Hidden neck tenon (Gibson style)
Hey folks, happy new year!
I'm looking for some advice, sorry if this has been posted on before.
I'm assembling my second build and obviously planning my next (!).
Has anyone made a hidden neck tenon? Not sure if this is the correct description, but I mean the type foundation use in their electrics where the neck tenon and mortice is slimmer than the neck.
I'd love to know how you did it and any learning tips or jigs you found along the way.
Looking at some guitar plans, it looks like Gibson set the angle into the body neck socket rather than the neck, but it seems to me that as the cheeks of the neck would need to be angled anyway (where it meets the body). So why not put all the angles on there neck joint? (God, I hope I'm making sense).
The plans stated a neck angle of 3 degrees to get the desired action height, but I wonder if in practice some adjustment is always needed for each build.
Essentially, I can see the benefits of this type of joint, but can see it's a more complex joint to create and fit which might make it out of bounds for a home builder with little carpentry experience.
I'd planned to do some trials on some scrap first, but I'm hesitant to start doing time consuming r&d if the body of collective experience is 'this way lads to madness'
@robin that's exactly what I'm on about! Thank god someone understood me!
I'm drawing up a design that's kinda SG thin, so want a way of attaching the neck while keeping the body thin.
Can I ask how you went about it? Any advice?
Its been a couple years since I made this, I did have all posted on Robin's build #003, but unfortunately I managed to delete it somehow. I reposted it but that particular part of the build isn't there. I still have some photos though that will remind how I did it. This was an SG'ish hollowed out from solid body and a cap.
First stage was to draw on paper what I wanted. I added that detail to the full guitar design drawing to see what neck angle and height I needed.
Then made a template to route the mortice.
I routed the mortice before I cut out the body shape, easier to clamp and work with that way.
Then I marked the tenon on the neck and roughed it out with a saw and chisel before chiselling and sanding more accurately to fit the mortice. Then chiselled the tenon to the angle I thought I needed. I'm not going to pretend it was easy. There was a lot of trial and error and gluing bits back on, but I got there.
Once the mortice and tenon fit nicely then its refining the heel of the neck against the body and trying to keep the correct angle at the same time. Again not easy, just takes time and patience.
Despite all the care and attention, once I glued the neck in, I found that I'd got either the height or angle wrong and had to recess the bridge into the body to get the string action right. So I'm maybe not the best person to take advice from, but this gives you an idea of what's involved, and you can benefit from my mistakes. It turned out okay in the end though.
Thanks @robin for taking the time to pull that all together, it appreciated. Seeing some of the steps undertaken had fleshed out my thoughts.
I think your confirming what I'd initially thought, in that it's a massive pain in the arse. But you've also confirmed it can look really good when it's got right!
Drawing out the side view is something I hadn't thought about. To be honest, if just thought aiming for about a 3 degree angle would be enough🤦🏻. It's definitely a step I'll add!
My thinking was to make a profiling template for both the mortice and tenon and repurpose (or build a new) the neck angle jig to set the angle. I'd then use the tenon template to hog out most of what's needed from the neck and refine the joint with chisels.
I think this might be an itch I need to scratch, so I'll at least have a practice with some offcuts to see if I have the chisel skills.
Thanks again. I'm watching your acoustic build with interest as that's the next course I want to do. If it's ok I'll throw you some questions on that nearer the time?
Hi Dan, you're approach of making routing jigs for the mortice, tenon and for the angle is definitely the way to go. Having said that, I'm getting close to doing the tenon on the acoustic neck and I'll probably do it by hand again, unless I can discipline myself to make the jigs. Throw me as many questions as you like, I can't promise that I can answer them, but there's more skillful members than me here who I'm sure will help.