Tenon angle question...

AndrewLP1081996

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I'm building a les Paul jr based off of tom Bartletts 54 jr plans. I'm trying to find out the angle for the neck tenon and the clearance needed at the bridge location if that makes sense. I have a wilkinson gtb wraparound bridge. Has anyone used this bridge or knows what I should do? This is my first build so this is a bit confusing for me.

Thanks in advance, Andrew
 

ARandall

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With a typical LP build, the fretboard 'line' hits the top of the bridge body section with the abr studs flush with the top of the bridge body too (15mm above body). I'd extend this type of scenario to a Jr....you have to make sure that the tailpiece at the lowest point isn't too high to get good action.
 

Jmorris

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The neck angle on a jr is 1.5 to 2 degrees. I find it easier to angle the neck pocket vs the neck tenon.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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i'd like to jump in the fray with another question. looking at the plans, it seems as tho the neck pocket is cut with an angled sides the same as the neck as well as exactly the same width of the neck. while i understand it wouldn't be technically correct, anything wrong with cutting a tenon on the neck like an lp, leaving it a bit short of the end of the fretboard, and that way it would be a lot easier for him to pull off a good fit, as the tenon and pocket would be parallel, and the fretboard would cover the seam. I am also wondering about why the plans show such a big gap between the end of the neck and the body? even though this is covered by the pickguard, what is it's purpose? surely a neck wouldn't expand in length that much, could it?

it just seems to me for a first time build it would be easier to pull it off with these modifications.

thanks.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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so, JM. we're talking 1/2" at the bridge location from top of the fret plane would work with the bridge he is going to use?
 

fatdaddypreacher

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well, that's the only thing i have heard, but leaving a 1/4" sure seems like a lot of glue
 

Jmorris

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so, JM. we're talking 1/2" at the bridge location from top of the fret plane would work with the bridge he is going to use?
Honestly I don't know enough about his bridge to say one way or the other. I used a TOM bridge on my build and my neck angle is roughly 1.8 degrees I think. And that's with the bridge almost at its lowest posistion. I used an angle finder, but I also did the straight edge from the body to the top of the bridge to kind of get an idea.
 

Jmorris

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And I might add that I used a fretboard I made myself which was a bit thicker than a typical fretboard you might get at stewmac.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Here's some specs for the bridge is that helps.

I know you can adjust it a little for intonation at the g and b string positions here's a picture.

It seems that you can adjust the level of the studs they screw out like so
 

fatdaddypreacher

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the plans call for 12.75mm from the top of the body to the fret plane. according to specs on your bridge, that is the exact same figure. the way i see it, is 12.75 clearance won't be enough as we still have to allow for the thickness of the bottom seat on the stud where the bridge rests. looks like we're back to a figure of apx 15mm like on a paul.

am i interpreting this right?
 

Jmorris

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This is what I did. I placed my bridge in its lowest possible MOUNTED setting. I then took a small piece of fretboard cutoff from my finished fretboard and placed it on top of the body exactly where the neck joins the body. I put my angle finder on the straight edge and that reading was my starting point. I routed my neck pocket to where the fretboard just barely kisses the top of the body at the 16th fret. My neck angle was approx 1.8 degrees (with a cheapo angle finder). I've since purchased a digital angle finder, but the cheapo worked out ok. I'm in no way saying this is the way to do it. But I did that based off of suggestions here on the forum and it did the trick for me.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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sounds like a great approach, but i don't have the bridge. i'm just trying to help andrew approach this.
 

Ole'Lefty

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OK fellers; this is where I go into stubborn old fart who writes too much. When this more frequently comes up in LP builds, I preach that the "angle" is not the key. It is the end product on a straight--line measurement of linear distance. So, as has been suggested (surely, definitely and ONLY ) that they followed my instructions. [think hyperbole] Temporarily slide the neck home- this would be a completed, fretted neck except for headstock stuff. Then lay a straightedge on the frets essentially down center of neck to bridge position. Put the bridge where it is supposed to be--you "fake" the collar height of the inserts and a bit more which represents a reasonable amount of height adjustment the studs will use. If the straightedge (SE) is very close to resting on the "saddle area" then you are in the ballpark and, as luck would have it, this is usually a number that nicely will also convert to an angle---- 1.5* to 2* on most flat-slab guitars. This method and derived angle is typical on acoustics measured the same way. It is not so critically precise that you must worry about "string over first fret" gap. But, you don't need to care about the angle. It is that float above the string contact points on the bridge, in linear measurement that matters. It is a vertical. The tenon gap is there for glue squeeze out and for "just because it used to always be there."

On LP's it is usually dealing with the 5/8" crown [injecting more variation in carve form] of the maple and the same bridge considerations and usually the resulting angle is 4-4.5 degrees

So for you, have a mostly completed neck and decide upon one number for the float height of the flat top, insert and measure. In truth, even the "used to be free" local hardware store yardstick is a sufficient straight edge. Many here like a bit more consistency and use a quality metal SE.

On a Junior or LP I would sure study the method offered by "ltdave32"-he did not invent the method but it is good and he has passed it along to us.Thank yous to him.

I apologize for being so repetitive. It works reliably. This is a weekly topic- I should learn to copy and paste. Even more fun would be an auto- hack that sets off sirens whenever "how to" & "neck angle" are within 3-6 words of each other and a standard answer would just appear.:)
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Edit* thank you for your help I've seen the method your talking about. Thanks again.
 

Ole'Lefty

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First- I was not criticizing you for asking. And, no, hardware should be installed in the last stages- the bridge and or bridge and tailpiece inserts are usually in before finish. Use some pennies to support the bridge at the height it will be and still be adjustable. Make sure it sits within the intonation range. I think there is a good thread up right now on locating a wraparound. It incorporates ltdave's info he shares. It may be in "custom."
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Thank you ole lefty I'm having A forum meme we help me with my neck and we are trying to find a good way to go about it. I will use your method you suggested when I get the neck finished. Thanks again I really appreciate your advice.
 


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