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planing neck break angle


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Hi there,

i´m working on a neck angle and i found this Crimson tutorial:  click me

I`m wondering whats this 2mm he adds to the bridge hight for?  If later we adjust the string hight we have to increase the bridge...and that should be like 3-4 mm ..is`t that enough?  Is it possible to skip that 2mm?

Greets

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27 minutes ago, Jacomo said:

Hi there,

i´m working on a neck angle and i found this Crimson tutorial:  click me

I`m wondering whats this 2mm he adds to the bridge hight for?  If later we adjust the string hight we have to increase the bridge...and that should be like 3-4 mm ..is`t that enough?  Is it possible to skip that 2mm?

Greets

The extra 2mm is just so you've got a bit of adjustment. it adds a fraction of a degree to the overall break angle. I use this method on all of my carved top builds and never actually bother working out the break angles, it's a faultless  method.

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going to have to check this video out... thanks for posting op.

 

snap... sounded like an easy button... but having watched... photoshop it is!  good video and neat trick if you are using a hand plane to get there!

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4 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

On another video he uses the huge Triton TPL180, if you prefer power tools.

noice... that thing looks heavy duty.    no elec planer here although that one looks like it could be fun! 

Either way... I would think you'd have to still plot out your angle because you'd have to apply it to your neck tenon, no?  I imagine you could use this technique with a router to rout your neck tenon pocket (instead of putting the angle on the tenon itself).

unsure how I'm going to put a plane into the top using a router.  I suppose you could use this idea and plane up to the edge of the top... use a big plexi router base and leaving a 1/2" wall at the edge of the guitar that you could knock down afterwards. 

Always good to see a number of dif approaches to something so for that I thank y'all.

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7 hours ago, mistermikev said:

noice... that thing looks heavy duty.    no elec planer here although that one looks like it could be fun! 

Either way... I would think you'd have to still plot out your angle because you'd have to apply it to your neck tenon, no?  I imagine you could use this technique with a router to rout your neck tenon pocket (instead of putting the angle on the tenon itself).

unsure how I'm going to put a plane into the top using a router.  I suppose you could use this idea and plane up to the edge of the top... use a big plexi router base and leaving a 1/2" wall at the edge of the guitar that you could knock down afterwards. 

Always good to see a number of dif approaches to something so for that I thank y'all.

The way I do this, is to plane in that angle along the top first then stick the neck pocket template to the top and route the pocket so the bottom of the pocket is parallel to the angle planed into the top. 

I really can’t see the powered planer is necessary - it takes all of 10 minutes to do it with a no7 hand plane, you can stop if you notice any tearout as it happens on figured wood, but it’s a done deal with a big planer like that. 

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well that answers the question of having to calculate it - thank you I now see how you don't have to calc if you are doing an angled pocket vs heel.

"powered planer is necessary" - yeah but it sure looks fun!

I think for me... the hangup is using a planer at all.  I prefer to do it via router because A) don't need to buy a planer and B) guaranteed consistency w a router and no real setup/sharpening required.

Thinking about it some more... it should be pretty easy w my router sled.  Just have to get the right rise/run and set corresponding heights with the 4 bolts on my sled/plane... then cut the top, then dropping the bit lower and cutting the tenon pocket all from the same sled.

 

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5 hours ago, mistermikev said:

well that answers the question of having to calculate it - thank you I now see how you don't have to calc if you are doing an angled pocket vs heel.

"powered planer is necessary" - yeah but it sure looks fun!

I think for me... the hangup is using a planer at all.  I prefer to do it via router because A) don't need to buy a planer and B) guaranteed consistency w a router and no real setup/sharpening required.

Thinking about it some more... it should be pretty easy w my router sled.  Just have to get the right rise/run and set corresponding heights with the 4 bolts on my sled/plane... then cut the top, then dropping the bit lower and cutting the tenon pocket all from the same sled.

 

That sounds a lot more complicated than 10 mins with a hand plane though! 

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it's not really 10 mins w a hand planer... it's x minutes to setup the block the sm width as your bridge, then 10 mins to hand plane it, then 10-20 mins to cut the pocket.  on my side... I literally only have to adjust two bolts and then rout.  if you calculate the distance between the two sides of the router plane jig(3')... (x/y = rise / run so x = y(rise/run) )... 2.5degree and 3' between bolts would be 52/1200 = x/3'... solve for x - 3'(.043) = x == x = 1.548" difference between the bolt heights..  once the angle is setup - route the top, then route the pocket. 

Probably be less work if you factor in setting up your hand plane/blade - but like so much of this... the real obstacles ore more in your mind than anything else.  for me hand plane would be more work, for you using a router sled would be more work.  Either isn't much work at all.

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if I may... once you have the plane in the top... you can cut the pickup holes too... but I think it is at least somewhat common to not bother putting a gradient on the pickup routes since it is really the top that will determine the pickup angle anyway (assuming you use pickup rings) and if body mounted - it's really not going to make much of a difference.  iow you just cut those straight.

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just muddying the waters here but crimson guy above clearly has his pickups routed before planing the top... so pickup cavity itself is not planed.  also, if you do (angle the pickup cavity)this... are you angling the side walls of the pickup cavity?  did I misunderstand you?

also... you can plane the pickup cavity all you want... it isn't going to effect the pickup angle.  if it's on a ring... the ring determines the angle of the pickup.  if it's mounted to the body, the angle the screw going into the body will determine the plane that the pickup is on... not the angle of the pickup cavity.  Not sure I understand a good reason to do this unless I've missed something.

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3 hours ago, mistermikev said:

just muddying the waters here but crimson guy above clearly has his pickups routed before planing the top... so pickup cavity itself is not planed.  also, if you do (angle the pickup cavity)this... are you angling the side walls of the pickup cavity?  did I misunderstand you?

also... you can plane the pickup cavity all you want... it isn't going to effect the pickup angle.  if it's on a ring... the ring determines the angle of the pickup.  if it's mounted to the body, the angle the screw going into the body will determine the plane that the pickup is on... not the angle of the pickup cavity.  Not sure I understand a good reason to do this unless I've missed something.

Planing either side of the pickup cavity, the angle of the top around the cavity does affect the pickup because the ring sits on the top, if the top has a 2° angle the the pickup will too. If planing before routing then you would end up putting an angle into the cavity wall, but we are talking about insignificant amounts. If you were direct mounting though, that would be a good thing as the pickup is screwed to the base of the cavity which would want to be parrallel with the top. 

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Just now, ADFinlayson said:

Planing either side of the pickup cavity, the angle of the top around the cavity does affect the pickup because the ring sits on the top, if the top has a 2° angle the the pickup will too. If planing before routing then you would end up putting an angle into the cavity wall, but we are talking about insignificant amounts. If you were direct mounting though, that would be a good thing as the pickup is screwed to the base of the cavity which would want to be parrallel with the top. 

something lost in translation here... obviously the top/ring effects it.  I thought we were talking about putting a grade on the actual pickup cavity.  Thought that was the original question.  not sure it would matter afa direct mount as really the only thing that matters is the angle of your drill as you drill the hole.  having an angled area doesn't really guarantee that, but I get where your heart is.

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37 minutes ago, Jacomo said:

Sorry, i was confused. Didnt get where which angle on the top is.

I should have mentioned in my first response, I don't add the 2mm either, because I like to keep the break angle as low as possible. That keeps my break angles vaguely around 2º which works with a wraparound style bridge providing the fretboard sits about 1mm above the body, gibson style guitars need a slightly larger break angle because the fretboard sits flush on the body (slightly lower).

e.g
- bridge height: 14mm
- fretboard height: 6mm
- fret height: 1mm
- fretboard distance from body: 1mm

14mm - 8mm = 6mm so use a 6mm block of wood. This isn't an exact science so Crimson add the 2mm so they've got the adjustment room. But I prefer to tweak the angle of the bottom of the neck tenon if there is a problem with the break angle.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there, need your help again. Got everything made like Ben explains in the Video. Now i figured out that my Tunomatic system is only 15 hight and some other i messured are also 14 and 15mm high. Do you know which Bridge  has a String hight of 17mm

Thanks and with friendly regards

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You mean the angle got too steep so the bridge sits too low even with the adjusting screw as high as you dare to put it?

I only know the measurements of a bridge when it's printed in the description. However, there's way's to address this issue with your existing hardware. After all it's all about the height of the neck and/or rather the neck break angle.

  • The first thing to do is to check that the neck pocket and the neck heel are both perfectly flat.
  • And the second thing to do is to check that the sides of the neck pocket are straight without any shelves or rebates. Half a mm at the very tip of an LP style heel will make 2 mm at the bridge!
  • if you don't countersink the collars of the bridge post bushings you'll gain 1 mm or even 1.5
  • you can also build a wooden bridge in the style of acoustic guitars, more or less decorative but adding height where needed
  • or unless you already glued the neck, you can plane some more material off the way you already did and route the neck pocket deeper accordingly
  • or you can change the shape of the bottom of the heel to change the neck break angle.

 

Edited by Bizman62
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  • 1 year later...

Resurrecting this thread with a question I can't seem to find an answer to - why plane the angle onto the body? Why not cut it into the bottom of the neck heel? Especially if you're building a guitar with a slab body rather than a carve top it may not be desirable to have a gradient at the neck end of the body, and it strikes me as potentially being a little bit simpler? Use the trick as described by Ben to work out your angle, draw it onto your neck heel, make a single. accurate cut with a Jigsaw/Bandsaw, do some sanding to get it smooth, and job's a good 'un? Plus you retain a flat body (I'm looking at my PRS Starla and that definitely doesn't have a slope planed into the front of the body. Yes they probably did it on a CNC but still, it's an aspect of the design one might wish to replicate if building a guitar at home...?

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2 hours ago, Jeremy Cooper said:

Resurrecting this thread with a question I can't seem to find an answer to - why plane the angle onto the body? Why not cut it into the bottom of the neck heel? Especially if you're building a guitar with a slab body rather than a carve top it may not be desirable to have a gradient at the neck end of the body, and it strikes me as potentially being a little bit simpler? Use the trick as described by Ben to work out your angle, draw it onto your neck heel, make a single. accurate cut with a Jigsaw/Bandsaw, do some sanding to get it smooth, and job's a good 'un? Plus you retain a flat body (I'm looking at my PRS Starla and that definitely doesn't have a slope planed into the front of the body. Yes they probably did it on a CNC but still, it's an aspect of the design one might wish to replicate if building a guitar at home...?

have often thought of a variation on this: in theory you could achieve the sm effect by planing the neck angle into the back of the body.  ie the front of the guitar would remain completely flat... but the back of the guitar would have a slope.  the reason it wouldn't be a great option; on a les paul for example, is because of the effect that putting the pickups "back in the body" would have on the sound, if that makes any sense.  also folks like the fact that strings are raised off the body making it less cramped against the face of the body.  (EDIT - also you'd have to countersink the bridge)

folks do, in fact, cut the angle into the neck.  idk anything about the starla... but on a 22/24... all have a slope in the body and that negates any benefit (in terms of ease). 

the les paul (for example) has a 1/2 degree slope that extends from just in front of the bridge pickup to the end of the neck... so if you have to cut that anyway... might as well make it easy on yourself and cut two slopes into the body front... then simply use that slope to cut the neck pocket.  

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