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When is 24-3/4 not 24-34?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Collin D Plonker, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    When it's 24-9/16. Let me explain.

    I am building a custom guitar and wanted to use Gibson scale. I had everything done except the finish, but wasn't satisfied with the fretboard. I had free-handed the fret slots, and they were off here and there, so I decided to order a slotted fretboard from StewMac.

    Unbenownst to me, Gibson scale is mostly 24-9/16 for modern models, while 24-3/4 is mostly for certain vintage guitarsk. I never heard that before, and being a know it all I failed to read the copy at the bottom of the web page explaining all this. And since my bridge was already placed, there was no way I could make up for the 3/16" difference.

    What to do? Turns out, an earlier error came back to save me. I had underestimated how much length a 1/8" headstock overlay adds when it's canted 10 degrees. There is actually enough room for a 25" scale with the nut. So that fixes two errors at once and goes right along with the PRS inspired headstock. Lucky.

    I have made bodies before, but necks are a lot more complicated. It's good to learn from my mistakes, and I really think I lucked out on this.

    How about you? What guitar building fixes have you done, and have you lucked out like this before?
     
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  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Collin, Gibson has used at least three different versions of the "24-3/4" scale over the years. There was a good analysis of why they changed in an article in American Lutherie a while back - I could hunt it up for you. It was based on both changing from the "Rule of 18" to a more precise calculation and also the way their gang saws were set up.

    Short story, any of them will work if you build the guitar around the actual scale you are using. We've had several discussions about that over the past few months. I build a lot of Gibson scale guitars and uses the more common 24.562 uncompensated length, but others will work too.
     
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  3. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Friend of Leo's

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    I've worked with replacing fretboards on Gibson and epi guitars and found 24 3/4 24 5/8 and 24 9/16. I have made a mistake once in replacing one and had to use some offset bolts. I forget who turned/made them. This allowed me to correct the scale length from the TOM bridge.
     
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  4. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    My L6 is 24 5/8 so......
     
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  5. pavel

    pavel Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I would love to read that article if you have a link. (I could only find this synopsis).
     
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  6. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Holic

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    I always find the Gibson 24-3/4” scale topic to be an interesting one that confuses a lot of people. Myself included at times.

    I actually made a metal fret slotting template similar to the notched ones that Stewmac sells, but with the fret spacing calculated by the rule of 18 method. It used 24.75” as the theoretical scale length. If you look at the spacing numbers they are very close to the spacing you get when using 24.5625 (24-9/16) scale length with the modern (more accurate) calculation formula. I speculate that Gibson went to that scale/fret spacing method because they wanted to use the more accurate calculation but not have to change the length of their fretboards or necks. So in other words they used a scale length that would have approximately the same fret spacing as their older guitars. Now how the shorter theoretical scale length changes the bridge location, I am not sure. I’ve only done tune o matic style bridges on Gibson style guitars and I just locate them wherever they intonate correctly. Perhaps The bridge location ends up being about the same once the bridge is angled and compensated properly? I don’t know. It seems like I read something that explained all of that at some point. It may have been something that Freeman had posted a while back. Not sure.. I’ve kinda forgotten the details of how it all works out. I may have to go do some reading on it again sometime.
     
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  7. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Or when it's 24.594 as according to PRS...
     
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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is the article. Unfortunately the GAL doesn't post their articles on line. You have to be a member and get the paper magazine (what a thought) or know someone like me that could maybe make a copy available
     
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  9. pavel

    pavel Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Thanks, I ordered a copy, I'm sure Dan won't disappoint :)
     
  10. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    It will all work out in the end. I actually like the 25" scale better, but I didn't set out to make a PRS copy. I used plans for an SG for the basics and modified to suit my taste. Hence, a 24-3/4 scale from the plans.
     
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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    You should join the GAL
     
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