.

Cheers guys.

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Alright J789. B)

Not found any parts yet! Been layed up in bed for a while so not had chance to do any research. I do it all at work so I get paid for arseing around on the net (kinda like you must be doing now).

I'm getting quite handy with casting resin at the minute so I might have a go at casting the bobbins myself. They'll be brittle but I'm sure I can throw in some glass fibre. What do you think? Of course, if you know anywhere I can get 'um please let me know.

Got the coolest inlays floating around the idea pond at the minute. They're gonna be black, got any idea for a material?

How's Boston? Spent a few days there when I lived in Loughborough :D .

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first i'm all for doing something completely different...... but a neck held in place by frcition??? umm... the only way I could see that working is if you angled the deep set pocket walls on the guitar inwards like on a guitar someone posted a coupld months ago, then angle the sides of the neck tennon inward to correspond with the pocket, this will keep the neck from lifting up out of the neck tennon pocket... and the fact that you're only going 3/4 into the body will keep it in place intonation wise. Or you could save your self quite a bit of that work and just do a 1 peice neck thru.. but if you're not going to use any glue (scarf joint) you're going to need a peice of 13x40x4 for that..

and...... care to share exactly how you're going to secure the truss rod?? gona use "the force" eh?? cause unless you're using a laminate (oh wait no glue) a solid wood neck blank like ebony, bubinga, wenge, etc.... you're going to want a truss rod.

i agree with the above, if you sink the bridge into the guitar (assuming the neck tennon will run under the bridge) it'll help keep the bridge in place if you don't use screws on it either..

the pickups from the back idea.... depending on how big a heel you leave and how wide youre deep set neck tennon is going to be.. it might be wiser to rout for the pickups, install them, then put a veneer over the top of the guitar, the sink the bridge so that the strings are as close to the guitar a possible but still playable, that way you're not losing all that wood on the back of the guitar

that's my 2 cents...

but good luck dude!

and remember to take lots of pics!!!

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(I'm an engineer after all).

Ah, there it is. "If it's not broken, it doesn't have enough features yet."

I'm concerned about holding any part of a dynamic system such as a guitar by friction alone. You can prove me wrong later, but the wood is going to expand and contract over time. Using different woods will only make the problem worse I'm afraid.

Now I can see this working, from what you've described, if you are going to use the string tension to actually hold the neck and body together. I sketched out a few free body diagrams (even though physicist aren't supposed to know about those things. :D) and it could work with something like a mortise and tennon joint. The neat part is that if you remove the strings you can take the guitar apart and have a separate neck and body (for travel?). Or, you could have replacement bodies even.

There's still that problem with the truss rod though. Can't sort that one out. Unless you have a really looooooong drill bit.

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There's still that problem with the truss rod though. Can't sort that one out. Unless you have a really looooooong drill bit

i wouldn't worry cos i think that a mix of wood fairies and karma will hold it all together.

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i would not be so dead set against glue.a good tight glue joint does not result in a loss of tone.only when you have a poor fit .the way you describe the neck being held in place,the body will not have enough strength to hold a tight joint.if you are set on no glue,i suggest using a wood strong enough for the neck(like mahogany)and making it completely one piece.but you still need a truss rod.

just my opinion but i think it is fraught with problems. :D

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Are you doing this just to see if it can be done or are you really that against the use of glue? If it's the glue, I don't think anyone would disagree that it seems like a lot of work for little to no benefit.

If it's just to see if it can be done - sounds like fun and I wish you luck. I'm also an engineer but I think I'm staying with glue.

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Are you doing this just to see if it can be done or are you really that against the use of glue?

No I actually quite like glue, infact I spent a year testing the stuff that they stick plane wings on with. But I enjoy a challenge. There will be a truss rod too, which fair enough may need some glue.

The strings will help clamp the body and neck together and I was thinking about drilling a few strategic holes in the sides of the body, into the neck and knocking some dowls in. This coupled with the friction bought about by a big fookin' hammer will hopefully keep it all nice and tight.

Anyway, if it all goes tits up :D at least we'll all know that it can't be done (not by me anyway).

Decided on a shape too, it's gonna be a 1959 Les Paul Jr. I've been trying my own designs, but I don't think I'll ever be able to top that shape.

Knocking up some CAD drawings at the moment and one of my friends is gonna do it all in 3D, so I'll try to post them soon.

Cheers for the advice guys, keep it comming, I'd prefer to know whats gonna go wrong before I get there.

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being an ironworker the first thing i always think of is bolts...so i thing long stainless steel bolts running all the way through the body and neck (as you are holding the guitar in playing position,bolts running top to bottom)and countersunk in to the wood would hold the compression needed

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Oooh. Good idea Wes. I'll have a think about that. Look prety funky too! Will they act as a damper though?

I'm sure if we all put our heads together we can make this work. You lot are doing corking job already. Just ordered Melvin Hiscocks book :D , read it a few years back and now I need my own copy, so more ideas on the way soon.

Can't wait to start building, at least then I'll be able to put stuff back into the forum instead of racking all yours brains.

You in the Uk then Wes? Or do you just get up early in the morning?

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  • 3 weeks later...
being an ironworker the first thing i always think of is bolts...so i thing long stainless steel bolts running all the way through the body and neck (as you are holding the guitar in playing position,bolts running top to bottom)and countersunk in to the wood would hold the compression needed

Ironworker? Awesome, I'm getting a forge up and going now...Too many hobbies starting and not enough nomey to go around! What kind of work do you do? Do any casting?

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being an ironworker the first thing i always think of is bolts...so i thing long stainless steel bolts running all the way through the body and neck (as you are holding the guitar in playing position,bolts running top to bottom)and countersunk in to the wood would hold the compression needed

Ironworker? Awesome, I'm getting a forge up and going now...Too many hobbies starting and not enough nomey to go around! What kind of work do you do? Do any casting?

not that kind of an ironworker...i put up steel buildings.airports and such

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