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Question before my first build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by stuntbass77, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I would like to build a 30" scale neck thru with the neck having almost no taper from nut to bottom of the neck. Question one would be if this is possible to do if I make the nut width the same as a p bass. I want almost a straight neck. I understand that the back of the neck would need to be a hefty "C" shape. Second question is do I really need support rods at such a short scale?
  2. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I should add that I play finger style only and am tall with wide hands, but short fingers. This is the reason I want such a skinny neck. I play with a very light touch so if I can make it I believe I could play it.
  3. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2002
    wichita, ks
    Considering the fact that 24.75" scale length guitars use truss rods, I would think it necessary for any decent setup.
  4. Your bridge width will be the deciding factor.
  5. Unless your neck is 2 inches thick, and it's always kept at the same temperature and humidity at which your carved/glued said neck...
    You always need a truss rod.

    ... if you want an adjustable neck. But you'll need that if you want to be able to adjust action to the correct height without buzz and without causing you to tear your hair out from 1 inch action. (I, of course, am exagerating a bit.)
    There are guitars without truss rods, but those are classical guitars.

    If you're going for super-tight string spacing at the bridge you may have trouble finding a bridge, too.
  6. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    Sorry I was speaking not of truss rods but graphite or steel supports on the sides of the truss. I will be using a truss rod, if I didn't I shouldn't even consider building a bass......lol.
  7. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I would have a little taper, but would like as little as possible. I have a schaller bridge (roller kind) and am going to play with it to see just how tight and even I can get the strings.
  8. Gone


    Mar 21, 2006
    Cape Town
    Jayda custom basses, builder
    You don't need support other than a truss-rod. Truss-rod is not really support, it's about adjustment. You need adjustment if you want control over the action (but I'm sure you know that) :)
  9. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    My suggestion: Make a mockup first. Stick some scrap wood together and carve it to the dimensions that you think you want. Not functional; no strings; pencil lines for frets, etc. You'll learn a lot from it. It may take several mockups before you figure out what dimensions and shape you really want. Then, invest the time in building the real one.

    And, yes, I agree that you need to have a truss rod for adjusting the relief, but you probably don't need any other internal reinforcements. Only if the neck is going to be less than 0.900" thick at the 12th fret, would I recommend reinforcements.
  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured

    I like narrow spacings at the bridge too. The narrowest bridges I've found are the Kahler 7440, the Schaller 2000, or single-string bridges. I don't think the Schaller roller bridge is going to provide enough adjustability for what you want.
  11. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    does a very slight taper - the strings are nearly parallel - it takes a different approach with the right hand

    watch a Stanley Clark video
  12. jamesCD


    Dec 7, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luthier: Carrigan Designs
    I don't think the Schaller will work for your build.
    I've built a few shortscales with narrow spacing, usually 2 1/4" at the 24th fret and will just make a wooden bridge.

    This might work for you. You could also find a local machine shop that could build you a base plate with the measurements you want and then just add screws and bridge saddles.
    Good luck with the build and hope to see some pictures.
  13. Very nice.
  14. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    Thanks for the helpful responses. Deciding on a bridge will be the hardest part.