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6 hours ago, Nicco said:

Im going to be that guy and blow my own trumpet here (he he he), I ended up resawing a 5mm thick slice of the off cut blackwood to become the cavity cover with my shitty hand saw.

Let me join your brass band! That's a fine example of making do with what you have. 📯

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  • 4 weeks later...

So progress has been ticking away slowly, but I'm really happy with how it's going. 

Both the control cavity covers are now shaped. I've left them as a tight fit for now so I could press them into place and sand them flush with the rest of the back of the body without them moving around on me.

I also had a feeling I wanted to do an inlay in the body to match the fret board inlay. After much laying out of pieces, procrastination and mulling over, I decided to do it. Very glad I did, I'm really happy with how it looks. 

I also played around a little with some Tru Oil on the back of the cavity covers, just to see how it looks, and it came out great, the timber looks like honey! 

Next step from here is to loosen up the fit of the control covers (at the moment I've got to push them out from inside, so I need them a little looser before I glue the top on) then I get to move on to glueing the top on! 

Realistically, this is probably all I'll get done now until the new year. Being in Australia, we're lucky with our covid response having being very effective and interstate travel being back on the cards for Christmas, so we're looking at heading to see my parents who are desperately hanging out to see their first grandchild for the first time since he was 4 days old!

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19 hours ago, Nicco said:

So progress has been ticking away slowly, but I'm really happy with how it's going. 

Both the control cavity covers are now shaped. I've left them as a tight fit for now so I could press them into place and sand them flush with the rest of the back of the body without them moving around on me.

I also had a feeling I wanted to do an inlay in the body to match the fret board inlay. After much laying out of pieces, procrastination and mulling over, I decided to do it. Very glad I did, I'm really happy with how it looks. 

I also played around a little with some Tru Oil on the back of the cavity covers, just to see how it looks, and it came out great, the timber looks like honey! 

Next step from here is to loosen up the fit of the control covers (at the moment I've got to push them out from inside, so I need them a little looser before I glue the top on) then I get to move on to glueing the top on! 

Realistically, this is probably all I'll get done now until the new year. Being in Australia, we're lucky with our covid response having being very effective and interstate travel being back on the cards for Christmas, so we're looking at heading to see my parents who are desperately hanging out to see their first grandchild for the first time since he was 4 days old!

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lovely

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I managed to get the body top glued on over the weekend, plus flush routed the edges then out the binding channel in. 

I toyed around with using a beautiful looking piece of 12mm Marri (a Western Australian hard wood) as the top in a last minute substitute with the Tassie Oak, but in the end decided against it because of the weigh... the 12mm top weighed more than the oak and blackwood together for the complete body! I'll save it for another time when I have the tools to turn it into a 3mm veneer top! Ha ha. Photo attached just for the hell of it.

Onto needing a little advice though please, my next step is to route the neck pocket. I'm trying to calculate out the required angle and I'm coming up with different numbers to the online calculator I found. Can I check my assumptions? 

So I've got a 25" scale length (635mm)

Clearance of string over the 12th fret I'm using 1.8mm

The Schaller documentation says the bridge goes as low as 13mm above the guitar body, and has 20mm long adjustment screws, so I've used a bridge height of 18mm - I figure that gives me 5mm up or down adjustment while leaving 10mm of thread engaged

I've assumed the top of the frets are 10mm above the top of the body at the 17th fret, which should sit the bottom edge of the fret board about 2mm proud of the top.

I'm calculating all that out as needing a neck angle relative to the body of just a smidge over 1 degree; but the online calculator is giving me about 2.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm trying to make sure I  understand this before I cut, rather than blindly follow the online calculator. 

 

Thanks in advance! 

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Don't rely on documentation, measure by yourself! I'm not saying Schaller's documentation is poor but it may tell about apples while you understand oranges. 20 mm adjustment screws doesn't mean 20 mm adjustment range as part of the screw is inside the block.

Lay the bridge on a flat table, adjust it halfways and measure the height. That will tell you exactly what you want to know.

When you know the height, take a long (guitar length) piece of paper and draw a straight line across it. Mark the place and height of the bridge. Also mark the last fret and the edge of the neck pocket, add the height of the frets. Then mark the location of the nut at the other end of the line. Finally, take your long ruler and draw a line from the bridge to the nut line so that there's your desired action above the last fret. Distract the distance from the string line at the edge of the neck pocket from that at the last fret/bottom of the pocket and you'll know how much deeper it has to be. No angles, just millimetres! And of course, if you so wish and need to, calculating the angle by knowing the measured difference in height within a known distance is basic triangle math.

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12 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Don't rely on documentation, measure by yourself!

Excellent advice!

I won't calculate the neck angle or neck pocket depth, with the bridge in hand and the already fretted neck in the other. that also means your top has had enough work done to know where the bridge is going to sit and how tall or how deep.

SR

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Hey gents, yep, definitely taking on board the suggestion around not taking the word of the documentation. I will measure that for sure. 

As far as making sure I understand how this all works though, I've attached a drawing of how it should all fit together. Does this look right? Are the values I'm using for underside of string height at the 1st and 12th fret right?

Guit Layout.png

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Can I hereby hire you as my illustrator?

That looks exactly what I meant.

The 10 mm elevation at the 17th fret seems a bit high, though. Nothing dangerous, it just makes playing on the upper frets a bit difficult as there'd be a thick chunk of wood between your thumb and the fretboard. If you route the neck pocket some 5 mm deeper at the edge and increase the angle accordingly you'd improve the ergonomics in two ways: Both the upper and lower frets become more playable. The latter simply because the headstock end will be closer to you with a steeper neck break angle.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone, merry Christmas and happy new year to everyone. 

 

Bizman, sorry, I never responded. Ha ha, thanks though. I've got AutoCAD on my work computer, so could sneak that in as a lunch time job. Made life much easier. 

Been pretty slow going since Christmas, barely managed to get to the shed, and it's been bloody hot on the days I have been able to. But, I've finally made the neck pocket now. Eeek! 

Went well in the end, I tweaked my dimensions since that last post, and took on the advice about sinking the neck in a bit lower. Made a routing template, then another cause the first one wasn't tight enough (ha ha) and made the cut. 

There's a tiny bit of fettling left still to get it sitting in perfectly, but for all intents and purposes it's done. Stoked to see the neck on the guitar finally. 

Neck needs a slight reshape to suit the body after I took a bit off the tongue of the neck pocket to counter that tear out early, but all in all, yeah, very happy with it. 

Thanks for all the advice on doing the neck pocket, it was definitely the most nerve wracking bit so far! 

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Figured you guys overseas might get a giggle out of this; got out to the shed to do some non-guitar work over the weekend and needed to grab a rag from the rags bin... was met by this little fella! 

He's a King's Skink. They grow up to about 55cm long and are one of the (I think actually the) biggest skink in Australia. 

Anyway, he's made the shed home and he's welcome to stay because they are territorial and fight off any snakes! 🤣

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys, I was hoping to get a little advice from you all with regards to the bridge placement. 

The bridge didn't come with any mention of where to drill the posts with respect to the scale length. I've seen info saying I should have the bass side set longer slightly (by about 1.5mm) than the high side,  but I've also seen info saying it should be square to the centre line. 

What's the right approach to take? I would have thought the process should be something along the lines of: 

1. Mark scale length

2. Position bridge square to that with scale length being halfway through intonation adjustment

3. Mark post locations half way along the bridges forward and back travel (which more or less plonks the bridge posts on the scale length line)

 

Thanks in advance

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I'd say that's about right. If you can adjust the bridge pieces both directions from the measured intonation line you should be golden. Also, your bridge design allows for moving the bridge further back if needed. Getting it properly centered is more difficult!

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sounds about right...

I think on a bridge like that square would be better... plus if you move one side fwd a bit you've just changed your ctr. 

I think your post holes will not be on the intonnation line but further back.  

the way I'd determine sqr would be to put a good straight edge on each side of the fretboard and draw a line.  use ruler from center of 12th fret and measure back half scale length and make a mark.  do this for both sides of the fretboard then connect the dots with a line.  then measure bridge width and make marks along that horizontal (either side of the bridge) to position your bridge ctr.  then lay the bridge down and mark the edge of the post hole area.  then measure from that mark fwd half the distance of your post diameter where the post interfaces with the bridge.

idk if any of that makes sense... so my parting advice would be to maybe hope to get a few answers to your question and between the few perhaps we'll get to the church on time!!  lol.

 

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Thanks Mike, 

Yep, your post makes sense, thanks for such a detailed reply.

I actually dove straight in after Bizman's comment (shed time is hard to come by, so took the window when i had it, ha ha) so it was all done by the time I saw your post. I had a bit of a panic when I read your advice on how to get the centre line, that is a much more solid approach than I took. 

I went out and rechecked using your method and I'm about 0.5mm off centre; I can live with that, but definitely considering that lesson learned! 

Thanks again

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Drawing a square line for the bridge is an easy task with a protractor, getting the bridge centered can be a PITA especially with bridges standing on two posts.

The chromed bridge is slippery and often if/when you get it aligned just right it doesn't stay there long enough for you to mark the exact drilling marks. I've heard about using a brad point drill bit the thickness of the diameter of the forks at the end of the bridge. In theory that should give a center point for the stud holes. Done that, plugged the holes and redrilled. A piece of thin low tack dual sided tape might help keeping the bridge located long enough for exact marking.

0.5mm off centre is within tolerance. If you've drawn the centre line with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil there's already a margin of error of that size! Also notice that 0.5mm at the bridge is only 0.25mm at the 12th fret which means there's no risk of the outermost strings to fall off the fretboard with the standard 3mm space. Very well done!

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Thanks mate. 

Yeah, I clamped a 1m ruler on the neck and centred it sat the nut and at the 24th fret, then used a set square to project the scale length down to the surface of the guitar, and also used the ruler to draw my neck centreline on the body. I was reasonably confident it was a good centre, I must have checked it about 40 times. Ha ha. But when I read Mike's method, that is a far more sensible way of doing it! Ha ha. 

The Schaller documentation had the hole centre dimensions off centre line, so I double checked that against the physical bridge and it was correct, so I've just gone off that number; rather than using the bridge itself to mark it out. 

It's definitely possible I'm missing something and just jagged it though. Ha ha 

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Ahh, you got documentation! That makes things so much easier... The Ali/Ebay/Chinashop versions rarely have anything else than a Minigrip bag.

There's many ways to skin a cat but if the end result is acceptable then the method is right.

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