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Angled Headstock 25.5" Scale

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tonyv77, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. tonyv77

    tonyv77 Tele-Meister

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    Hi Guys,

    Long time, no post. I'm just getting to the finishing stages with my Strat/Les Paul Special/Offset build and with Squier tele neck (see below). It's almost exactly what I think a perfect guitar can be. However, one thing I miss from my Gibson style guitars is an angled headstock. My plan is to design in AutoCAD a tele style neck (square heel, small headstock, 25.5" scale) and modify the design with a 14 degree headstock angle (or something like that) and a heel adjust truss rod to avoid weakening the nut area and being prone to breaking. My plan is to use laminated maple and -insert wood here- 1x pieces to create a blank 2-3" thick then cut out a one piece neck (minus fretboard). No skunk stripe, truss rod will be routed on top, fretboard glued over.

    Any thoughts on this endeavor? Tips? things to avoid? Encouragement?

    guitar build.jpg
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I guess it depends on your reasoning for adding the angle. I would probably just keep it straight and install staggered tuners if you are trying to eliminate string trees.
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  4. tonyv77

    tonyv77 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah I've heard the scarf joint is stronger, but it seems to add quite a bit of time to the build, especially without specialized tools. I don't even have a bandsaw! I may modify the Tele headstock shape a bit. Just want all the strings to line up well to the nut slots.
     
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  5. tonyv77

    tonyv77 Tele-Meister

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    I feel the angled headstock adds something more than eliminating string trees, but that is a big part of it for me.
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It doesn't take specialized tools to make a scarf joint. You cut it outside the line with whatever saw you have and level it out with a cheap plane or abrasive stuck to a block. You could do the bulk of it on a belt sander and use a block and abrasive to just tweak it dead flat.
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  8. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    In my opinion, this exercise is completely unnecessary unless you intend to use a locking nut. The 14 degree peghead angle invites all sorts of tuning issues as well durability problems.

    I have built several of these and always make a hearty volute to strengthen the peg head. I also feel that you could step the peg head down a little, and then use a more slight 7 degree peg head angle which would offer more strength and better tuning stability.

    Here's a couple that I've built.

    aL6-S Project III 025 lo-res.jpg aaIMG_3664T lo-res.jpg IMG_3658 peg head rear.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  9. tonyv77

    tonyv77 Tele-Meister

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    This! just about exacly what I was thinking. And yes, a good size volute might be in order. Are those (beautiful) necks headstock truss rod adjust? As I understand that can weaken that area which is why I'm going for heel adjust, preferably with a spoke wheel but ( a la Musicman).
     
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  10. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Both of these necks are adjusted at the peg head.
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    :) A million Jackson, Charvel, Gibson, and Kramer guitar owners may think otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  12. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    edited
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    For what it is worth, I choose head design based on the style of guitar I am building. I think Fender slab heads look "correct" on Fender inspired guitars, I think three on a side angled heads look better on gibson or martin inspired guitars. Look at the Trini Lopez - it just looks wrong.

    I repair a lot of broken heads - a sawn angled head is definitely weaker but most break because the guitar gets dropped. I don't drop my guitars so I don't worry about it.

    A scarf joined head is not only much stronger in grain direction but it really conserves wood. It can complicate things if you are trying to do fancy things with grain or volutes but if you are a wood worker you will figure that out.

    An angled head might not fit in a standard fender case.

    I put the truss rod adjuster in the body of the guitar whenever possible (acoustic with sound hole) but I have no problem putting it in the head if there is no access to the heel. I use modern double acting rods which have a fairly small adjuster which does not require a large hole.

    One of the nice things about angled flat heads is that you can laminated contrasting veneers and/or bind them to match your building theme.

    Just my two cents....
     
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  14. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I have found that the greater the break-over angle, the more inherently tricky tuning becomes.

    My Gibsons have all required some work and maintenance to keep them holding their tuning during a gig. The relatively straight pull of a Fender type peg head it much easier to set-up and maintain than a 14 degree break-over angle compounded by the sideways skewing of the strings to reach the tuners.

    In my experience, angled peg heads are great for locking nuts and whammy bars. But prefer the straighter pull of a Fender where non-whammy, and conventional nuts are concerned. It's a preference. I'm offering the OP an option.
     
  15. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I only use a Japanese saw and sanding block. On a normal piece of 3/4" I mark the line to cut at 3" apart which results in a 13° break angle. And for the peghead I'd recommend the very first Tele headstock ever, the Snakehead. 3 + 3 tuners and absolutely straight string pull :).
    And while I'm preaching may I recommend a 25" scale? Almost midpoint between a Gibson and Fender. More twang if desired than a Gibson scale and easier bends and such than a Fender. No I'm not a PRS fan, Paul is an a hole, but my Danoelectro was 25 as was my grandpa's National. Rs doesn't have a patent on it ;)
     
  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think it adds much time at all. With a one piece neck you cut the head at an angle both top and bottom and then thickness it while it is connected to the neck sticck. Then you cut the back of neck to shape with a lot of waste wood, do the heel, yadda yadda

    With a scarf joint you simply take a piece of wood that is the correct thickness for the neck, cut off the end of it at your desired angle (mine is 16 degrees), plane it to thickness, flip it over and glue it onto the stick.

    I did a couple of sawn necks with angled heads early in my building career but decide the scarf joint just made a whole lot more sense.

    Here were the necks for the double neck. I made a jig for making the 16 degree cut but found its easy to clamp it to a big block of wood and do it by eye

    IMG_5893.JPG

    IMG_5895.JPG

    IMG_5896.JPG

    IMG_5899.JPG

    The toothpick trick I learned from someone here on the forum (thank!). Put them in a place that will be removed as the head is shaped

    Do the truss rods and make the access under the nut

    IMG_5905.JPG

    IMG_5908.JPG

    The lines across the necks back an inch or so is the end of the scarfed head. The fretboard is laminated on top of that and helps strengthen it.

    Glue on a head plate, drill an access hole for the truss rod, route for binding

    IMG_6014.JPG

    Bingo

    IMG_6018.JPG
     
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  17. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Ow, dude . . .

    Trini20200806_202731.jpg
     
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  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry, just one person's opinion and you know what they say about opinions. They are great guitars but....

    IMG_3440.JPG
     
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  19. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for sharing your work and approach - inspiring!
     
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  20. tonyv77

    tonyv77 Tele-Meister

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    My very limited experience would lead me to believe Gibson's tuning issues are based around their lack of straight string pull from the nut to the tuning machines. My plans is for as little angle is needed to string pressure on the nut and a straight string pull (6 in line).
     
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