SG-Neck Thru - Using up some wood in the shop

pshupe

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You should check out a blank vibrola and engrave it yourself....that would be cool. Years ago I traded one of my bodies for one at a guitar show. The Ali express price is lower though. It seems parts are up as well as gas and food...lol. https://www.ebay.com/itm/284452352483?hash=item423aae71e3:g:zRoAAOSw1vZhQWSO



You have to be very careful when trying to use these. You want to have it in hand and design your neck angle around it. The after market / inexpensive ones are super high and require a very high bridge to get enough break angle to function. Montreuxguitars sells a version that is very close to the originals with a shorter spring but they are very pricey US$250 ish. I think Crazy Parts also sells two versions with different heights of springs.

Regards Peter.
 

Engraver-60

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It was easy enough to flatten the surface of the cut off wedge, and pretty easy to flatten the former bottom of the slab. I decided to add piece of 1/4" thick flame maple between the two surfaces, to make the thickness closer to the 1.5" I'll need for the 2 layer wings. All glued up, and clamped. I'll post pictures tomorrow after I unwrap the wax paper and clamps.

PS - I broke a Harbor Fright Quick Clamp (again). I broke one when I built the TeleBaum way back in 2009. I've used the Irwins for the same amount of time, and a couple Besseys, and they don't fail. HF - I'm coming to get you (next week).
 

Engraver-60

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I unclamped, and unwrapped the wax paper, lots of glue squeeze out. Then scraped off the excess glue, and wiped with a wet cloth, and scraped some more. Getting there. I've definitely got some leveling on the body top and bottom planes of this slab, the make a truss rod and cut that groove while it's still flat.

@guitarbuilder - truss rod trench - 1/8" lower at the heel end than the headstock end? Rather than the plans calling for a bent TR?
 

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guitarbuilder

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I unclamped, and unwrapped the wax paper, lots of glue squeeze out. Then scraped off the excess glue, and wiped with a wet cloth, and scraped some more. Getting there. I've definitely got some leveling on the body top and bottom planes of this slab, the make a truss rod and cut that groove while it's still flat.

@guitarbuilder - truss rod trench - 1/8" lower at the heel end than the headstock end? Rather than the plans calling for a bent TR?

That's what I've been doing. I guess it depends on how thick the neck is your making. You probably could go lower. You just want it low but not too low. See the first post here.

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/1959-les-paul-build.194271/

and post 447 https://www.tdpri.com/threads/1959-les-paul-build.194271/page-23
 
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Engraver-60

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My neck slab matches the Bartlett profile, up to the 1/4" drop off for the Flame Maple top cap, and the 3.5 degree (maybe more like 5 degrees) pitch of the body plane.
 

crazydave911

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A lot of the early SGs as Marty said had no neck/body angle, just a lot of overstand as Freeman calls it. Pretty sure 5 degrees is too much 🤨
 

pshupe

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I unclamped, and unwrapped the wax paper, lots of glue squeeze out. Then scraped off the excess glue, and wiped with a wet cloth, and scraped some more. Getting there. I've definitely got some leveling on the body top and bottom planes of this slab, the make a truss rod and cut that groove while it's still flat.

@guitarbuilder - truss rod trench - 1/8" lower at the heel end than the headstock end? Rather than the plans calling for a bent TR?
If you are not doing vintage then go with a two way truss rod. Vintage one way rods are just OK and would suggest introducing forward bow with a clamping caul when affixing the fret board.

Cheers Peter.
 

Engraver-60

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A lot of the early SGs as Marty said had no neck/body angle, just a lot of overstand as Freeman calls it. Pretty sure 5 degrees is too much 🤨
I will have to find a spare Tune-O-Matic bridge and place it at scale length with a fretboard in place to determine if, again, I might have screwed up.

Meantime I had to rest my brain, so I turned a red maple mallet and started a hollow form of silver maple on the lathe.
 

Freeman Keller

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I will have to find a spare Tune-O-Matic bridge and place it at scale length with a fretboard in place to determine if, again, I might have screwed up.

Meantime I had to rest my brain, so I turned a red maple mallet and started a hollow form of silver maple on the lathe.
You will need a bridge at some point in your build, might as well buy it now. Many ToM bridges are 5/8 at their lowest adjustment but rather than gamble either get the real thing or find the engineering specs at the manufacturers website. I like to put a couple of blocks of wood under the bridge to emulate the studs and adjusters - measure yours and find a block that thickness.

And I've seen (pictures of) SG's with very little or no overstand and quite a bit - pick something you like and that will lead to your angle. Remember, as we have mentioned before, the problem with a set neck guitar is that you have to nail it from the start.
 

Engraver-60

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OK - Over thinking this, yet again. I worried all night as to whether or not the 3.5 degrees offset from fretboard plane to body plane should have been ZERO. I looked at 1bad914'2 thread and his plans called for 2 degrees. So I downloaded 3D CAD models of the Tune-o-matic and stopbar and imported them into my Rhino 3D CAD model. Even if I miss to 5 degrees I can probably still recover. WHEW - I thought I'd have to Scrap all this Scrap and go back to something entirely different.

"My Lords, nothing is being done."

Jeff Beck - A Day In The House Lyrics

 

guitarbuilder

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I think I see people with measuring devices showing about 4.4 degrees a lot. I aim for 4. If the bridge is raised up a bit, I can live with that.

https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-ideas/online-resources/learn-about-guitar-bridge-and-tailpiece-installation-and-repair/tune-o-matic-setup-is-the-trouble-with-the-bridge-or-the-neck-angle/#:~:text=The optimum neck angle for,angle, the higher the bridge.

There's nothing wrong with this guitar.​

Its bridge has to be high because of the angle of the neck to the body. The optimum neck angle for a Les Paul is about 4°, but they vary between individual guitars from about 3° to 5°. This variation in angle is why the bridge and tailpiece need to be height-adjustable. The steeper the angle, the higher the bridge.


 
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TenaciousP

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I think I see people with measuring devices showing about 4.4 degrees a lot. I aim for 4. If the bridge is raised up a bit, I can live with that.

https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-ideas/online-resources/learn-about-guitar-bridge-and-tailpiece-installation-and-repair/tune-o-matic-setup-is-the-trouble-with-the-bridge-or-the-neck-angle/#:~:text=The optimum neck angle for,angle, the higher the bridge.

There's nothing wrong with this guitar.​

Its bridge has to be high because of the angle of the neck to the body. The optimum neck angle for a Les Paul is about 4°, but they vary between individual guitars from about 3° to 5°. This variation in angle is why the bridge and tailpiece need to be height-adjustable. The steeper the angle, the higher the bridge.




So on a Les Paul with a carved top, there are two different angles involved. The neck angle and the pickup plane angle. On the last Les Paul I built, I used a 4.0 degree neck angle (relative to the back of the body). Then I used a 1.2 degree angle on the pickup area (also relative to back of body). With the bridge being at the end of the pickup plane, the difference between the two angles gives the actual neck angle relative to the bridge. Which in my case was 2.8 degrees. On a flat topped guitar, you only have one angle, the neck angle. I wouldn’t want that angle to be more than about 3.5 degrees. You might be able to get away with a little more. But your tune-o-matic is gonna be pretty high. Ideally I would shoot for 3 degrees or a tiny bit less.
 

guitarbuilder

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According to this John Catto diagram, the pickup plane ( if you choose to make one) doesn't impact the neck angle until after the fretboard ends. Now if this is an SG, without a carved top, I think you are talking about a 2 degree neck angle relative to the flat surface but that all depends on how much neck is proud of the body, so that will be your determining factor I believe.
 
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Engraver-60

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According to this John Catto diagram, the pickup plane ( if you choose to make one) doesn't impact the neck angle until after the fretboard ends. Now if this is an SG, without a carved top, I think you are talking about a 2 degree neck angle relative to the flat surface but that all depends on how much neck is proud of the body, so that will be your determining factor I believe.
I found a Nashville style Tune-O-Matic in my stash (thank you again, Marty) and laid it upon a 1/4" flame maple scrap (from the same board as what will be the top cap), and found a bound rosewood fretboard (thanks again, Marty) and put a straight edge from top of the fretboard over the top of the saddles. My angle must be greater than 3.5 degrees, so I will make a mahogany or walnut obround shim to put under the bridge to get me to a reasonable height.
1648917475682.png

Also since seeing 1bad411's pic of his drawing, and 35mm thick body, I am going to (over) re-think the thickness of the wings. I was going to have 2x3/4" thick mahogany pieces, but now...I need to com up with something 1-1/8" thick (plus the 1/4" top cap) will be 1.375".
 

Engraver-60

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I can just resaw a portion of the 3/4" mahogany and glue it to a 3/4" piece, and that should get me really close to the 1.125" + .25" top cap - bingo - 1.375" total thickness.
 

RickyRicardo

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I'm going to use the same plan that 1bad used. It shows a 2 degree neck angle. That being said I will check about a hundred times before committing to it. Looking forward to your build!
 

Freeman Keller

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For what it is worth I build guitars "in the style of" something and try to have good plans to refer to. When it comes time to actually set the neck the plans no longer matter, I finesse the joint until the geometry is right. That is one of the things that has always turned me off about thru necks - you don't have that option.
 

crazydave911

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For what it is worth I build guitars "in the style of" something and try to have good plans to refer to. When it comes time to actually set the neck the plans no longer matter, I finesse the joint until the geometry is right. That is one of the things that has always turned me off about thru necks - you don't have that option.
FWIW most through necks I've built were like the early SGs, pretty much level though a difference in fretboard plane and the body plane. As has been said, the first SGs were very nearly level. They however were glued into the body much higher than later to work with the tunomatic bridge
 

Engraver-60

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I got a bit of time this weekend to work on the neck-thru project. Today I changed the Bandsaw blade to a 1/2" wide x 3 TPI and resawed the ambrosia maple plank into a couple of 1/4" thick x 8" wide x 17" long pieces. These will serve as the spacers to get me to the 1.375" thickness for the wings. Then I resawed a 5.5" wide x 17" long x 3/4" thick mahogany to be the bottom of the wings. I will have to use the Wagner Safe-T-Planer to get everything down to flatness and glue ready.

NOTE: After these 2 or 3 builds, I really need to build a tool storage cabinet to hang on the wall. If anyone has made one, or has pictures, please share. I need storage for about 15 planes (only 3 are real Stanley - #4, #5, #7), and rest are a mix of Dad's and Grandpa's oldies. Finger planes and HF mini planes, rasps, and Woodcraft drawknife, as well as HF cheap drawknives that were dull as a wet noodle. Lots of guitar related tools, and assorted chisels ( set of Stanley Sweethearts) and saws like the SM fretting, and the HF Japanese pull saw. Marking tools. calipers, etc. Matt Cremona made a fantastic 4-door cabinet, that is my dream cabinet.
 

Engraver-60

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My Paper Layout on the flame maple jointed top:


Neck on top of layout: 0404220933b.jpg

Wing RH Stack on top of layout:
0404220934.jpg

wing stack in the vise to show how the laminations will stack up:
0404220935.jpg

The maple center pieces need to be Wagnered to about 1/8" thick before glue up.
 

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