Gluing in a bolt on neck?

montyveda

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Hi guys.

I'm sure this has been asked but I can't find it... is gluing in a bolt on neck a crazy idea?

For those who've been following my hollotelebass build, you'll know I've got a hulk of a walnut body that's 60mm thick and it's not gonna get any thinner.

I've cut the neck pocket which is a nice snug fit, but before i drill out the holes for the screws, I can't help but wonder if I'd be better off gluing it in instead.

On the downside, a bolt-on neck doesn't have the same bonding area of a proper glue-in neck, so it just might not work :(

On the upside, I'd be able to sculpt this into a thing of aesthetic and ergonomic beauty...

20220510_174859.jpg


Bolting it on leaves me with something like this to look at, which doesn't inspire me
20220510_174834.jpg
 
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Freeman Keller

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I do screwed on necks on anything that looks more or less like a Fender just because its expected. I do glued in ("set") necks on everything else. If you are reasonable about where the joint falls and how big the tenon is the joint should be stronger than the parent wood. Disadvantage, of course, is that you need to nail the geometry during construction.

For reference, an LP tenon is 1.5 wide by 4 inches long, and about 1.5 deep to give you an idea of gluing surface.
 

archetype

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IMO it's pointless as is the idea of "bonding area." I know of no quantified analysis of the difference between a screwed together and a glued together Fender-style neck joint. Get ready for various opinions stated boldly as if they were fact.
 

guitarbuilder

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Google Gibson neck tenon images and you'll see all sorts of sizes from Small SG and ES 335 ones up to '59 long tenon ones. My favorite is the only 3" long by 1.5" wide. A fender neck with a properly prepared neck joint that is tight and mates up with the body will be fine, but I think the key is making the neck to be a set neck from the beginning creating a good mortise and tenon joint. Fender made some set neck teles too. I worked in a Guitar shop for a short time and they routinely made set neck Fenders. If you are using a typical Tele bridge then the top of the fretboard should be 3/8"above the top plane of the body...just like a bolt on is.

https://reverb.com/p/fender-custom-shop-merle-haggard-tribute-tuff-dog-telecaster
merle.png





 
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montyveda

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IMO it's pointless as is the idea of "bonding area." I know of no quantified analysis of the difference between a screwed together and a glued together Fender-style neck joint. Get ready for various opinions stated boldly as if they were fact.
the idea is to get rid of the big block where the neck meets the body which currently buts out almost 2" from the back of the neck.

I'm not sure what 'quantified analysis' of differences you're hinting at. This is purely about ergonomics and aesthetics.
 

Old Verle Miller

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Sorry, but I don't think gluing is a good option for home-built electric guitars if a bolt-on is available. As Freeman Keller pointed out, you only have one shot at getting the geometry exactly right.

Not knowing the finishing you have in mind, I'd also say trying to mask at the joints if they're not going to be the same color or finish is a whole 'nother issue.

Pics of the neck would help.
 

Bendyha

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1652205120853.png

Your neck seems to be so nicely fitted, personally, I would definitely opt to glue the neck. That heel is so big, it would make playing on the upper frets a big, uncomfortable effort without sculpting it down somewhat. Maybe incorporate a single countersunk feruled screw like in the post above, towards the front of the heel after it is carved down, if it makes you feel better about the security of the joint.
 
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Peegoo

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Several makers have done hybrid joints (glued and screwed); Ovation being one of the bigger names with their electrics. This is a great option for how you are considering your build.

You could glue and screw using sunken screw heads that you fill with a short dowel cap, sanded smooth to conceal the screw head.

On this build below I used countersunk Nylon screw caps to hide the screw heads because the wood was curved here (the back is concave) and I didn't want to use a neck plate. It worked out really well and I've had no problems with it.

Just make sure your neck angle is correct before committing to making the joint permanent.

Oddvark-Neck-Joint.jpg
 

montyveda

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... you only have one shot at getting the geometry exactly right.

...

Pics of the neck would help.
it's just a Pbass neck, much like this...
wd-jazz-bass-and-precision-bass-neck-rosewood-5-strings.jpg

View attachment 981739
Your neck seems to be so nicely fitted, personally, I would definitely opt to glue the neck. That heel is so big, it would make playing on the upper frets a big, uncomfortable effort without sculpting it down somewhat.
That's precisely my thinking... it's a big and ugly heel that would benefit greatly from some sculpting.

The geometry of its position is sound so no worries on that front.

I like @ale.istotle ferules suggestion... but no fixings would look better, i feel.
 

Peegoo

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There are lots of options.

I also recently did a thick body like the one you have there, and I didn't want a huge chunky neck joint with a plate flat on the back.

So I made two neck pockets; one on the front for the neck, and one on the back for the plate. I also used a non-standard plate and recessed it into the wood.

I used a sandwich of chestnut and yellowheart, and the body is heavily chambered to keep the weight down.

Here are some pics:

Chestnut-Tele-Neck-Plate-Recess.jpg
Chestnut-Tele-Assembled.jpg
 

oregomike

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Hi guys.

I'm sure this has been asked but I can't find it... is gluing in a bolt on neck a crazy idea?

For those who've been following my hollotelebass build, you'll know I've got a hulk of a walnut body that's 60mm thick and it's not gonna get any thinner.

I've cut the neck pocket which is a nice snug fit, but before i drill out the holes for the screws, I can't help but wonder if I'd be better off gluing it in instead.

On the downside, a bolt-on neck doesn't have the same bonding area of a proper glue-in neck, so it just might not work :(

On the upside, I'd be able to sculpt this into a thing of aesthetic and ergonomic beauty...

View attachment 981722

Bolting it on leaves me with something like this to look at, which doesn't inspire me
View attachment 981724
Personally, I'd shape the back and stick with bolt-on. You can keep the aesthetic (no plate) and still use bolts. Runt Guitars' IG account has some good examples of what I'm talking about. He does some excellent work.
 

oregomike

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There are lots of options.

I also recently did a thick body like the one you have there, and I didn't want a huge chunky neck joint with a plate flat on the back.

So I made two neck pockets; one on the front for the neck, and one on the back for the plate. I also used a non-standard plate and recessed it into the wood.

I used a sandwich of chestnut and yellowheart, and the body is heavily chambered to keep the weight down.

Here are some pics:

Chestnut-Tele-Neck-Plate-Recess.jpg
Chestnut-Tele-Assembled.jpg
This method looks really cool.
 

JohnnyThul

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I would glue it in. The glue surface is plenty and if the geometry is good when dry fitting the bridge and neck, all is good.
I built a Santana copy a few years ago and the glue surface is really small, but still, it worked out fine and stable.
I also find it much easier doing a glued neck, than a bolt on, where you have to align a nearly square neck plate that will look off axis, if you are only off a hair with the bolts :)
 

Timbresmith1

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Hi guys.

I'm sure this has been asked but I can't find it... is gluing in a bolt on neck a crazy idea?

For those who've been following my hollotelebass build, you'll know I've got a hulk of a walnut body that's 60mm thick and it's not gonna get any thinner.

I've cut the neck pocket which is a nice snug fit, but before i drill out the holes for the screws, I can't help but wonder if I'd be better off gluing it in instead.

On the downside, a bolt-on neck doesn't have the same bonding area of a proper glue-in neck, so it just might not work :(

On the upside, I'd be able to sculpt this into a thing of aesthetic and ergonomic beauty...

View attachment 981722

Bolting it on leaves me with something like this to look at, which doesn't inspire me
View attachment 981724
I don’t think you have enough depth in the neck pocket, nor enough wood on the cutaway side to support a glued-in neck. It might be okay with boat-builders epoxy, but I wouldn’t trust it.
 

archetype

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the idea is to get rid of the big block where the neck meets the body which currently buts out almost 2" from the back of the neck.

I'm not sure what 'quantified analysis' of differences you're hinting at. This is purely about ergonomics and aesthetics.

I misunderstood your intent. It's definitely made more difficult by that body thickness. Do as you will!
 

NoTeleBob

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There are lots of options.

I also recently did a thick body like the one you have there, and I didn't want a huge chunky neck joint with a plate flat on the back.

So I made two neck pockets; one on the front for the neck, and one on the back for the plate. I also used a non-standard plate and recessed it into the wood.

I used a sandwich of chestnut and yellowheart, and the body is heavily chambered to keep the weight down.

Here are some pics:

Chestnut-Tele-Neck-Plate-Recess.jpg
Chestnut-Tele-Assembled.jpg

That was my thought. Sculpt the back of the heel. At 60mm, you could remove a lot of material and still have plenty of strength. If you stop by the local GC, you'll find a number of makers who sculpt the heel with bolt-on necks. No neck plate, screws with some sort of base washer, typically recessed.

Set neck is nice, but you don't get any adjust-ability when you are down. So you need to nail the setup.
 

schmee

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If as advertised "Glue is as strong as the original wood", then yes you should be able to just glue it with no tenon etc.
Not a huge advantage to gluing really, but you can shape the heel.

I once glued a bolt on neck in with Epoxy filling all the glue seams. It was an old Epiphone 330/335 type from the years that were pretty shoddy built and low value. It worked out fine with a nice rounded heel etc. But it was a lot of work on an already finished guitar. The action on that guitar was way too high previously. I used two dowels into the body for added strength.

There are other options:
-You dont need 4 screws. many hardware stores now have cool socket pan head chrome and black screws for hot rodders.
-No neck plate, countersink the neck screw holes so the screws sit flush or below the wood surface.
-No neck plate, counterbore the neck screw holes, then fill the screw holes with not glued wood plugs . You can drive them near flush and sand flush. This is done all the time on boats. You can remove the plugs if you need to later.

IMG_0032_2.jpg contoured_neck_heel.jpg
 




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