Custom built guitar before finding this course.
I recently tried building my own guitar. I have a body and I bought a pre made neck. I knew nothing about scale at the time, and how important it is for the guitar to ya know sound like a guitar. I should have studied up more and done my homework, but I didn't and here I am trying to save the guitar body that I made.
Does anyone know of a way that you can get scale from the body of the guitar instead of from the neck?
I have a 24 1/2 inch scale neck right now, but when I put it on the body of my guitar the intonation point is at 26 1/2. Is there any saving my guitar or should I just hang it up on this one?
I plan on making a guitar using Marks plans I just didn't want to feel like my time was wasted on this first one.
Thanks in advance,
I am not sure I entirely understand your dimensions. Are you saying that with the neck on the bridge to nut measurement is 2" more than it should be?
I really doubt that all is lost! The important thing is to remember that your 12th fret is exactly half way along the entire scale length. In other words, you need to be able to position the neck such that the 12th fret is equidistant from the nut and the bridge positions. If you can't move the bridge then you have to move the neck relative to the body, if you can't move the neck then you will have to adjust the bridge position. If you cant do either (if you have a set neck already glued in place) then you have to decide whether to save either the neck or the body.
Here are the pictures with a tape measure, hopefully they are clear enough to get a good idea. They were taken with my phone.
That is a really beautiful lacewood body and a very lovely neck! I agree with Robin, what you have here are two lovely parts of two completely separate guitars, it’s just that they are never destined to make music together. You need to measure the distance from the bridge to the neck joint with the body and decide which fret you want at this position. If you let me know this measurement I can suggest a suitable scale length for you to cut your fretboard to. Bolt on was such a good answer, what are you worrying about? This barely registers as a problem to be honest, just a really good excuse to make two guitars rather than one!
Hi Erik, that is a beautiful body, we can't allow that to go to waste. I'm absolutely certain that you can make a neck to work here. As Tony says, draw it out accurately at full size. You don't need to draw the full body shape, just the centre line, post holes, bridge position, neck pocket and space for a long neck. Now, how to find the scale length backwards ? From the bridge position you should be able see where your intonation line is, from there mark the theoretical scale length line. Mark the position of the 22nd fret your 24.5" neck. Measure accurately from the 22nd fret to scale length line, call this dimension "D", it looks approx 8.5" on your photos. Now choose a neck scale length, lets try 25.5" to start with. Now subtract "D" from Scale length (25.5 - 8.5 = 17.5) call this dimension "F". Now go online to StuMac's fret calculator fret https://www.stewmac.com/fretcalculator.html and select 22 frets and 25.5" scale. Now look down the result chart to find the nearest fret to match dimension "F". In this case fret 20 = 17.468" which is fairly close. Add this to your drawing with the nut at 25.5" from the scale length line and see how it looks. Try this process with other scale lengths, the more frets you want, the longer it will have to be. As Darren says, decide how many frets you want then go from there. This seems a bit complicated written out but its really not. Just one more thing, its a bit difficult to see in your photos, but make sure that you're measuring from the fretboard side of the nut. Good luck.
If I'm calculating this properly then roughly speaking with the body as it is, you're looking at the same scale length of neck but only 17 frets, or the same number of frets but about a 31 inch scale length (or some intermediate combination of number of frets and scale length)
Personally I'd say congratulations, you've built a very cool short scale bass.
It could just be the angle of the photos, but those bridge posts don't look symmetrical to the centre line to me.
I would say yes, your numbers tally with my method. I think Erik has to go in between there some to get something that he can use.
I'm hoping that the offset look is just an optical illusion with the camera angle and the tape not being on the centre line.