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diving in head first, A single cut for my first full build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ModulusAcacia, Jan 9, 2006.


  1. ModulusAcacia

    ModulusAcacia Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 22, 2000
    Middletown/Cincy, OH WHO-DEY!
    owner: J. Kennedy Guitar Repair, Guitar tech for Walk the Moon
    OK, so i know this may seem like being dropped into the Atlantic to learn how to swim, but I've decided to take the plunge and build my first "from scratch" bass, and I want to do a single cut. (crazy I know, but let me live my dream! :) ) I have basic neck carving, shaping, fretting, ability, and I full on intend on screwing up along the way, but I want to do it right as best i can. I've read both melvyn hishcock's and Dennis Waring and David Raymond's books and have plenty of general knowlege about construction beyond those books, but I need more... so here's my plethora of possibly stupid questions in no particular order...

    -For a neck thru single cut do I need to factor in neck back angle and how do i do it properly?

    -how do I go about glueing up the neck laminates/ fingerboard; meaning, how do i get them to match widths so the extented upper horn glues properly to the neck side and the whole bass looks symetrical? (no excesses of neck woods visible on either side of the fingerboard) do i glue the fingerboard on first and then match the necks width down it's length continuing thru the body? is there an easy way to do that? HELP!

    -what is the easiest way to glue a hidden neck thru (book matched laminates touch edge to edge on top) and how do I make this work with any wood that needs to be removed on the neck block to create the back angle on the neck?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but any help in the meantime would be great. I'm still in the planning stage, but I want to get started soon... :help:
     
  2. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    I don't think an angled neck would be a good idea on a single cut. I would personally make a straight neck that stands proud of the body. I would also make the neck though part continuous through the body (same angle all the way though, not straight/parallel on the body part of it)

    Once you've got your neck blank, cut the top layer away on the body part of it that will have to compensate for the proud part of the neck and the bookmatched body top. Then glue your wings to the neck. Make sure it's all flat, after that glue your top wood to the body and finish the rest once dried.

    I would definitely wait before everything is glued up (body, wings, fretboard) before starting to shape the neck.
     
  3. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    If you like low fretboards, you can recess the bridge instead of Phil's "standing proud" method.

    And you will have most if not all your geometry questions answered by drawing it all up in 1:1. Preferably on hardboard or masonite, so you can handle them a little better.
     
  4. Is there a particular reason for this? My set-neck Eshenbaugh SC has an angles neck. At the 12th fret, the neck/FB joint line is behind the top plane of the instrument. Is the difference neck-through vs. set-neck?
     
  5. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    It's harder and uses up more wood to make an angled nechthru than a set neck. Set necks have necks that are glued on to the body, while neckthru "necks" go from the headstock to the end of the body. For a setneck, you can just make an wedged heel, and that will create your angle.
     
  6. I totally get that. My question is what makes a Single Cut neck-through more difficult than a Double Cut neck through. You waste wood either way, as far as I can tell.
     
  7. mahrous

    mahrous

    Aug 13, 2005
    Egypt
    both methods arent really related to each other that much.

    in a set neck, you do not waste wood because you have a neck that is identical to a bolt on neck but instead of bolting it on, you glued it in. so your neck is of total length of 110cms may be? (headstock to pocket)
    you can angle that easily without wasting wood.

    but for a neck through, you need a straight piece of lumber and as soon as it leaves the body wings, it needs to angle. that means you need a thicker piece of wood and you sand it off to an angle when it leaves the body. thats where you waste wood and its mighty difficult to do that imo.
     
  8. mahrous

    mahrous

    Aug 13, 2005
    Egypt
    i wanted to do like you. but during my design stage (i am a design freak), i discovered that it is virtually impossible for me to do it. mind you, i have years of experience with woodworking and a fully functioning furniture factory full of experience to help me. single cuts are insane. neck thrus are relatively alright.

    angled necks are less on basses than guitars. i dont see a major importance for that. i would personally skip that stage

    you measure your woods carefully. glue together.
    the side pieces of wood should be wider than the middle laminates because you do not want to lose the side pieces at the thinnest point (nut). chances are the wood will start breaking there and you will lose quality of you make them small laminates. as for the horns, you can always add ears of the same wood ... preferable same lumber boards so you dont have color shifts. in this case, you same a lot of waste.

    you need to work in the neck first ... truss rod channel etc etc etc. i dont understand exactly what you are asking for here. sorry!

    there is no easy way to do this. what you want to achieve is impossible for a first time guitar.
    hell, its impossible for a 50th time guitar! especially if you wanna match laminates edge to edge. you need immaculate quality and craftsmanship to do something of decent quality. your better off to have a center block neck or a one piece top
     
  9. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    Oh, well, in that case, I really don't see a difference. I guess there's more carving that can be done on the back. Otherwise, I don't see it being more difficult. A Setneck single cut is a bit harder to make the way I see it.
     
  10. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Yeah, sure. The problem occurs with the neck angle, and is a practical one: how do I clamp this joint in a correct and secure manner (I really don't want the angle to slip, do I?).
     
  11. Build it into the stock before you clamp.
     
  12. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    My answer was actually meant for the original post. He mentioned that this was his first instrument. An angled neck is a lot more complicated to do than a straight one, especially on a single cut since you have to worry about gluing the top wing on both the body and neck piece perfectly. that's why I wouldn't recommend it for someone's first. Even for someone who's made a few it's still a lot easier to make a straight neck.

    The more I think about this project the more I feel that it shouldn't be for a beginner's project. The original poster talks about having a neck through with angled neck (which I personally wouldn't do) and a bookmatched top hiding the neck through.
    Gluing the wings to the neck through is not that bad but making sure everything is nice, flat and flush before gluing the top wood on demands utmost precision. After that he needs to glue on the top taking into account the neck pocket which needs to be precisely cut or he'll end up with unsightly gaps. A good jig could do the job but Ive got a feeling that it's a bit extreme as a first project.

    Then again the only way to learn is to do it...
     
  13. ModulusAcacia

    ModulusAcacia Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 22, 2000
    Middletown/Cincy, OH WHO-DEY!
    owner: J. Kennedy Guitar Repair, Guitar tech for Walk the Moon
    As the original poster I'm glad to know that I won't need to add a back angle to the neck to make it functional. I think when I do a set neck I'll factor one in, but not on this bass

    I'm not a quite a full beginner, it's just my first full bass from scratch. When Matt friedman shut down Acacia I bought up all his left overs and have slowly finished them, or worked them into semi-usable pieces, learning all the way. I've got some idea of what I'm doing, so i know it'll be jig after jig and template after template. once i have my fingerboard in hand (matt has a left over slotted board he's sending me) it's template time, big time template time. :)
     
  14. Biagio139

    Biagio139 Dealer: Hipshot Products, Inc.

    Dec 23, 2005
    Ithaca N.Y.
    Yes making a single cut neck through with an angle will waste alot of wood but its worth it and not very hard.
    when I make my basses I cut the neck balnk to the width where the wings will be attatched. examle, if Iam goingto have a maximum width of three inches at the 24th fret "five sting" ill make the neck blank 3 and 1/4 inches leaving about an 8th inch on each side for the wings to be glues on. after the headstock profile and the body angle profile r cut I glue the fretboard on and rough cut the top profile on a band saw of couse I can only ut the fretboard to where the wings will be glued , I then mask off the fretboard and draw the actual taper and trim with pattern cutting jig in a router and a strait edge "I only trim the fretboard.you dont have to do it this way. Fat Karl trims and binds his fretboards first and then glues them up, hes a talented kid check out his website ktbasses.com. the angle at the body is only important in that if its to steep you wont be able to adjust your action correctly. I would suggest getting the plans from mimf.com bill moll did an excellent job drawing these up and they will answer alot of questions.
    Iam sure my post was confusing so feel free to IM me on msn if need be for a better explanation willi139@hotmail.com.
    Biagio