Struggling with SG-style set neck

dcomiskey

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By far, the biggest thing I’ve struggled with building have been my 3 or 4 Gibson-style axes and these damn neck tenon joints. It’s such an issue for me that each of these builds are taking me years because I get so frustrated and shelve them for months and go back to my bolt-on builds.
So, I’ve been working on this SG for a friend for a LONG time and I’d really like to finish it this year. The joint is a bit hacked up, as you can see. But do you see a way of making this look better, or do I glue her up, let the glue and then clear coat fill the gaps and move on? The neck is nice and tight, but still fits sloppy. I made this before I crafted a poorly-made tenon jig a few months ago for an Explorer build (which slightly shifted and the joint is still not perfect).
Anyway, open to suggestions. Thanks!

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truckermde

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I'm interested to hear the experienced guys pipe in here.

That's gonna be a nice SG, by the look of it! I'd love to see your completed pics when you wrap it up.
 

dcomiskey

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I'm interested to hear the experienced guys pipe in here.

That's gonna be a nice SG, by the look of it! I'd love to see your completed pics when you wrap it up.
thank you! It’s definitely unique, as the body is half black limba, half flamed maple, with the neck being limba as well. I just ordered some wood bleach for the top, thanks to Skyjerk’s recent post. It’s going to get a blue stain on the maple. Chrome covered Saturday Night Specials, striped Macassar board with abalone dots. All chrome hardware. This turned out to be THE most difficult build, as creating the bevels was a farkin’ nightmare until I bought high quality scrapers. Not sure I’d build another SG, to be honest.
 

ARandall

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Why is there a step in there??

I mean if you want to make it nigh on impossible to get it right, then a stepped joint is pretty much the best way to do it.

I would be going to removing the step fullstop. So whether its shaving the neck thickness down to remove it, or cutting the two mating parts....whatever is easiest so that its only the sides of the body to the full depth of the mortice/tenon rout which you are trying to mate together.
 

cmjohnson

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I realize my solution isn't one everybody can duplicate, but I have a full sized knee mill and I'd clean up all those cuts on the mill and make every cut dead on perpendicular and flat to the others. Otherwise you can attack it, slowly and carefully, with a really good and properly sharpened wood chisel and lots of patience.
 

pshupe

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I am also wondering what the step is all about? The SG neck joint is probably one of the easier joints but the final step, for me, in fitting a neck is always the same. Get close anyway you can, chisels or a router jig or just cut by hand. Fit the neck and take a small strip of sandpaper and slide it in the joint with the grit towards the neck side. Fit as tight as you can and pull the sandpaper out. This will match the contour of the body and make can make your neck joint perfect with a little patience.

Here is what I did with my Futura build -
IMG_6639.JPG


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This particular guitar had 4 mating surfaces, which makes it a little more difficult to have them all aligned but the sandpaper trick works great. The reason I asked about the step is, obviously, that it will make it challenging to mate those extra 3 surfaces and get a perfect joint. It's also not a typical detail in that neck joint.

Cheers Peter.
 

dcomiskey

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I think the only reason it’s there is because the plans I downloaded a long time ago has that Step. There seem to be about a dozen different ways the SG joint has been done over time. But, I’ll take a look at it again tonight. No reason that can’t be removed.
 

Roxy13

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This is a stupid question but related. Is it better to push the neck into the body from the top or to try to slide it into the pocket from the end?
 

ARandall

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I think the only reason it’s there is because the plans I downloaded a long time ago has that Step. There seem to be about a dozen different ways the SG joint has been done over time. But, I’ll take a look at it again tonight. No reason that can’t be removed.
I've never seen any SG or any plan that has a step in that way.
Certainly a lip all the way around (sides and bottom) was a fairly common practice.....and many SG plans follow this method.
It would be interesting to see these plans.
 

Freddy G

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This is a stupid question but related. Is it better to push the neck into the body from the top or to try to slide it into the pocket from the end?
The mortise/tenon is square and parallel, so either way is fine. But for final fit, if the cheeks of the tenon have any angle you'd have to push the neck in from the end to mate.
 

dcomiskey

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It’s possible I misinterpreted the plans. I’m attaching the side view here. Coincidentally, I just came across a Gbase listing for ‘63 Special...and it has a lip:

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WhiteEpiLP

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That drawing is not how that guitar is built. That Sg's little shelf on the heel is part of the body not the neck. Notice the grain pattern from the body continues into that shelf, the typical sg neck tenon is flat on the bottom just like the les pauls.
 

ARandall

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The flying v is the same. There is a little protrusion of the body.....a lip on the bottom as it were.
But even if the neck did feature that lip at the bottom, you have still made it incorrectly as you guessed. The interface would have been a vertical/straight line on the side - not with a zig zag.
 
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pshupe

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yes some have a lip. This should be very close to a 63 Standard.

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Here is a pic of the tenon on the neck and the neck body joint. The tenon is just the shape of the end of the neck and then cut out for the pickup route. Depending on your order of operations you pay just have a solid tapered end and then route after it is glued or like I did here cut it all out before glue up.

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Cheers Peter.
 

cain61

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yes some have a lip. This should be very close to a 63 Standard.

View attachment 491236


View attachment 491233

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View attachment 491231

Here is a pic of the tenon on the neck and the neck body joint. The tenon is just the shape of the end of the neck and then cut out for the pickup route. Depending on your order of operations you pay just have a solid tapered end and then route after it is glued or like I did here cut it all out before glue up.

View attachment 491234

View attachment 491235



Cheers Peter.
Your work is impeccable, man.
 

Roxy13

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If I'm correct, Gibson stopped using that lip in late 1964.
 

pshupe

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If I'm correct, Gibson stopped using that lip in late 1964.
I don't really know that much about when they stopped doing it but I have seen 65s with the lip. I know they sanded them out on some and sanded them into the neck on others. I think I will be scanning a 64 at some point in the near future. The 64s I have seen have the lip.

Cheers Peter.
 


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