Les Paul build help

DanM

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I’m building a Les Paul guitar and have an issue with the neck angle. Having planed the angle which is about 4 degrees I’m some way above the binding where the neck slot will be cut, about 6mm. The height of the maple above the binding is 1/2 inch.

Tried to add a photo from iPhone but get to large for server error.

Any advice?
 

DanM

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Added photo
 

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pshupe

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The 4 degree neck plane starts about 3/16" above the underside of the maple. The neck plane stops at the end of the fret board and you route your pickup plane starting from the end of the fret board at about 1 1/2 degrees. Basically just to take out the hump that would be left after routing the neck plane. The pickup plane should end just before the bridge location.
neck plane.JPG


Generally the binding is put on after the top is carved.

Cheers Peter.
 

DanM

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Thanks for your help so it looks like I need to keep the same angle but just lower it. My dimensions are pretty muck exact to your diagram.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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and i believe most builders carve the top (leaving 3/16 all the way around, except of course where it crawls up in the horn area, then plane the neck angle, being sure it is 3/16 above the body/cap joint as peter pointed out and showed on diagram, plane the pickup angle, then route for binding. i'm sure there are more ways to skin a cat, so to speak, but this seems to be the preferred approach. you can still regroup and do that. i like to step carve my top first, as the whole top is flat for better securing the routing templates. i secure them with screws that fall in the pickup routes.
 

DanM

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Thanks for all your help I think I’m there.
 

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fatdaddypreacher

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close....but typically, the top is brought down to 3/16 all the way around with the carving process, then a 1/4" route is made for the binding set for appropriate binding thickness. that way the seam where the maple meets the back wood is covered by apx 1/16". you can leave it like that, but you will have some of the side of the top showing underneath the fretboard, and it should be flush. this may affect your bridge height also. double check yourself before you go past the point of no return....you're doing fine, young grasshopper
 

DanM

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If I place the fretboard and measure the height of the fretboard plane to the bridge position it’s about 16mm. I’m using an ABM Nashville style bridge which is about 15mm. So assume there would be 1.5mm (fret height) + 2mm action giving around 4.5mm clearance. Is that a correct calc? Therefore I have some scope to lower the neck angle to the binding? That’s about 1mm left to go.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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look at the drawing peter posted. pay attention to the flat plane of the fretboard where it intersects the bridgelocation. you can best chek that with the neck in place, but i see you haven't gone that far yet, but ultimately, the most important thing is not actual degree of neck angle, so much as it is being sure you have proper allowance for bridge installation. neck angles could change with different bridge applications. his drawing also is allowing for a 5/8 maple cap at the bridge location. a change in that could mandate a change in neck angle.
 

DanM

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Thanks I’ve being learning a lot from this build. At a little under 4 degrees when checking the bridge the angle was a little low at around 13mm and then realised there was a stud height to add into the equation. So I’ve gone a little further and increased the angle so now have 17 mm at the bridge. The neck angle is closer to 5 degrees. So I have a couple of mm clearance at the bridge after string height and fret height est (3mm).

I may try to reduce the neck angle a little but small changes make a lot of difference and by hand it’s tricky to not stray to far so may just leave at this point.
 

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fatdaddypreacher

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major rule to remember in any woodworking.....it's easier to remove wood than to add it back. ease into it.
 

valvetoneman

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17mm is way too high imo, I aim for around 13 to 14mm with a finished radiused board with no frets, I don't want a bridge that sticks right up or you'll end up with the strings hitting the back of the bridge with a tailpiece decked or raise the tailpiece which I don't like the look of.

Get your top fully carved then leave around 5mm around the whole top for the binding.
 

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