Planning neck+ fret board height

Freeman Keller

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That made a lot of sense, thank you for tailoring those pictures to my question. I recognize them from one of your build threads. I was udner the impression the centre line could not deviate. Nice to know there's some flexibility.

Here's a question...

I have my neck template prepared. To ensure a snug neck-body joint, can I trace the heel of the template onto a piece of MDF, route the waste, and use that for my neck-body routing template? I'm trying to develop my abstract geometry thought-process.
Peter's link will do it. I just made a simple mdf template from the dimensions on the Downs drawing and double checked it with a neck that is Fender authorized (which should mean it meets their specs). It is tapered the 0.8 degrees on each side per the drawing. I build the neck heel to fit it and when I put it on the guitar to route I usually run a layer or two of masking tape (green) around the bearing surface, that makes the pocket a few thousands smaller than the heel. I would rather have to sand/chisel the pocket larger to fit the heel than have it loose to start with

IMG_6819.JPG


FWIW, the other end of the template is my Gibson tenon routing guide - both kinds of guitars on piece of mdf.
 

chaosman12

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That made a lot of sense, thank you for tailoring those pictures to my question. I recognize them from one of your build threads. I was udner the impression the centre line could not deviate. Nice to know there's some flexibility.

Here's a question...

I have my neck template prepared. To ensure a snug neck-body joint, can I trace the heel of the template onto a piece of MDF, route the waste, and use that for my neck-body routing template? I'm trying to develop my abstract geometry thought-process.

I'm doing my first build and just made a neck pocket routing template. I traced the heel onto hardboard and carefully cut it out to fit. Maybe these pics will help:

 

pypa

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I realize you may be well beyond this calc at this point, but I want to reiterate something Freeman said that is probably the single most important governing principle (for me) in making guitars:

"Most of the time if you shoot to have the fret plane just touching the tops of the saddles at their lowest adjustment you be perfect."

If you internalize this, you will realize that the height of your neck and fretboard (and for the Gibson you will probably want to build next - the arch top and the neck break angle) are all in service of getting a the fret plane to just barely hit the saddles at their lowest point. Why? If the fret plane hits the saddles too low, then the saddles will hold the strings high off the fret board and you won't be able to lower action if you like it tight. If the fret plane hits the saddles too far above their lowest travel point, then you will have to raise up the strings quite high in order to raise the action so the strings clear the frets at all (wasted travel).

Even though the Tele has a flat top and a pretty low bridge, the nice thing about understanding this concept is that if you find yourself with too high action or too low action that you cannot work out through the saddles, you will understand how to shim or shave the neck pocket to compensate.
 




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