Basic Setup

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, May 26, 2019.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 22, 2018
    There are two reasons why this isn't making any sense. First is my definition of overstands, second is that I gave you a bogus number.

    I first heard the word "overstand" in a lecture about violin geometry. It was defined as the amount the neck is above the top at the joint, not including the fretboard thickness. Its typically about 6mm on a violin as shown here

    (i'm having trouble inserting the image I want, go to this link and scroll down to figure 5)

    Another way of thinking of it is that an instrument with the fretboard sitting on the top (a Martin flattop, a Les Pau) has no overstand, Fenders and LPJr's and SG's do. An archtop is like a violin, it has overstand and it increases with neck angle.

    Therefore, with the usual 0.625 (16mm) neck pocket, 1 inch (25.4mm) heel thickness, and 0.125 (6.3mm) fretboard thichness, the overstand is 1/8, 0.125 or 3.15mm. Add your fretwire and you are absolutely correct, the height of the frets in the center of the board is very close to 0.420 inches or about 11mm.

    To confirm that I checked my tele clone - I have slightly less than the full 1/8 inch of overstand but when I measure the fret plane it is 13/32, or 0.4065, or 10.5mm.

    I'm really sorry about the mistake and the confusion. As I was preparing this little discussion I wrote down a pile of notes so I wouldn't forget anything, it looks like I simply picked the wrong number for that value. It should have been obvious - 5/8 pocket with 1 inch heel leaves 3/8 total height at the center, subtract 1/4 for the fretboard and, bingo 1/8 inch. Duh

    Two more thoughts - the idea of overstand isn't really that significant on a guitar like it is on the violin. A much better parameter would be the total height of the top of the fretboard off the top of the guitar. Obviously on a guitar with a one piece neck their isn't a separate f/b to measure to.

    Also, I have one set of plans for a "vintage" stratocaster that shows the depth of the pocket at 0.594 inches which is kind of a weird number (it corresponds to 15mm). I haven't built a guitar to those plans but what I am thinking is the shallower neck pocket allows the tremolo bridge to float above the top - I'll have to measure this on the next strat I come across.

    Clear as mud?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
    Macrogats likes this.
  2. strat56

    strat56 Tele-Holic

    Feb 2, 2008
    For overstand on a Fender guitar why can’t you just put a straight edge on top of the frets between the D and G strings extending out over the body and measure the distance to the top of the body? Assuming it has a proper set up.
  3. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Cheers Freeman. It’s all as clear as mud now. ;)

    I was getting a little frustrated and confused cos I’m in the process of building my first ever necks, and have been using several Chinese necks I have as comparisons. They are all actually measuring at 27mm and greater for total thickness of blank and fb at the apex! :eek:

    One of my blanks was measuring at 21mm and the other is a perfect 19. Both fb’s are at 6mm. I thinned the larger one down to 19 yesterday and am about to try and check it all out with a makeshift fb soon. I’ll try and snap some pics later today or tomorrow to hopefully show you where I’m at. Incidentally, both neck pockets are now routed to 18mm cos the initial fit with one of the Chinese necks seemed (as it should) so wrong.

    I have built a couple of really nice playing Strats using similar Chinese necks, and I remember routing one pocket at least to 17mm, but I can’t say exactly what the actual neck and board thicknesses are until I pull them both apart. They’re both due some slight mods, so will get around to this in the next few days hopefully.

    Anyway, thanks again for the reply and clearing all that up. I think I’m on the right path now. :p
  4. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
  5. coonhollow greg

    coonhollow greg Tele-Meister

    Jul 19, 2014
    Thanks for you giving us all of this information. I feel comfortable doing a setup now and confident that I can do it right. I don't know where you are in Washington but I lived all over state. Port Angeles, Seattle, Bellingham, Othello, etc... My family is still there around the Puget sound area. Now in southern Oregon. Again, thanks for your time and effort.
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