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Neck Attachment; Routing For Binding;


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Building a flattop:

I don't see how anyone could attach the neck, close the box and THEN route for binding. The fingerboard and heel will be in the way.

Do you guys close the box, route, and then attach the neck?

I'm in a bit of a quandary. My neck is bolted on with screws through the headblock into the heel.

Currently I have my neck bolted on but the back is not yet attached. Technically I should be able to attach/remove the neck once the box is closed by maneuvering a short screwdriver inside the box. But I'm very worried about this; I'm afraid I'll strip the heads of the screws because of the trickiness of using a screwdriver inside the box.

Any advice? Should I clarify the question?

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I dont see how you could possibly rout the binding channel with a neck attached. I did a dovetail joint on my guitar so i naturally attached the neck after everything was done... but in your case, you are going to have to get that neck off for the binding. Just make sure you use the right sized screwdriver bit and get the screwdriver as straight as possible. If i had to guess, i would say that you shouldnt need to torque the heck out of the screws to get them to the tightness needed... so getting them off shouldnt require the amount of force you would need to strip it out. But thats coming from an educated assumption... not experience.

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Building a flattop:

I don't see how anyone could attach the neck, close the box and THEN route for binding. The fingerboard and heel will be in the way.

Do you guys close the box, route, and then attach the neck?

I'm in a bit of a quandary. My neck is bolted on with screws through the headblock into the heel.

Currently I have my neck bolted on but the back is not yet attached. Technically I should be able to attach/remove the neck once the box is closed by maneuvering a short screwdriver inside the box. But I'm very worried about this; I'm afraid I'll strip the heads of the screws because of the trickiness of using a screwdriver inside the box.

Any advice? Should I clarify the question?

Screws? Not bolts? Any reason? I've seen hanger bolts used successfully (screw portion in the neck heel, then bolt through the headblock, fastened with a nut). Also, you want the neck attached with the bolts hand-tight - a little snugger than just tight enough to keep things from moving around. You don't want to compress the wood. Also, as a rule, you need to tighten up the bolts when you restring the first time. String tension will compress some of the wood and things can loosen up a little bit.

You need to bind, finish, polish the guitar with the neck off anyway.

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Thank you for the replies and for not mocking my ignorance! :D

Here's a picture just for the record... there are three woodscrews going through the headblock into the heel. The neck tenon is about 20mm deep, laid into a pocket in the headblock. I attached the neck to make sure everything lined up, and it's not an issue to remove the neck right now.

IMG_1201.jpg

I think my trouble comes from this. To drill the holes for the screws, I used a bit that was the diameter of the "center" of the screw where the thread attaches, i.e., the full diameter of the screw thread had to cut through the wood. So it needed some elbow grease to get them in. Perhaps I should remove the screws and run the next-size-up bit through the holes? I just thought I should leave enough wood for the threads to grab since the neck must withstand so much tension. But this...

You don't want to compress the wood.

... makes me think I made the holes too small in diameter. If it takes effort to tighten/untighten the screws, I must be compressing the wood.

"Hanger bolts" sounds like a better alternative. I'll look into that, although it may be difficult to adapt, as the guitar wasn't planned that way.

Thank you all very much! I'm learning just how much I don't know. :D

Edited by Geo
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@ Setch: off the top of my head (I'm at work), the neck pocket depth/tenon thickness is 22mm. The external heel thickness is about the same. So, there is ~40mm of wood in the heel. I don't know the exact length of the screws I used, but I checked them against the total depth provided by the heel while it was sitting in the headblock, and the screws were long enough while not going so deep that they would poke out of the heel.

@pariah: thanks for posting that. Let me see if I understood the advice correctly: the warning is about un-tapered braces with no kerfing above them? The problem is that, being untapered, they won't flex, and without kerfing holding them down, they may pop off.

I am not sure if this will be a problem with mine. I tapered the braces to ~3mm or so I think, but I'll look at this when I get home. If I'm careful I can still taper the braces some.

Thanks again. :D

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You don't need to have those screw holes that tight, it may cause fit problems as well as binding. I would open them up a bit to avoid those problems. I can't figure out though if you are using inserts or just wood screws? I would recommend you use inserts FWIW.

Definately pull the neck. You should for many reasons one of which is binding.

Rich

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You don't need to have those screw holes that tight,

Good, that will make my life so much easier! :D

a screwed butt-joint, which is why I questioned it.

I would question that too... well on second thought, I wouldn't want to know anything about it. :D

Rich, yes, they're wood screws. This sounds good to me:

I've seen hanger bolts used successfully (screw portion in the neck heel, then bolt through the headblock, fastened with a nut).

How does one install this kind of bolt? I'm afraid pliers would mar the machine-screw thread that the nut is going to go on.

Thanks again to everyone. B)

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How does one install this kind of bolt? I'm afraid pliers would mar the machine-screw thread that the nut is going to go on.

Thanks again to everyone. :D

I'd run two nuts onto the threaded portion, then lock them against each other. Then, you can use a spanner of socket to screw it in.

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I think my trouble comes from this. To drill the holes for the screws, I used a bit that was the diameter of the "center" of the screw where the thread attaches, i.e., the full diameter of the screw thread had to cut through the wood. So it needed some elbow grease to get them in. Perhaps I should remove the screws and run the next-size-up bit through the holes? I just thought I should leave enough wood for the threads to grab since the neck must withstand so much tension. But this...

I just did something similar to myself on an electric bolt-on neck. So a question for the more experienced. When choosing a drill bit to drill a hole in wood, into which a wood screw must be inserted, how to you choose the size of the drill bit? Like geo, I chose to match the diameter of the "centre" of the screw, resulting in a very tight fit, and lot's of effort to get the screws in. I am worrying that if the bit is too large, then the threads won't have enough wood to bite into.

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I think my trouble comes from this. To drill the holes for the screws, I used a bit that was the diameter of the "center" of the screw where the thread attaches, i.e., the full diameter of the screw thread had to cut through the wood. So it needed some elbow grease to get them in. Perhaps I should remove the screws and run the next-size-up bit through the holes? I just thought I should leave enough wood for the threads to grab since the neck must withstand so much tension. But this...

I just did something similar to myself on an electric bolt-on neck. So a question for the more experienced. When choosing a drill bit to drill a hole in wood, into which a wood screw must be inserted, how to you choose the size of the drill bit? Like geo, I chose to match the diameter of the "centre" of the screw, resulting in a very tight fit, and lot's of effort to get the screws in. I am worrying that if the bit is too large, then the threads won't have enough wood to bite into.

I do the diameter of the screw body and let the threads cut into the wood. If I am worried about the hardness of the wood being too much I will wiggle the drill bit a touch to enlarge the hole.

A bit of wax on the threads of the screw and we are good to go.

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It depends. If you are drilling a pilot hole for a screw, you want to drill the size of the core, and let the threads cut in themselves. However, if you are drilling a clearance hole, for a screw to go though before going into a second piece (like when drilling though a body/neckblock), you want to drill the first piece to the diameter of the thread, so the screw can turn without biting in the first piece, thus pulling the second piece (the neck) up tight.

Geo, be carefull not to overtighten the screws on you neck, especially if they are countersunk. Driving a countersunk screw too hard is just like driving a little wedge into your headblock, and can split it very easily.

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It depends. If you are drilling a pilot hole for a screw, you want to drill the size of the core, and let the threads cut in themselves.

That's what I did, but it was very tight. I think, in harder woods at least, it needs to be a bit looser than than.

Edited by bluesy
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That's what I did, but it was very tight. I think, in harder woods at least, it needs to be a bit looser than than.

Same here, that's what I did. I drilled the headblock holes wider, as suggested, because these woodscrews have a bare portion up near the head that is the diameter of the threads. So I don't think there's any thread biting in the headblock.

But I'm going to find some hanger bolts and try that. Somehow, the idea of nuts/washers tightened down seems better than woodscrews.

Thanks to all who've given their input.

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