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Tele's and neck angle

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In general, do Telecasters require a neck angle? Im aware that their are determining factors that change depending on what crazy stuff I in the planning process, but in general, would a standard tele require a neck angle?

Anyway, now for some more specifics that might actually be critically important to answering my question. I am building a tele drak style (:D) with one of the modern brass tele bridges (with the strat style saddles), and ive spend this afternoon in coreldraw doing up some plans, and from my rough (but pretty dang close B)) dimensions, its looking like i might need the neck angle?

Which brings me to my basic questions:

- Is the aim to have the strings running along the neck so that the action is the same all the way along the fretboard, or is there some degree of variance in the action that is generally held as acceptable between the nut and the 21st fret?

- If a neck angle is required, how should i plan for it considering the saddles allow changes to be made to the action? Or is the room for adjustment small enough via the saddles that its negligable in planning the neck angle?

- Related to that, should I have a desired action in mind (like specifcally in mm) when im planning out the neck angle, if so, do any of the more experienced builders/players have some advice on what is generally considered too high/low? I am just planning on basing it off my current guitars, but some advice wouldnt go astray.

Sorry if it seems like im just asking baby questions that have been asked a gazillion times before, but i use the search function as much as anyone seeking answers should, but im having trouble finding the info i need 2nd hand in the archives, so im seeking some advice here :D

By the way, im no slacker, ive just recieved my copies of Dan Erlewines Guitar Repair Book, and Martin Koch's Building book, and im slowly getting through them.. but hey, the more the merrier :D

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Umm, actually, turns out I may have jumped the gun a bit...

Ive been fiddling with my plans and I think it should be OK without a neck angle...

If anyone has any help they would like to throw in for the sake of experience, then that would be great, but I think ive figured it out, with a lot of patience :D

Sorry for any potentially wasted time B)

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A body itself doesn't really determine the need for a neck angle...it's the angle of the strings relative to the body.. So when using a bridge that starts the strings off at a higher elevation from the body - you may need to compensate by using a neck angle.

Fenders in general don't require a neck angle - but this is only due to the typical bridge design on most Fenders.. If you put a TOM bridge on a tele, you'll have to either recess the bridge OR use a neck angle (~3 degrees).

If you're using a flat mount bridge with individual saddles, you'll be fine with a straight neck.

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Like Morben said.

The neck/fretboard is raised above the body but in plane with the body to account for the bridge height. You have to calculate how high to put the fretboard above the top based on the bridge specs. Fine adjustments to the string action can be made using the bridge saddles during setup. Here is a pic of an early test fit of my Tele neck and you can see there is no angle to the body (at least none intended :D )


Here is a pic of the bridge relative to the body and neck - again no angle. The bridge is a Schaller Roller Bridge. Sorry about the size of this pic.


Here is a pic of the Tele style guitar I made. No nitro yet - couldn't wait. Good luck on yours.


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Thanks guys, through more fiddling and some more time reading Martin Koch's Guitar Building book i've found the answers I needed, but your posts have just cemented that nicely, and the pics were great thanks :D


- Dan

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Thanks. I had a lot of fun (?) making that neck. It was my first. Actually, first successful one - the first one was firewood. I used a single piece of maple as a neck blank and purchased a preslotted and radiused maple fretboard from LMI. First I routed the truss rod slot, cut the blank to rough shape including the headstock, cut down the thickness of the headstock by hand (what a pain!), installed the truss rod and glued on the fretboard. I then I carved the neck by hand using spokeshaves and rasps/files. Some pics below.

Carving the neck in my bench vise.


Checking the profile using templates I made from my son's 60's Tele


Back of head and neck


The heel


Head and neck again.


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