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Joinery question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by emor, Jul 14, 2004.


  1. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    I am starting to mull over some ideas for my first bass building project.

    I am wondering if anyone uses a sliding dovetail in a set neck application. I have used it in furniture building and it is an incredibly strong joint. (I suppose one could use it in a bolt on application, as well; although the cheeks of the dovetail would have to be shaved if the neck ever had to be shimmed.)

    Thoughts?
     
  2. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    The neck blank would start off looking something like this:
     
  3. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Alot of acoustic guitars use a dovetail neck joint, but I think the orientation you've chosen is coming from a different angle. They slide down from the top,, as opposed to sliding it in.
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I think Fodera uses a dovetail for set necks.
     
  5. thepontif

    thepontif

    Apr 24, 2004
    Designer Fodera Guitars/Michael Pope Design, Inc., Trickfish Amplification
    I'm not sure that "strength" is so much the issue. A bolt on joint is obviously plenty strong. I think it's probably more an issue of the joint's ability to transfer vibration from one piece of wood to the other. Not that your idea isn't good...I just don't think you should be thinking in terms of strength as a major decision criteria. Lateral strength might be an issue, but I don't think the joint pictured above would be any better than a standard dove tail joint in that dimension. Just a minute's worth of thoughts to ponder....
     
  6. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    There are many builders who do a set neck joint as pretty much a simple bolt on type joint, only it is glued in. The main consideration with a set neck joint is to get the joint as tight as possible for two reasons.

    1 - best possible transfer of vibrations between the neck and body. Glue has no resonant frequency and a thick glue joint will deaden vibrations

    2 - "Titebond" type glues require the tightest, thinnest glue line for the most strength.

    Therefore, regardless of the type of joint used for a set neck (set straight in, or horizontal or vertical dovetail, etc.), the joint needs to be as tight as possible.

    :^)~
     
  7. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    Thanks for the responses.


    I think Fodera uses a dovetail for set necks.

    Could any Fodera owners confirm this? A detail photo would be appreciated.
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
  9. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    Thanks for the links. Unfortunately, most of the pics didn't come up, but I can continue the search.

    From the first link:

    Sounds to me like a challenge! :D
    (but then, that's the idea) :cool:
     
  10. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    Steve Klein has done that joint on acoustic guitars. Works fine. I like simpler solutions; they always seem to work better.
     
  11. M_A_T_T

    M_A_T_T

    Mar 4, 2004
    Canada
    I did that on the first bass I made, no pics of the joint though. I actually DIDN'T glue it at all, I wanted the neck to be removable, but have no bolts. I made the length of the dovetail quite long, however that made the heel quite long as well. Compare in these two photos, the first is the glue-less dovetail, the second is a bolt on:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The owner of the bass says she loves the sound, so I guess it works fine without glue, though I don't think I would do another like that.
     
  12. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    Nice! How about some frontal shots?


    though I don't think I would do another like that.

    How come? (aesthetic? structural/tonal? labor-intensive?)
     
  13. M_A_T_T

    M_A_T_T

    Mar 4, 2004
    Canada
    Thanks, you can see more at my website, which is linked if you just click on my user name.

    "How come? (aesthetic? structural/tonal? labor-intensive?)"

    The LOOOOOOOOOONG heel is one reason. If I did another, I would glue it, probably shorten it too, but I really like doing bolt-ons.
     
  14. Lex, I'm with you on the bolt-ons. I think there is MUCH yet to be discovered both tonally and design wise with this type of instrument.

    Concerning the first bass with the long heel - could that be somewhat reduced by taking a more "set-neck" approach and setting more neck material further back into the body? Say to the first pickup route (if any)? I've been considering something like this and to see that you've done it already is interesting. I like the look, and the simplicity of the idea appeals to me like Lee Remick in chiffon.
     
  15. M_A_T_T

    M_A_T_T

    Mar 4, 2004
    Canada
    I was contemplating setting the neck in further on another bolt-on actually, to make the small heel almost non existant, like have the body outline from the bass horn pretty much flow to the treble horn.