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please review/comment/suggest for a 4.5degree neck angle jig


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I need to create a simple jig for doing a neck angle with a router.  for my current les flawes proj, it's a 90deg angle so I really just need a box, but I figure this is something that is going to come up if you build guitars... so why not build a jig that would gut a 90 - 84.5?

specifically -how to cut the angle in the back and sides of of a neck blank.  I've seen a lot of tutorials where folks cut them on their table saws... but I do not own a table saw and really would rather avoid using/having one.  lots of other folks cutting them on a table router which is also a fine way of doing it... but I much prefer "THE HARD WAY"!  The router is my hammer.

so here's what I came up with:

NeckAngleJig.thumb.jpg.d2b051362d57d3751e7f64500f22d987.jpg

bottom piece is a simple 3 sided box with a longer base to clamp to the neck.

the top - is a 3 sided box sitting outside that... and the 3/8" hole there would be for a lag bolt on either side... sitting flush on the outside.  so as you tilt back... you stop at 5.5deg.  as you tilt fwd you stop at 0 deg.  I would ride my router with an extended flush cut bit on the top sides to remove material:

 

NeckAngleJig2.thumb.jpg.7768474c275d62e54de1ff7fd564df58.jpg

 

would probably want to put some sort of set screw stop for the top box so that it can be dialed in to the exact angle.

hardly a revolutionary idea... just a simple solution.  Just looking for input in terms of pitfalls, things I've overlooked, better ways of doing it, general comments, etc. 

 

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14 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

specifically -how to cut the angle in the back and sides of of a neck blank.

Draw a line, use a plane.

What puzzles me is why would you cut an angle in the sides of the neck blank?

Another way would be to route the neck pocket in an angle for a square neck - didn't you have a jig for routing the neck break angle to the body?

Other than those, your idea looks nice. I'd use one long bolt for the tilting action. That would allow you to use a wingnut for setting the angle. Another idea would be to stick a protractor to the side and draw an arrow showing the angle.

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Just now, Bizman62 said:

Draw a line, use a plane.

What puzzles me is why would you cut an angle in the sides of the neck blank?

Another way would be to route the neck pocket in an angle for a square neck - didn't you have a jig for routing the neck break angle to the body?

Other than those, your idea looks nice. I'd use one long bolt for the tilting action. That would allow you to use a wingnut for setting the angle. Another idea would be to stick a protractor to the side and draw an arrow showing the angle.

right on, thanks for the reply.  using a plane is certainly a fine way of doing it but A) don't have a plane, and B ) it seems to me you don't end up 'knowing' you actual angle when you do it because as you go deeper, your angle changes.  Either way... trying to solve this with a router.

afa route neck angle... that ends up complicating the hell out of your tenon.  Could certainly be done. 

On my les flawes... I just cut the join area at 90deg to the 4.5deg slope.  You can't do that on a les paul tho... because of how the body meets the neck.  it only worked on my tele as it has a protruding area where the neck joins.

 

afa 1 long bolt... the issue is that a router would need to run on either side to get the 4.5deg angle where the neck meets the body... so you can't have a bolt sitting out on either side.  My solution to that is to have both bolts pointing inward and sitting flush on the outside.

protractor idea- love it.  going to have to snag one at walmart.  I was thinking I'd just print out the angles on paper but your idea is much better.

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35 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

On my les flawes... I just cut the join area at 90deg to the 4.5deg slope.  You can't do that on a les paul tho... because of how the body meets the neck.  it only worked on my tele as it has a protruding area where the neck joins.

Exactly. With a "box" you'll create an external slope if only you can get the bottom of your piece laying flat. The size of the tilting box determines how large a piece you can work on. For a neck pocket jig you'd need a tilting box about 12" wide and 4" tall in the inside. Plus a template for the neck pocket. And you're right about the long bolt. Hammer T-nuts in the insides of the bottom wings and screw short wing bolts from the outside. The illustration shows the basic idea, make it narrower for the neck or wide for the body to fit in.

image.png.5c0dedaac991466798fcee36cb64b6f7.png

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Just now, Bizman62 said:

Exactly. With a "box" you'll create an external slope if only you can get the bottom of your piece laying flat. The size of the tilting box determines how large a piece you can work on. For a neck pocket jig you'd need a tilting box about 12" wide and 4" tall in the inside. Plus a template for the neck pocket. And you're right about the long bolt. Hammer T-nuts in the insides of the bottom wings and screw short wing bolts from the outside. The illustration shows the basic idea, make it narrower for the neck or wide for the body to fit in.

image.png.5c0dedaac991466798fcee36cb64b6f7.png

funny, your quick design doc is a better illustration than mine - nice work - at least one of us knows what is going on!  I'm not planning on using this to cut the neck pocket... just the rebate on the neck blank.  the blank doesn't have a fretboard on it yet so it will clamp flat to the bottom piece.  probably make it only 3" wide - just wide enough to get a neck through.  t nuts are a good idea.  can't do wingnuts on the outside because the router has to be able to run on 3 sides of it to get a consistent angle on 3 sides of the neck blank... so I'll probably just use a forstner to countersing a lag bolt and then tighten via socket.

thank you for your input bizman.  I believe the idea has def improved based on your contributions.  heading to the hardware store now.

cheers

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54 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

How about changeable tops and fitting blocks for different purposes? A wide one with a centerlineand a slot for thicknessing the heel in an angle?

image.png.00f58c63fed7079cb5c65416de556f3e.png

 

interesting idea for sure.  I could actually do that on my router sled... the reason I needed this jig is that I couldn't do the sides w/o moving things.

stop coming up with ideas bizman - I'm def NOT going back to the hardware store!  (jk)

look what happened the first time:

DSCN3840.thumb.JPG.7c9767f8a44246a372ccee21ef8437dd.JPG

going to have a carved top figured red oak build in my future!

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3 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

interesting idea for sure.  I could actually do that on my router sled

That's what I was talking about all the time as I remembered you having a router sled for thicknessing and routing neck break angles into bodies. It just takes a while for us to speak the same language!

Nice wood, btw. There's no place within 300 miles I could find anything like those.

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11 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

That's what I was talking about all the time as I remembered you having a router sled for thicknessing and routing neck break angles into bodies. It just takes a while for us to speak the same language!

Nice wood, btw. There's no place within 300 miles I could find anything like those.

right on.  I hear ya on the language barrier... I am really good at finding ambiguity in things people say so that is my own language barrier within my own language!

In theory it could be done with my planer but I'd have to raise the neck off the bed and it would leave 1/2" round edges... so I thought a little jig might make the whole job a lot less cumbersome. 

the wood - we are lucky in the us but I am esp lucky here in phoenix.  there are probably 10 stores I can get any kind of figured wood I want - but I try to find the deals.  every time I go to the hardware store I always take a walk thru the wood section - can't help myself.  figured oak is not that desireable for guitar, as it is super heavy... and hard as hell.  that said I just have a weak spot for it.  each board is 3/4" x 11.25" x 24".  $30 well spent.   something for a project to dream about anyway.

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They sell wood in our hardware stores as well: Pine and spruce as blanks and beams and panels for building frames, covering walls both inside and outside and making floors. Large boards made of finger jointed slats are also commonly sold for hobbyist furniture builders. In the sauna section there's aspen and lately also torrefied alder. Oak is sold as skirtings and thresholds, readily planed and often even lacquered. Even birch can be a little hard to find except for furniture grade plywood despite it growing everywhere! Most likely it goes directly to the plywood factories.

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

They sell wood in our hardware stores as well: Pine and spruce as blanks and beams and panels for building frames, covering walls both inside and outside and making floors. Large boards made of finger jointed slats are also commonly sold for hobbyist furniture builders. In the sauna section there's aspen and lately also torrefied alder. Oak is sold as skirtings and thresholds, readily planed and often even lacquered. Even birch can be a little hard to find except for furniture grade plywood despite it growing everywhere! Most likely it goes directly to the plywood factories.

right on... well that actually sounds nice: torrefied alder - could def make a nice strat if you get a big 'nuff piece. 

at my hardware store they've actually started carrying walnut - you can get 3/4 x 7" x 2' for around $8.  I always look to see if there is any figure in there but nothing yet.  they also sell 3/4" mahog by the bdft.  there have been challenges over at tdpri to build an entire guitar out of things you find at home depot.  obviously frets and hardware would be sourced elsewhere but I admire the creativity of those guys.  There's a gent over there that built a tele bridge entirely from scrap... and it was easily one of the nicest I've seen... but man what  lot of work that would be!

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1 hour ago, mistermikev said:

torrefied alder - could def make a nice strat if you get a big 'nuff piece.

The blanks are wide and thick enough for a two piece body if you're not too nitpicky about the thickness (1.5"). I've used them for the wings for a couple of my thru-necks with a top. On the con side, they're fast grown wood and rounded on the edges which has to be cut off before joining.

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31 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

The blanks are wide and thick enough for a two piece body if you're not too nitpicky about the thickness (1.5"). I've used them for the wings for a couple of my thru-necks with a top. On the con side, they're fast grown wood and rounded on the edges which has to be cut off before joining.

sounds like a perfect candidate for a 1/4" top!

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40 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

sounds like a perfect candidate for a 1/4" top!

Exactly! And that's what I've done. Oiling makes it look nice but unfortunately even after all roasting the wood is soft. Or, it might just be that it doesn't like the carrying between my home and the workshop. I guess a hard case might protect my projects better than a gig bag...

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ah... also I've found that for some reason... in the cold finish/wood somehow seems to get softer or is otherwise more likely to dent.  I don't know if there is any science to back that up... but I seem to recall when living in WI if I took a guitar out to my car and dinged it in the winter I was guaranteed to see damage later.

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