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Unread 10-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Neck angle

I recently came across a plan for the Les Paul, but the neck angle is different from what I've read on this forum. I want to start making templates soon, but want accurate plans.
The ones I have were drawn by Benjamin Stouffs in 2005. Has anyone here built a guitar based on these plans?

Thanks.



After a more thorough search, I found my answer. Mods please delete this thread.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 08:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

Ummm...

It all depends on the year and model....

Currently most LP's are set at 5 degrees

early 52's had around a 1 degree neck angle because of the funky trapeze tailpiece with the strings wrapped UNDER the tailpiece.. (and Les bitched to Gibson about this....)

in early 53 the went to a 3 degree angle so that the strings on the bar could be wrapped over the top of the (then) new stop bar tail

by 1954 the neck angle had increased to 4 degrees as it was found that 3 was just not quite enough angle for the wraparound stop tail...

Some of the other guys will be able to give you exact neck angles for the year and model of gutiar you want to replicate...

MY rule of thumb is..

Wraparound stop tail.. 3.5 degrees (depending on bridge.. most are about .5" thick)

TOM ...... 4.5 degrees (about .65" thick) (i just don't like a full five degrees.. sets the bridge too high off the body...)
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Last edited by H.E.L.Shane; 10-12-2011 at 09:06 PM.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

great info Shane, thanks.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

I actually made an excel based neck angle caclulator for Neck through guitars....

it uses a "body join" fret number to calculate the angle, but on a Paul.. you pick fret 24 becasue the end of the board is where the neck angle begins relative to the face of the guitar..

(on a neck-thru, you start the neck angle where the body meets the neck and then add a wedge shaped shim under the fretboard over the body)

if you plug in a .75" bridge height, .25 inch board. .05 frets, and .068 string action and fret 24 as the break point.. you get about 4.2 degrees!

if you plug the same numbers in and use fret 16 as the break point.... you get a 2.5 degree angle (but.. then you have to add a shim across the body top from fret 16 to the end of the board... )

I have built neckthrough, flat topped Jr's that way.. with a 2.5 degree neck angle and a shim under the fretboard over the body.. but.. carved top guitars dont lend themselves to that construction technique very well as the fretboard seems to stand very proud of the body because of the shim.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

Good info there, Shayne.

Now, riddle me this..

In the past within these pages, on occasion, I've run across an SG build, LP junior build, etc, where the builder specified a 2.2 angle, and other builds were near that. All of those have flat tops.

So, why does a 3.3 (or therabouts, YMMV) work out so well with the wrap-tail so close to the body? The more neck angle, the more one raises the bridge or wrap-tail up in order to clear the frets, yes?

How can someone get away with a 2.2 neck angle on a flat-top guitar with a 1/2" bridge/wrap-tail?

Is there a rule-of-thumb for this?
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

wellllllllll...

by my trusty calculator..

with a bridge height of .5" you need a neck angle of (minimum) 1.84 degrees... 2.2 gives more room for error... I use 3 to 3.5 because i like my neck to "lay back" a bit more

fretboard thickness and fret height make a BIG difference....... if you your fretboard is .22 instead of .25 and your frets are .04 instead of .05 like in my above calculatiuons.. the MIMUNUM angle goes from 1.84 to 2.5

There are other factors as well.. like choice of pickups.. If you are using a "dog ear p-90" for example.. you need to make sure you are going to clear the pickup as you can't recess it into the body (well.. you can.. but whats the point.. just use a soapbar)

also construction techniques vary.. the neck to body join of an SG or a LP double cut can be handled a bit differently than a LP where the body meets the neck at the 16th
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

What about the 4.1 degrees? I see that a lot on builds.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

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What about the 4.1 degrees? I see that a lot on builds.
As i mentioned above.. thats vintage correct and will fit a TOM no problem as long as your measuremnts are spot on and you use a .25" board and meaty frets

personally... thats cutting it a bit close for my tastes.. LOL you get something a little off or a bit thin and........


Also.. you gotta remember.. back in the 50's.. they' were't using CNC machines to build these guitars.. and the whole idea of a solidbody guitar was "new".. so there was a lot of mucking about with getting it right... There was also a lot more "hand work" in the building process, and, "hand work" leads to variances...

And in my mind.. thats why classic instruments just have that "mojo" that they do..
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Unread 10-13-2011, 12:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

Quote:
Originally Posted by H.E.L.Shane View Post
wellllllllll...

by my trusty calculator..

with a bridge height of .5" you need a neck angle of (minimum) 1.84 degrees... 2.2 gives more room for error... I use 3 to 3.5 because i like my neck to "lay back" a bit more

fretboard thickness and fret height make a BIG difference....... if you your fretboard is .22 instead of .25 and your frets are .04 instead of .05 like in my above calculatiuons.. the MIMUNUM angle goes from 1.84 to 2.5

There are other factors as well.. like choice of pickups.. If you are using a "dog ear p-90" for example.. you need to make sure you are going to clear the pickup as you can't recess it into the body (well.. you can.. but whats the point.. just use a soapbar)

also construction techniques vary.. the neck to body join of an SG or a LP double cut can be handled a bit differently than a LP where the body meets the neck at the 16th
Excellent info, as usual.

I really got to wondering for a while. I found long ago by experimenting with my own builds that 3.3 was the best compromise for me when using a wrap-tail and fret boards a tad on the thick side. It sort of blew my mind that some guys were able to get everything right with such a shallow neck angle of 2.2 or so degrees. Now I know why and how that's done.
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Unread 10-13-2011, 12:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

I suspect they also had action higher than we use these days, I mean black diamond strings (and I remember them well in the early 60's, a red package with a big black diamond on the front) were what a lot of people could get then besides probably Gibson's own brand? I don't recall cause we could only afford the cheaper BD strings I mentioned heh. I remember a older Gent telling me (one of the guitar players I think with Lawrence Welk) that if you wanted lighter strings you used banjo strings and some of them were experimenting with them back then. Way before Ernie Ball and the others came out with different gauges. Back then you got like round or flats and fairly thick gauges at that. Just a theory of course, but it seems logical.

Regards,

Don
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Unread 10-13-2011, 04:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

Quote:
Originally Posted by H.E.L.Shane View Post
Ummm...

It all depends on the year and model....

Currently most LP's are set at 5 degrees

early 52's had around a 1 degree neck angle because of the funky trapeze tailpiece with the strings wrapped UNDER the tailpiece.. (and Les bitched to Gibson about this....)

in early 53 the went to a 3 degree angle so that the strings on the bar could be wrapped over the top of the (then) new stop bar tail

by 1954 the neck angle had increased to 4 degrees as it was found that 3 was just not quite enough angle for the wraparound stop tail...

Some of the other guys will be able to give you exact neck angles for the year and model of gutiar you want to replicate...

MY rule of thumb is..

Wraparound stop tail.. 3.5 degrees (depending on bridge.. most are about .5" thick)

TOM ...... 4.5 degrees (about .65" thick) (i just don't like a full five degrees.. sets the bridge too high off the body...)
Wow!!

I didn't think this thread would go anywhere. Thank you for this info on neck angles. I may just stick to the plan I have and use the wrap around stop tail. I kinda like the cleaner (Jeff Beck ) look anyway.


Thank you, Than you, Thank you, Thank you Thank you!!!
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Unread 10-22-2011, 09:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Neck angle

Quote:
Originally Posted by H.E.L.Shane View Post
I actually made an excel based neck angle caclulator for Neck through guitars....

it uses a "body join" fret number to calculate the angle, but on a Paul.. you pick fret 24 becasue the end of the board is where the neck angle begins relative to the face of the guitar..

(on a neck-thru, you start the neck angle where the body meets the neck and then add a wedge shaped shim under the fretboard over the body)

if you plug in a .75" bridge height, .25 inch board. .05 frets, and .068 string action and fret 24 as the break point.. you get about 4.2 degrees!

if you plug the same numbers in and use fret 16 as the break point.... you get a 2.5 degree angle (but.. then you have to add a shim across the body top from fret 16 to the end of the board...............................
OMG


Ya lost me dude..
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