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[Solved] Neck to body joint question  

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I’m trying to design and build a light (approx 3kg) small-bodied semi based loosely on Big Ginger - my Yamaha AES1500. But I’m struggling to work out the best/simplest neck body join. My yellow Vox Tornado has a bolt-on neck, but that seems a little extreme. The Jim English book has a fairly complicated tenon-with-added-hook system. I was thinking that a Bailey style set neck into a body block would be simplest?

I want to avoid a solid block running the length of the body (335 style) because of the weight, if that’s possible?

Pic of Big Ginger, Vox Tornado and my design attached. Also guitar drawing scale 1:1.

Big Ginger and pals

 

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.

@jamesbisset
Hi James,

Great drawing and I am very impressed with Graphic. As an Adobe Illustrator user since 1988 I have always wished that there was a lower cost drawing app that would allow people to create and send me fully editable vector files that I can open in Illustrator and then use to drive my CNC router, laser cutter or hot wire cutter. Graphic is perfect and your PDF file opens in Illustrator pretty much as if it were a native AI file which is brilliant news!  I must say that I think they may be paying Adobe a bit of licence fee for some of the look and feel and tools as they are very similar to those found in previous versions of AI. This will be a really useful app for everyone here if they never need to have parts, moulds or templates produced for their own guitar designs and I shall certainly be putting a link to it on my own new website.

Thanks

Darren

That’s good to hear, Darren. Ditto with the Illustrator 88 (on a Mac SE with a 9" b/w screen) and for years afterwards, but now it’s both too expensive for occasional use and too complicated.

You might also be interested in Affinity Designer:
https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/designer/ for PC mac and iPad

It’s more sophisticated, although possibly also more print orientated, and costs less than £50 - Illustrator for the rest of us.

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14 Answers
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If it doesn't work on paper it's unlikely work in real life.

Mind you, you may be surprised at how often I have received drawings from professional draftsmen showing objects that can't actually be made. Beautiful front elevation, sexy as you like in plan and from the side, but unfortunately all three views show different objects, a bit like a woodworking equivalent of an Escher!

Darren

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That is an AWESOME drawing James (is it? Yes!)

I would probaly use a dovetail like on my archtops...but a simple Set Neck could work I think...

Measure twice, cut once...

@markbailey
Thanks Mark! The drawing is being done using a Mac app called Graphic - $29.99.

https://www.graphic.com/

There’s also an iPad version for 8.99, although I don’t know if it’s as fully featured. It can open pdfs, so you can download third party templates, copy parts out and paste them into your own drawing. That’s where the headstock design came from *whistles innocently*.

Two questions then:

a) If I opt for the dovetail technique, is there a foolproof Bailey system involving a jig and a router?

b)In either case, is there any reason other than tradition which would prevent me slanting the heel and block to make upper fret access more comfortable - like a modern bolt-on (see pic attached)?

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Thanks for that info James! Alas, I'm a lowly PC user ...

That headstock does look familiar? Nice!

Measure twice, cut once...

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Not seeing the Pic James -

Measure twice, cut once...

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b)In either case, is there any reason other than tradition which would prevent me slanting the heel and block to make upper fret access more comfortable - like a modern bolt-on (see pic attached)?

Here’s the pic:

RGX A2 heel2

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.

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Just downloaded Grahic for my iPad - looks very good!

Thanks James!

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Bill Flude

Measure once........
Measure again.........
Sod it - make tea!

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I'd advise that you use a standard set neck then you would adjust the body heel as shown here:

bolt on to set neck

 

Measure twice, cut once...

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I'm going to feature this today James - Workshop Wednesday 1pm!

Measure twice, cut once...

@markbailey
Wild horses couldn’t tear me away!

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Hope you enjoyed that and it made some kind of sense...

here's the link for those who missed it!

Measure twice, cut once...

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Thanks for tackling this on Workshop Wednesday! I’m going to update my drawing to reflect what you suggested.

Meanwhile, in my defence...

You’re absolutely right that I should be starting out with something simpler, but I have done some guitar-building before - admittedly with a sanding block, an electric drill and possibly a sharpened spoon.

Through no fault of my own, I seem to have accumulated a lot of guitars. I learned quite early not to sell guitars after the debacle with the ’66 Strat - sold for £180 in the seventies.

So, my plan is to make exactly the right guitar, rather than another guitar. I know, it won’t be a year before I’ll be hankering after something else. But for now...

Jim’s solid 335 and pals

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.

@jamesbisset
Exactly the right guitar - interesting idea..........

I suppose that could be - exactly right guitar for now......

Best not limit yourself 😉

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That's cool James - Glad you liked it - I'll do whatever I can to help!

Measure twice, cut once...

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Brief hiatus caused by family visit but now I’m on the case:

I can confirm that the drawing on this thread is all my own work. This is easily demonstrated when I show you how I managed to draw a dovetail joint before I knew what one looked like.

Exhibit A - misaligned headstock on the side elevation reveals:

misaligned headstock

Exhibit B - that the whole neck had got knocked out of true somehow

misaligned neckjoint

Once the neck is moved back into the correct position the joint is gone.

Screenshot 2020 07 21 at 12.43.29

Can I just say that drawing the guitar is a superb way of ironing out a lot of the issues which would otherwise pop up half way through the build. I’m being forced to think through stuff like bridge height and neck angles, neck joints and extensions long before ruining a perfectly decent piece of wood.

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.

@jamesbisset
Exactly! That's what it is for - Nice one James - THANKS for the comment!!

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Searching for dovetail archtop guitar on Duck Duck Go has Bailey Guitars as the second link: Tag:dovetail neck joint - Bailey Guitars

Which is nice. 🙂

So, if a traditional archtop guitar dovetail joint looks like this: 

archtop dovetail

Why does nobody build one like this?

angled archtop dovetail

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.

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Posted by: @jamesbisset

Why does nobody build one like this?

because it is a zillion times harder - you'd have to mark out and cut that by hand.

Measure twice, cut once...