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Neck angle


fidgec94
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I think i read somewhere that Gibsons have angles neck to achieve the correct string tension. Is this due to the type of bridge or the fact that the LP's for example, have a carved top?

I think i also read that fenders have zero neck angle(?)

Can you build a bolt-on with a tune-o-matic bridge with a neck parallel to the body and not have any string tension problems?

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I don't think it has anything to do with the tension - just the bridge height. You may need to recess the bridge to do what you are asking. If you have the dimensions of everything, draw a side view drawing of the guitar and you will be able to see what angle (if any) will be needed. The angles are there to prevent the need for having the pickups/neck mounted high off the body when using a tall bridge. Recessed bridges like the Floyds don't usually need an angle. For a hard tail - you need to use the dimensions of it to figure out what angle will be needed.

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hi everyone

i am building a bolt-on baritone w/ a neck to body connection angle of 2 degree w/ tune-o-matic bridge and an angled headstock of 13 degrees. from my research, i should not get any neck tension problems. [i have seen many guitars with this set up] does anyone have any objections? :D

Page.

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Page, how are you going to achieve the angle? I think i threw my protractor out a long time ago :D Does the angled headstock help (like angling the neck does), or is that part asthetic?

I am slowly gathering info for my 1st project...i think that simple is the way forward and i think a hardtail would certainly be a good idea. I like the look of tune-o-matics, but wanted to avoid more complicated stuff like neck angles. Your project sounds cool, pictures would be nice when possible!

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The angled headstock would not be a factor. To understand why a neck angle is needed, sketch a side view of a guitar. Draw the bridge with an exagerated height. Now connect the bridge with the nut on the neck (to simulate the strings). See the angle? There will be a large gap above the higher frets. To eliminate this, most people use a "neck angle" which means the entire neck is angled back toward the players body. The angle should match (roughly) with the angle of that line you just sketched. If you re-draw the side view this way, you should see what I mean.

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yeah dude, i have been studying and drawing this stuff on paper and cad for months.

:D i would like to show you pictures of my project, but it is going very slowly at the moment. [did i mention i have little or no wood working skills at all, i am just good with my hands. ;) ] i have only cut out the body and i don't have a digital camera or a scanner. i will sort this out when i have time. but i should have a website running in 2-3 months. but i am not going anywhere so sorry, you have to wait. B)

Page.

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I havent drawn it on paper yet but in my head i can see what you're talking about, i guess the action would be supidly high if the neck wasnt angled or bridge not recessed.

No worries Page, as long as theres pictures eventually, im satisfied B)

Btw, ditto on the wood working skills, i can operate tools and stuff but i dont think i quite count as a luthier yet :D

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To add to what daveq said, some people feel the angled headstock gives creates a better break angle over the nut which helps in things like sustain etc. There has to be some angle there. Fender often uses string trees on the ligther strings while Gibson uses (I think) a 13 degree break for the entire headstock.

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Draw the body side on, inc the carved top if applicable. This is A MUST. If you cant do this, pack up your tools, and go home.

Start with the body, and include the carved top if required. Draw in the

"thickness" of the fret board and frets at the body/neck joint. Draw in the

actual hardware (bridge), and mark a dot above the fretboard (neck join) to

allow for the action of the strings. Simply join the dots (bridge and action

at neck), and continue the line outwards. Measure your scale length, draw

the nut, mark the action at the nut, draw in your fretboard (nut to neck

join dots). You now have a neck angle to work with. Doesnt matter what angle

it is, as long as youve drawn it out. Make sure you allow for bridge

adjustment (up and down, forwards and backwards).

neck-angles.jpg

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I think it is more common to use a jig when routing the neck pocket than it is to put the angle on the neck piece itself. If you did it on the neck, I think you would still need to use a jig to try to keep everything level from side - to - side. It just seems easier to do it over the body than over a smaller piece of wood.

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oh ****, don't you hate that. i just wrote a really long message in the fast reply box, then i accidently pressed the add reply icon above the fast reply box instead of the add reply below the fast reply box.

i am nowhere near up to the stage of building the neck joint. preperation and research is the key to building perfection. :D

thanx for the example rhoads, it really helps.

i will only need a slight angle of 2 degrees to get the effect of rhoads example, because it is a flat top.

neck angles are mostly associated with set neck guitars with tune-o-matics. but mine is going to be bolt-on. i am going to create the angle on the neck, not on the neck cavity. so the neck cavity has to be as straight as humanly possible. it is done this way on set necks too.

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i am nowhere near up to the stage of building the neck joint. preperation and research is the key to building perfection. B)

Thats a good ethos(sp?), i cant afford guitar building right now but im slowly planning what i wanna do.

I think if it were me, i'd do the angle in the neck pocket....neck building and modding scares me :D

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Well, I know of at least one company that does it using the neck pocket - Ibanez.

If you look at the drawing for the JEM (on jemsite.com), you can see a slight angle in the neck pocket. I don't know why they chose to angle the pocket instead of the neck itself, but maybe it's so you can interchange necks more easily? Maybe due to their factory tooling?

Anyway, fidgec94, I hope it turns out well for you. I'd be interested in hearing from some of the neck angle experts on this site as to how they do it.

Dave

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angle the neck pocket, best way to go.

angling the neck pocket is easily done buy simply shimming the jig/template used to shape the pocket. Angling the neck means that you have to cut the neck flat, and THEN angle it. Seems like double handling to me. Not only that, but there is more material required (the angle bit of the neck), which might mean you need to purchase the next size up material.

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  • 3 months later...

i'm planning on using a parallel neck on the SG i'm building with a recessed bridge. i'm way under-ability to do a carved to, heck, even to angle a neck pocket, and this seems so much easier as well as "different" and "cool." i'll let y'all know how it's going.

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  • 1 year later...

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