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Finding the correct neck angle


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Hi all,  I have a qestion on how to achieve a darn close brake neck angle.

I am building a Thin line style Telecaster and instead of using the standard bridge that are found on the Telecasters I and looking at using a Tune-O-Matic style instead.

I have never used a TOM bridge on a flat top tele before so finding the correct neck angle is somewhat new to me.

I am using a way to find the neck angle from what looks to be a simple way but there was no real information on the web on a few items.

Steps are to place the template on a raised surface were it will be stable, place the bridge to be used in the location were it will be mounted as on the guitars body, using spacers to act as the height of the bridge posts mounts, set the neck to be used in the templates cut out for the neck, set the neck up so it can be raised and lowered and angled at the head stock, using a straight edge along the neck raise or lower the neck to find the best angle over the neck frets, using a indicator for degrees find zero on the template, then set the degree finder on the heel area on top of the neck and read degrees needed to make the degree shims to be used under the template to acquire the neck angle when routing out the neck pocket. 

Q. One was when using this method of finding the angle with a straight edge and the neck to be used and the guitars template  as shown in the picture, does one lay the ruler on top of the guitars neck nut and lay the other end on the top of the TOM highest saddle leaving a small but even gap above all the frets from top nut to bridge, or should the straight edge be set on the first fret and then set the other end on top of the highest pat of the bridge? That was the qestion on the nut or on the fret?

 

This was the simplest way I found but I am open to suggestions.

 

 

Thanks

DL237710.jpg

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30 minutes ago, Jackson Hole said:

That was the qestion on the nut or on the fret?

Unless the nut is extremely high to begin with it probably doesn't make a great deal of difference. Certainly nothing that can't be adjusted out at the bridge anyway. At a pinch I'd suggest resting the straightedge on the frets only might be preferable as the neck will have a tendency to bend forward under string tension, plus you need inherent clearance between the strings and frets to avoid buzzing, and this will have the combined effect of effectivey increasing the strung-up action higher than the straightedge may initially indicate. You'll need a way to control the action, either positive or negative, so the more leeway you can give yourself to control it at the bridge the better.

Raising a Tune-o-matic to increase the action once the guitar is strung up is generally pretty easy. Lowering it will be limited by whatever minimum clearance you have left underneath it, and this is probably where it's more critical to plan out the initial neck angle to begin with.

If this is going to be a Telecaster in the 'traditional' sense (ie, with a pickguard and bolt-on neck construction), you could always add a tapered shim to the neck pocket to fine tune any required neck angle after the fact. They can generally be made to be look pretty unobtrusive to the casual eye.

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Thanks for the input and what you say about resting the straight edge on the fret instead of the nut makes sense, I was thinking when the strings are in the string groves that will drop the clearance half of the nuts height and yes the possibility or should I say the likelihood of the neck bending will make quite a bit of difference. 

I added a small amount of thickness (0.5mm) to the two wooden washers under the bridge to help in compensation to the bridge were it will be just a hair lower if needed. 

It will be a non traditional tele in the sense that it will be a clean faced top no pick guard just a three way switch and four control knobs.

I still am working on figuring the neck height that will be needed in the neck pocket but from your input I feel that that setting the straight edge on all the frets would be the best. I can always adjust the nut if needed to a small degree.

Cheers

 

DL217708_1.jpg

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10 hours ago, Jackson Hole said:

I still am working on figuring the neck height that will be needed in the neck pocket

That should be pretty straightforward. The only thing to worry about is where the neck leaves the upper bout: You don't want your fretboard to be hidden into the body. Thus the maximum depth of your neck pocket should be less than the thickness of your neck heel excluding the fretboard. You can tilt the neck around that spot from level to any angle you want. Just don't cut the edge of the lower arrow any deeper and you should be golden.

kuva.png.d4b689647fda3d3abac267d41648ce6f.png

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On 10/23/2021 at 6:05 PM, Jackson Hole said:

Thanks for the input and what you say about resting the straight edge on the fret instead of the nut makes sense, I was thinking when the strings are in the string groves that will drop the clearance half of the nuts height and yes the possibility or should I say the likelihood of the neck bending will make quite a bit of difference. 

I added a small amount of thickness (0.5mm) to the two wooden washers under the bridge to help in compensation to the bridge were it will be just a hair lower if needed. 

It will be a non traditional tele in the sense that it will be a clean faced top no pick guard just a three way switch and four control knobs.

I still am working on figuring the neck height that will be needed in the neck pocket but from your input I feel that that setting the straight edge on all the frets would be the best. I can always adjust the nut if needed to a small degree.

Cheers

 

DL217708_1.jpg

that's a really nice looking guitar.  

afa neck pocket... for me... I like to lay things out.  I know that Ash's advice above has worked great for him and many and is rock solid... but just more comfortable mocking things up in an editor and being able to see it virtually and "play" with the angle.  really was surprised the first time I did it how arbitrary the angle really is.  If you factor in the fact that you could (in theory) plane off some of your top at an angle too... or just plane the pocket at an angle... there is a surprising amount of play.  

in the interest of providing options... it's one you could consider.  when I've done it... I lay things out actual size in graphic editor.  I mock up a sideview of all components... my body, plug in a mock neck, add frets based on my actual fret height, mock up my exact bridge minimum height at my actual scale length, put a line in to act as the string sitting 1/64th above the fret.  I take the neck as one whole component and rotate it and I can see where minimum is and decide if I want to go more or minimal.  

as biz pointed out... this lets you see the sideview and anticipate where the fretboard edge is going to be in relationship to the end of the guitar.

anywho, just a thought.

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