Carved top with no neck angle

ikon_1497

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
118
Reaction score
29
Hi everybody

I'm thinking of building a new les paul type guitar but there is one thing that bothers me and I need some help.

I don't really like the neck angle on carved top guitars. I want the guitar to be as straight as possible. Is it possible to have a carved top with no (or minimal) angle?

I saw this guitar and I'm trying to understand how they did that. I don't know if it's totally straight but I generally like what I see.

01.jpg


02.jpg


03.jpg


04.jpg


05.jpg


Maybe if the carving is really subtle and the bridge is all the way down and maybe the neck is a bit raised.... I don't know, What do you think?


Thanks!

P.S. Please ignore the tattoos, it's not what it seems.
 

BPW666

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
403
Reaction score
306
Looks like a bolt on neck with the fingerboard sitting quite proud from the face of the guitar. Then the bridge is very low, possibly even recessed and the stopbar is mounted tight up behind it too give enough break angle.

There are a number of variables in the whole neck angle bridge height triangle, one is height of fretboard from body join point (edit), along with neck body join point, bridge height and neck angle, have i missed any?
 
Last edited:

BPW666

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
403
Reaction score
306
I've played around a bit with 0 neck angle guitars and giving them a carved top feel. I've got a half finished telly/lp lovechild where its worked nicely, mainly i think because the bolt on neck makes it easy. I'm working on another design with a through neck were it's much harder.
 

ikon_1497

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
118
Reaction score
29
You're right, this is a bot on neck but I prefer the harder way as you said, meaning the set neck.
So it is possible but it needs a lot of good planning I guess...
Thanks!!!
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
14,085
Reaction score
10,130
A lot of time with a glue in you have a keyed tenon as you don't want a messy look in the cutaway. So the fretboard sits on the guitar top. In those cases you need a neck angle as you have to clear the bridge.
The bolt on looks less sophisticated in these cases, as is not so seamless looking.

The Les Paul Jr or special uses a full fretboard sized tenon, which means you can easily sit the fretboard as high as needed to clear the bridge irrespective of what the carve is doing.
But this too can look clunky, and the heel at the body join is huge as you have to sit the neck high to clear the bridge.
You can see what I mean with this tele:
20200405_201559.jpg


Even having taken out 1/2" of body depth behind the heel area, it's still more thick than a Les Paul.
20200405_202000.jpg
 

ikon_1497

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
118
Reaction score
29
A lot of time with a glue in you have a keyed tenon as you don't want a messy look in the cutaway. So the fretboard sits on the guitar top. In those cases you need a neck angle as you have to clear the bridge.
The bolt on looks less sophisticated in these cases, as is not so seamless looking.

The Les Paul Jr or special uses a full fretboard sized tenon, which means you can easily sit the fretboard as high as needed to clear the bridge irrespective of what the carve is doing.
But this too can look clunky, and the heel at the body join is huge as you have to sit the neck high to clear the bridge.
You can see what I mean with this tele:
View attachment 452455

Even having taken out 1/2" of body depth behind the heel area, it's still more thick than a Les Paul.
View attachment 452456
Yes I suppose a full fretboard size tenon is necessary. This tele has a massive top carving though which makes things really difficult (and strange looking). A more subtle carving wouldn't solve many problems?
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
14,085
Reaction score
10,130
Some yes. You have to pick your wood carefully. The typical 15mm LP top is easy to find, but will end up quite similar to mine......as that is about what my top was.
Then if you go to droptop dimensions of 6mm then you really don't have a carve.
 

Robert Parker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
744
Reaction score
354
When I did my Les-PRS (as the name implies, it's mostly a LP with some PRS influences), last year I did a flat top and contoured the edges. It looks closer to bring a carved top but it's still flat in the middle. That allowed me a 2.5° n3ck angle - way less than the 4.4° of a typical LP. I think I could have gotten away with a 2° or less, possibly, but I wanted to ensure adequate adjustment space for the bridge. If I had recessed the bridge - even 1/16" - that would also have made for a flatter angle. I did do a full-width "tenon" and a heel cap on the transition point. It makes for a very smooth, very comfortable transition up to the higher frets.

Here's a link to the build thread, if it helps.

 

pshupe

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
3,760
Anything is possible. I can easily design a set neck guitar with a 0 degree neck angle with a huge carved top and even have a neck body join that would allow access to all the upper frets.

Has it been done before? Absolutely. Do most production guitars do it that way? I do not think so. All you really have to do is take a look at all the different makes and models of guitars and you will see all types of designs. I think we are conditioned to like the set neck with a tenon and carved top because that's what we see / like. Doesn't mean it's the only way, but there are certain things that may be more difficult than others which influence the design.

Cheers Peter.
 

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
38,780
Reaction score
127,677
The height of a fret board is less than 1/4 inch, not counting the frets. The height of a TOM style bridge with saddles, by itself is over a half inch. So I reckon you would need to "dish" the bridge stud holes much like PRS. Does to their volume and tone controls.
 

DoneOne

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
598
Reaction score
458
There are a number of variables in the whole neck angle bridge height triangle, one is height of fretboard from body join point (edit), along with neck body join point, bridge height and neck angle, have i missed any?
I'd look at it as how high the end of the board is as the pivot point (or lack thereof in this 0 angle example)

have you seen Fender Aerodyne models? Radiusing the body and then taking your carve from there would lessen that chunky look of the neck sitting so high. The carve would shallow in the cutaway as it approaches the neck.
 

pshupe

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
3,760
Here is the fundamental issue - If you go with a flat neck angle you would have to raise the neck up to get the desired bridge height. You have to decide how you want to address that issue.



Cheers Peter.

PS - what's up with the image sizes on attached files???? The images I upload directly do not come out the size of the size of the image?? Man is this frustrating. I had to upload it to an image upload site.
 
Last edited:

ikon_1497

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
118
Reaction score
29
Here is the fundamental issue - If you go with a flat neck angle you would have to raise the neck up to get the desired bridge height. You have to decide how you want to address that issue.



Cheers Peter.

PS - what's up with the image sizes on attached files???? The images I upload directly do not come out the size of the size of the image?? Man is this frustrating. I had to upload it to an image upload site.
What you say makes sense but how this guitars looks so "smooth" at the joint etc, the only difference I see (from a regular guitar) is this:
08.jpg


compared to this:
20200405_201559.jpg


Is it because the first is a bolt-on?
 

efstop

Premium Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
8,288
Reaction score
21,224
Why not a short plate Tele/Strat bridge with the plate recessed into the top? Put a low profile tail piece behind it to resemble the LP set up, or use string through. The rest of the body could have the usual carve/depth, but still a straight angle on the neck. Because you're building from scratch, you don't have the headache of adapting a set neck.

I have never built a guitar, by the way.
 

pshupe

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
3,760
What you say makes sense but how this guitars looks so "smooth" at the joint etc, the only difference I see (from a regular guitar) is this:
View attachment 452520

compared to this:
View attachment 452522

Is it because the first is a bolt-on?

It has nothing to do with a bolt on. The fret access and non-tenon style is what makes that possible with a bolt on. Are you sure that has no neck angle? I can create a slight neck angle - 1 1/2" degrees and have a flat pup plane and get almost the same thing.



I'm showing a tenon style here, which would have to be more like a junior or adjust the carve slightly or put shims under the fret board like some other styles use.


Cheers Peter.
 

ikon_1497

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
118
Reaction score
29
It has nothing to do with a bolt on. The fret access and non-tenon style is what makes that possible with a bolt on. Are you sure that has no neck angle? I can create a slight neck angle - 1 1/2" degrees and have a flat pup plane and get almost the same thing.



I'm showing a tenon style here, which would have to be more like a junior or adjust the carve slightly or put shims under the fret board like some other styles use.


Cheers Peter.
No I'm not sure whether it has an angle or not.
I don't mind a slight angle, the last design you posted seems PERFECT! That's what I had in mind!

P.S. I'm just trying to imagine how the joint area will look like because I don't like this effect very much:
20200405_201559.jpg
 

pshupe

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
3,760
No I'm not sure whether it has an angle or not.
I don't mind a slight angle, the last design you posted seems PERFECT! That's what I had in mind!

P.S. I'm just trying to imagine how the joint area will look like because I don't like this effect very much:
View attachment 452548

You could do an unbound neck and have a mahogany wedge underneath the fret board on top of the body. You could also do a join like a JR. There are lots of options but none look exactly like an LP Standard.

Regards Peter.
 

pshupe

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
3,760
GIBSON L5-S.

There you go! This would be an interesting build. I would also make it quite a bit thinner than a standard LP, which it looks like it is??? Rickenbacker and Gretsch do similar designs with a flat neck angle. I generally do not like the pups and bridge up that high but that could be remedied.

Cheers Peter.
 


Latest Threads



Top