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Designing my own neck tru guitar

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Koendb
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01/07/2021 1:40 pm  

A couple of months ago , I started drawing a body shape that I liked on a piece of scrap paper.

IMG 20210321 170221071

I quite liked the idea and decided to start working out some details like the headstock and asked my brother to trace it to an SVG

IMG 20210314 113950128
headstock

In the meanwhile, I also made my mind up about the neck. It will be a laminated neck ( maple with 2 stripes of wenge and a middle stripe of bubinga).
I'd like to have 24 fret  25.5" scale. Or should I go for 25" ? What are the pro's and cons?

For the body, I think I want to work with a bubinga top, but , since I also want to keep the neck through completely exposed, I thought of making an insert in the body wings and use the bubinga top as an inlay in the wings. I could repeat this on the headstock in one form or another.

For the fretboard I have a few options:

IMG 20210701 142450981

From the top:

1st, 3th and last are rosewood.4th, 5th and 7th are maple but I dont even remember what the 2nd and 6th are.
Someone who can tell what these are?
I think , for the time being, I like to use the 2nd from the top for this build. we'll see

Next phase will be drawing this out in a real scale drawing using inkscape.

In the meanwhile I already received the first parts for this build 😎 

IMG 20210701 134116578

 


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Andy
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01/07/2021 3:34 pm  

Interesting you talk about scale length and which to choose.

I am in the process of starting another build and also changing the scale length. My previous build was a 24.75 scale (Gibson Les Paul ...esk)

Having read up on it... bending strings and tones change with scale length and playability is also affected because of the tension of the strings is different.

They say Gibson scale is easier to play as strings not so taut, and fret spacing is closer.....if you have short(er) fingers.

I also have a Strat which I find lovely to play (but I do have longish fingers) and it holds tuning brilliantly. Is that due to scale length or hardware quality....not sure.

I figure I'll try and 25 inch scale as an in between one and see what happens. Apparently PRS guitars use this as one of their lengths, so it must be worth a go?

 

Andy


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Koendb
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01/07/2021 7:52 pm  

24.75"  scale length is indeed easier for bending. Same strings feel less stiff then a 25.5" scale length.

I guess 25" is a good compromise and probably the shortest scale length to allow for 24 frets and ideal space left between 2 humbuckers.

I am currently still not sure if I should go for 25.5" scale length, because I might use this guitar for lower tunings.


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Tej
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01/07/2021 9:22 pm  

I’ve only ever owned 25.5” scale guitars, I tried to play as SG copy that had a shorter scale length and simply couldn’t play anything well at all, felt very alien everything being that little bit out of place from what I’d always been used to!

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Koendb
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02/07/2021 12:52 am  

This is what I came up with reshaping an existing plan

NeckTrough 1

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Tej
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02/07/2021 6:27 am  

@koendb like it! A couple of points, personally I’d make the angle the top wing comes off the bridge end of the through neck more shallow, it looks a bit harsh to me which doesn’t quite work when the other wing smoothly curves. Perhaps see what it looks like if you make the lower wing the same as I guess looking at the rest of your design That’s the odd one out! Loving the headstock too 🙂

I’d suggest you mock up the bottom horn and neck so you can check how well your hand fits for access to the last few frets. I didn’t check this and had to change things while carving but really just didn’t have enough wood to work with so it’s not quite right.

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Koendb
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02/07/2021 8:12 am  

I’d make the angle the top wing comes off the bridge end of the through neck more shallow, it looks a bit harsh to me which doesn’t quite work when the other wing smoothly curves.

@Tej thx for the comments!

Actually that angle was done on purpose. 😀 
One thing I am not sure about is the amount of mass I have behind the bridge ( OK that bridge in the plan is not the bridge I am going to use ). It looks a bit bulky at the moment? On the other hand, I might need it for balance.

I’d suggest you mock up the bottom horn and neck so you can check how well your hand fits for access to the last few frets.

Been there too with my ikea kitchen counter top guitar I've built 🙂

I dont think clearance and fret access wont be much of an issue here, though.

Obviously , I'll have to adapt the design and templates  a little more once I have the dimensions of the neck blank and when I can make my mind up about the scale length 🙂


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Tej
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02/07/2021 9:25 am  

@koendb I think what doesn’t sit right is the curve into the flat end of the neck then the angled take off on the top wing, it doesn’t look intentional. Hard to explain where I’m coming from here. Had to contemplated taking the angle from the centre line incorporating the end on the neck into it? (Do tell me to shut up if you’re happy as it is by the way 😉)

I wondered about the mass, as it it i think it’d be over balanced towards the bridge end (is there a bridge and a neck end of a through neck? 😄) unless you are planning some significant carves? I guess also depends on how thick the body is and depending on the wood choice, I don’t have much experience on the latter other than knowing basswood is seriously light and you don’t want to use it without a heavy hard finish on as it dents really easily 😔 But that’s not in your wood selection pack anyway 🙂

You could make the body wider at the horns too to add more mass if needed?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Koendb
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02/07/2021 9:55 am  

Had to contemplated taking the angle from the centre line incorporating the end on the neck into it?

AS a matter of fact, I did. But You do have a point though, if you look on the original drawing, the angle starts more towards the centerpoint, where in my current design it starts  where the middle section ends. So I will pull that down a little more 👍 

I wondered about the mass

I will experiment a bit more with that body shape , when i have the final length of the neck anyway.
The more I look at it, it looks too much like a solar guitar with a bump on the left side of the body.
I will overlay some other guitar plans to see where I am at


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Tej
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02/07/2021 10:27 am  

@koendb You could always use a bridge with a separate tailpiece to occupy some of the bump?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Koendb
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02/07/2021 10:31 am  

You could always use a bridge with a separate tailpiece to occupy some of the bump?

The bridge is already decided and I have it in my drawer 🙂
I just need to alter the plan


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Tej
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02/07/2021 11:09 am  

The bridge is already decided and I have it in my drawer 🙂

I think a bridge with a separated tail piece is a stupid idea, if I were you I’d have a look in your drawer to see if you have something more suitable 😄

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Koendb
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02/07/2021 1:22 pm  

V2: Correct Bridge and angle slightly lowered into middle section

NeckTrough 2

V3: Hump in bottom half of the body slightly removed

NeckTrough 3

V1, V2 or V3 ? 🙂


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Tej
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02/07/2021 2:03 pm  

@koendb v4 for me 😬 If you still had an asymmetrical end but took the curve from the lower wing through the neck end into the top wing I think that might look best, to me at least. So it would slope but from the bottom of that make sense. 
Surely someone else has an opinion, mighty quiet in here of late!?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Koendb
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02/07/2021 5:31 pm  

mighty quiet in here of late!?

Yes it is really quiet the last couple of weeks. I guess life is catching up again 🙂


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Tej
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02/07/2021 10:52 pm  

@koendb so what’s the plan for getting the build done, I’m not familiar with the approach for neck though, at what point do you join the wings on to the neck?

My next build is, in my head, to be neck through so any info would be useful!

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Koendb
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02/07/2021 11:43 pm  

I’m not familiar with the approach for neck though, at what point do you join the wings on to the neck?

@Tej I don't know yet. This would be my 3th scratch build and first one with a neck through.
This process is still in development in my mind.
I have some ideas, but I need the neck first.

I would put the wings on, after putting the fretboard on the neck. But your wings should already be roughly shaped. Since I think it will be difficult to use the bandsaw , once the wings are glued on 🙂


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Rocknroller912
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03/07/2021 2:02 am  

Ok if it’s too quiet I’m up for stirring the pot. I challenge you to cut those horns with a router.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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Rocknroller912
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03/07/2021 2:07 am  

@koendb

I’m sure Mark did a live stream on neck through construction.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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Tej
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03/07/2021 6:34 am  

I challenge you to cut those horns with a router.

@rocknroller912 or perhaps a sharp spoon!?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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