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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:36 pm 
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Koa
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I'm sure this isn't an original thought, but is there any reason not to build a slight angle into the neck pocket of a fender style guitar? They often need them in the end anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:46 pm 
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Part of the reason is "because Leo did it that way" - tradition. Also, manufacturers like things easy, and having the floor of the pocket parallel with the surface of the guitar is an easy way to maintain tolerances. For a small maker or repair guy - easy enough to do, even with a rasp and file. Takes less than 20 minutes, and no building of fixtures and scattering chips with a router. A sharp eye, steady hand, and frequent stops to check your progress will serve you well.

HOWEVER.... Then the screw holes into the neck are no longer at 90 degrees to the original surfaces. Maybe a slight bend will be induced into the screws (and adding stress to the wood). I used to elongate the holes through the body to keep interference to a minimum. As always, thinking before doing is a consideration.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:06 pm 
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Koa
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Chris Pile wrote:
Part of the reason is "because Leo did it that way" - tradition. Also, manufacturers like things easy, and having the floor of the pocket parallel with the surface of the guitar is an easy way to maintain tolerances. For a small maker or repair guy - easy enough to do, even with a rasp and file. Takes less than 20 minutes, and no building of fixtures and scattering chips with a router. A sharp eye, steady hand, and frequent stops to check your progress will serve you well.

HOWEVER.... Then the screw holes into the neck are no longer at 90 degrees to the original surfaces. Maybe a slight bend will be induced into the screws (and adding stress to the wood). I used to elongate the holes through the body to keep interference to a minimum. As always, thinking before doing is a consideration.


That makes sense Chris. I suppose for the extremely critical eye, you'd also end up with a small gap between pickguard and neck, or even the heel end of the pocket if modifying an existing neck pocket.

On new construction though it should be simple enough to put a small wedge under the back of my neck pocket template (which runs the entirety of the body.) Then drill the neck holes perpendicular to the body as usual, they'll enter the neck at whatever angle I settle on but should be able to hold the neck in place without issue.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:30 pm 
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Yes, a gap might occur - some might care, some not.

As to your solution - you've done some thinking. Always a good thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:17 pm 
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What angle would you make it? Would you change the overstand? What bridge are you going to use? Where does the fret plane hit the bridge?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:41 pm 
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Quote:
Would you change the overstand?


What the heck is overstand?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:35 pm 
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Koa
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Chris Pile wrote:
Quote:
Would you change the overstand?


What the heck is overstand?


I've heard that term applied to the amount that the neck stands proud of the body of a guitar - Fenders have overstand, Martins don't. I believe if comes from the bowed instrument world.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:34 am 
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If you are going to angle neck pockets you might as well set the neck with glue and skip the bolt on crap..... My 2 cents.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:52 am 
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Koa
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Conor, if you are finding that you need to interject some neck angle into your fender style builds to get the geometry correct, then no reason not to. I would do it to the body, not the neck, because that would allow you to replace the neck in the future with a fender-spec neck.

When I start a new guitar that I don't have plans for I always make a sketch of the side showing the amount of arch (if any), the amount of overstand (if any), the height of the bridge I'm going to use, and the thickness of the fretboard (and radius). From that I can determine how much angle is necessary to allow me to have enough adjustment at the bridge to get whatever action I want for that particular guitar.

I have built 5 fender style guitars (tele's) with fender spec pocket depth, zero angle, fender spec necks and fender spec bridges - each one has been a pleasure to set up with lots of adjustment at the saddles - including the ability to change it either way in the future if necessary.

Attachment:
IMG_3612.JPG


I experimented one time with seeing if a ToM could be made to work on a flat topped guitar like a tele. My conclusion was that it could but it would take a signficant angle and I'm not sure I wanted to attempt that. The little wood blocks emulate the studs and adjusters on a Nashville ToM

Attachment:
IMG_3654.JPG


I have assembled three JagStang style guitars (Warmoth bodies and necks) but with Kahler bridges. The pockets seemed to be Fender specs and I assume they would work perfectly with a JagStang style bridge (which I've never seen). However the Kahler likes the fret plane to be 1/2 inch off the top (spelled out in their specifications - in order to get that I had to use one of the little half degree StewMac shims

Attachment:
IMG_3790_zpsjqae22fi.JPG


Attachment:
IMG_3795_zpsujomcjvm.JPG


We could go on - I've built two les paul style guitars but with different amounts of top arching (different thicknesses of tops) and they require different neck angles (3-1/2 degrees for one, 2 for the other). It continues to "flat top" acoustics which seem to want about 1 to 2 degrees of angle, however classicals often need negative neck angle.

So, you can lay it all out before you start and decide what angle you need (remember, zero is an angle). You can route your pocket and check it and fix it if you aren't happy. You can add a shim - lots of tele's do have something lurking under the neck. The more you understand the geometry of the guitars you are making the more you will be able to make these decisions.

One final thought. With one of the JagStangs the owner asked that I contour the back of the neck in the area of the plate and the cutaway. The holes were already drilled - this means that the plate is sitting at a slight angle and of course requires screws of different length. It seemed to work fine - I would not worry about the very slight angle (1 or 2 degrees) for your screws but you might need different lengths.

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IMG_5079.JPG


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:53 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
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Thanks everyone. It's likely an unnecessary complication. It seemed like such an obvious idea, and I was curious why I haven't really seen it. Adding a little more angle to a fender neck pocket via shims never really seems to hurt, and usually helps a bit, so why not just built it in from the get go.

Freeman, drawing it all out from the side was my next plan. I just find I always get a lot value polling the wisdom of the masses here at the OLF, before jumping in, (it often saves me a lot of work.) :D

As an aside, I really like the contour on the back of the neck pocket. Tele's and Strat's are my favorite designs, but I really dislike that big chunk of wood where the neck joins the body. I've found an exaggerated round over on the corner is enough to deal with the obstruction for my style of play. Then I forego the plate and use the bushings with screws (I've seen the contour done the way you show before, but couldn't get my head around how the screws would seat in the plate with holes drilled at 90 degrees), I think next time I'll try and switch the screws out for machine screws. There's a company in Toronto called Frank Brothers guitars, that uses brass inserts to receive every screw on their guitars. I also like putting an exaggerated round over where the arm rests on Tele's, I never really liked Strat body contours on a telecaster, but something subtler seems to achieve the same level of comfort without sacrificing the Tele aesthetic.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:19 pm 
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Koa
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My point was simply, if you need angle to make your geometry work, then put some angle in it. I wouldn't worry about the screws if they are the correct length. I didn't like the screws in my example - the don't sit nicely in the countersinks in the plate. But its not really noticeable and its someone else's guitar....

Personally I am kind of offended by the whole look and feel of fender necks - they look like they were, well, screwed on. I prefer guitars where the body flows into the neck and looks like it was intended to be there (for that matter I don't like acoustic cutaways where the neck heel is angled but its sitting on a square hunk of the body). If you are going to screw a neck on you do need to think about the heads of the screws - some folks leave the plate off and put individual washers under each screw head.

The inserts that you talk about are also a good idea - I use them for sure on bolt on acoustic necks but frankly I think they would be a real hassle to install on a single fender style neck. You would need to jig up your drill press to make four perfectly vertical holes at precisely the correct locations while supporting a neck that is curved on the fretboard side. Its not too hard to put the inserts in but if one was the slightest little bit off you will have big problems. However afterwards you would have a true bolt on neck instead of the screw on that Leo designed.

ps - if you have access to a CADD you can draw your neck profile with all the little bits - frets, relief, the range of actions that you think you'll encounter. Might surprise you.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Conor_Searl (Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:12 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:33 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Last summer I put together a parts-caster and determined that I needed to either angle the pocket or the neck because I did not want to use shims. Decided to ramp the pocket and it took about 10 minutes with a sharp chisel. The slight angle had no effect on the screws. The ramp was only about .030" deep at the back.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: Conor_Searl (Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:12 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:19 am 
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Koa
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Freeman wrote:
Personally I am kind of offended by the whole look and feel of fender necks - they look like they were, well, screwed on.


Haha. When talking about Telecasters I think Brad Paisley called them baseball bats screwed onto cutting boards. They certainly don't stand up to other guitars from a woodworking perspective, but from a making music perspective I don't think a person could make a claim there's something better, different or more preferable yes, but not better.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:05 am 
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Conor_Searl wrote:
I'm sure this isn't an original thought, but is there any reason not to build a slight angle into the neck pocket of a fender style guitar? They often need them in the end anyway.

If you're finding that you need shims, then something is wrong. I've built over 30 Fender style guitars, and the only time I've ever needed a shim was when I got the neck pocket too deep or the neck too thin at the heel.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:57 am 
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Koa
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RogerC108 wrote:
If you're finding that you need shims, then something is wrong. I've built over 30 Fender style guitars, and the only time I've ever needed a shim was when I got the neck pocket too deep or the neck too thin at the heel.


It was more the case of guitars that come in for repair needing them. And Jazzmasters almost always seem to need them. If the guitars are gonna get there in the end, a little angle from the get go seems like it could be a good idea.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:11 am 
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Conor_Searl wrote:
RogerC108 wrote:
If you're finding that you need shims, then something is wrong. I've built over 30 Fender style guitars, and the only time I've ever needed a shim was when I got the neck pocket too deep or the neck too thin at the heel.


It was more the case of guitars that come in for repair needing them. And Jazzmasters almost always seem to need them. If the guitars are gonna get there in the end, a little angle from the get go seems like it could be a good idea.

Not sure I follow that logic. The guitar should be set up for where it is now, not for where it might end up years down the road. If you build a guitar with a neck angle, and things line up properly, what happens years down the road when something changes? You didn't reduce the need for a shim, you've just created an unneeded complication at the beginning. It's not whether or not there's an angle in the neck pocket. It's whether or not the fretboard plane is correct for the bridge.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:34 pm 
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Koa
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RogerC108 wrote:
Not sure I follow that logic. The guitar should be set up for where it is now, not for where it might end up years down the road. If you build a guitar with a neck angle, and things line up properly, what happens years down the road when something changes? You didn't reduce the need for a shim, you've just created an unneeded complication at the beginning. It's not whether or not there's an angle in the neck pocket. It's whether or not the fretboard plane is correct for the bridge.


I appreciate that perspective. It's why I asked the question. I figure most of the people who regularly post here have much more experience than me so its a great place to vet all the hare-brained ideas that come to me in the middle of the night.

My logic was simply that perhaps a person could have their cake and eat it too. If a neck is slightly over set from the get go but not so much that it can't be accounted for within the parameters of the bridge that is being used, then perhaps that will mitigate the future necessity of addressing a poor neck angle with shims. Having said all that I do see your point, and perhaps in attempting to solve a very minor future problem I will have introduced unnecessary complications. I hear you as well about making sure the fret plane is correct to the bridge.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:54 pm 
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You can make the fret plane correct to the bridge with an angled pocket. In the future, if you need to adjust it, then adjust it at that point.


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