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Fodera dovetail neck joint help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by modulusan, May 5, 2013.


  1. modulusan

    modulusan

    Sep 8, 2006
    Hi, im making a bass (not a fodera copy) its a 5 string singlecut design and diferent headstock design. Im Only trying to make the neck joint that fodera uses...so i want know if someone could help me about which is the thickness of the maple neck were is glued and meet the body block...i attach a pic. Thanks so much for the help...
    image.
     
  2. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Their craftsmanship is so beautiful...:) Is that actually a dovetail join? It looks like a butt join with a lap on top, unless that second piece of maple that runs over the body but under the fingerboard is actually a separate piece (can't tell from the photo).

    I don't know how it's actually done by them, but if I were to recreate this, I would be gluing all of those parts together first, long before cutting them to size and shaping. It's the only way I'd get that nice result. Looks like the body is built first including the top added on. Then, if the maple under the fretboard but over the body is an integral piece of the neck, I'd flip it, route it down to 1/4" or so and then butt the neck over the body, clamp and glue. From there, the shaping would give you that nice, neck access.

    You can see how the glued in that wenge(?) veneer at the end of the butt join, which is a nice transitional touch and makes a clean glue line.

    Cool stuff, too bad I've never been able to get past the Edsel-equivalent body designs...

    :D
     
  3. modulusan

    modulusan

    Sep 8, 2006
    Its a dovetail joint. I think they make the body first and then glue the neck...
    I figure how make it but i dont know how thick is the maple neck in that area...
     
  4. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Banned

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    This actually an easy joint to make, the guy I work with used to use it. I'm not sure it would work as nice with a single cut though. It could be done but I think a typical set-neck joint would be best. Either way, good luck and post pics. To answer your question I can't say for Fodera but when my friend made them, say the neck black is .75" thick. Choose the amount you need when added to the fretboard works with the bridge height you are using. For the back of the neck where the heel is, take about .125" off the back of the neck for the dovetail area. This will leave plenty of glue joint are for the neck to butt up against the body. Then cut the slot to the appropriate depth. This joint isn't actually a true dovetail. You can make the slot and the carving of the neck square as opposed to the angle of a typical dovetail. I think that is how Fodera does it.
     
  5. modulusan

    modulusan

    Sep 8, 2006
    Thanks for the help.
    I dont understand the .125" Sorry
    I know your point about singlecut/dovetail but I think could work fine...
    See this one...that is how i want make it...
    I ll post more pics when start it...thanks
    esh_back.
     
  6. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Okay, I found a google archive of a pic that used to be part of the original "factory build diary" on the Fodera website. It clearly showed a dovetail recess cut into the body that was probably 1.5 to 2" wide at the top, probably a little wider at the bottom of the dovetail.

    I fired off this high quality Word diagram of what the neck looked like. The shelf along the bottom that is shaved off lower than the bottom of the neck blank is probably what Blue Blood meant by removing the 0.125", but I'd probably go closer to 3/16 meself.

    I don't see why this would not work with a singlecut, wouldn't really make a difference in how its prepared or mounted.

    Hope this helps somewhat... :)

    71388m.
     
  7. modulusan

    modulusan

    Sep 8, 2006
    Yes that help...my cuestion is if i can make the dovetail hole rectangular with tight fit...or just i need make that triangle figure that you show me
    ..:eyebrow:
     
  8. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Yes, you could do it without the angled sides, but then it becomes a capped bridle joint, which is a different kind of mortise/tenon. At least I think that would be a bridle joint - someone correct me. They're all good... :)
     
  9. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Banned

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    I don't think Fodera does their joint the way the diagram suggests. I believe it's more like the capped bridle joint as Beej calls it. I think it could work fine for a single cut but not as well though the pic above certainly may prove me wrong. That looks pretty good.

    Modulusan, .125" is an 1/8". You would want to remove about an 1/8" of material from the thickness of the neck heel so there is a bit of the heel to butt up against the body.
     
  10. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Rethinking the singlecut thing, it would work fairly easily on a singlecut with no neck angle, but if you have some angle in there, then it would be a pain...
     
  11. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Banned

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    I considered the neck angle as well, but fodera doesn't use one on their joint so there would be no need on a SC bass. Looking at the pic above, I think this joint would work just fine. I definitely would not angle the sides for a sliding dovetail joint. It would certainly be a more solid joint but overkill in my opinion.a flat sided rectangle slot will be plenty strong as it offers a lot of glue joint and is much simpler to make.
     
  12. modulusan

    modulusan

    Sep 8, 2006
    So i need cut 3mm from the thickness of the neck heel? And then i need do the slot with the same thickness isnt?
    Thanks for clarify..
     
  13. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Massachusetts
    I've never done this joint myself and have not seen a Fodera joint prior to assembly, but I would personally go with the capped bridle.

    Mainly because it would allow the joint to be clamped primarily from front to back rather than from one end of the bass to the other.

    There's too much chance for deviation and deflection if the main clamping axis is along the entire length of the instrument.

    If the joint is primarily being clamped from front to back, you only need enough end-to-end clamping pressure to snug up the shoulders of the joint components. And that snugging pressure is only needed while the joint is initially being assembled.
     

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