C18Q1 Set neck Strat (not set neck!) Complete!

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downbytheriverdownbytheriver Frets: 224
edited January 28 in Making & Modding
I’m trying to scope out a design for my Guitar building course early next year. 

I am a Strat person by inclination (that and archtops, but that isn’t an option!), but I am keen to build a set neck guitar. 

I am thinking Ash body, maple neck, ebony fingerboard. It will have Standard Strat pickups. 

I usually use a blocked trem but I am wondering about using a tune o matic and bigsby. 

Any comments? Any issues anticipated? 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33945
    You will unleash the beast of the apocalypse and the world will fall off its axis.


















    :)

    Apart from making sure you get the neck angle right - it won't be parallel to the body like a Strat since the ABR-1 is taller than a Strat bridge - or alternatively recess the bridge, which may help the tuning stability with the Bigsby as well - then there shouldn't be any issues.

    Other than crowds with pitchforks turning up at gigs, obviously.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    I think its a great idea, something a bit different, sod the naysayers!....
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9146

    I think my 3rd full build was a through neck with  TOM and Bigsby.  I didn't trust myself with an angled neck at that point so I had the neck raised slightly more than normal,  rather than the bridge recessed.


    If I was doing the same now (and purposely avoiding a neck angle) I would raise the neck plane half the required distance, and recess the bridge the other half.  - split the difference so the neck doesn't sit too high and the bridge doesn't sit too low


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  • That could be amazing, especially If you go for a Probett Rocket type of vibe.


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  • I like WezV’s suggestion - I really don’t want to kick the neck back much (if at all) and lose the strat feel. That Probert is a gem but I’m looking to stay a bit closer to the Strat layout. It’s got a kind of Hayman vibe going on. 

    Slight worry that I’m going to miss a learning opportunity in not building an angled neck. 
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  • Sounds like you are about to build a strat that I might actually like...will be keeping an eye on this with interest. Make sure you do a build thread.
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  • downbytheriverdownbytheriver Frets: 224
    edited November 2017
    I’ll do a build thread when it happens! Some time in early next year. 

    I have been been advised not to recess the bridge as this looks like the neck angle was done wrong! I hear where they are coming from but it remains an option!
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9146
    That’s what happens when people get hung up  on “traditional” details.

    It will work just as well recessed as angled, if you like the no neck angle feel.

    there are loads of guitars with recessed bridges, it can look ver smart
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33945
    The only problem with recessing is that it can be hard to adjust the height wheels.

    An alternative would be to use a Fender Jazzmaster/Jaguar/Mustang bridge - this isn't quite as tall as an ABR-1, and it's also designed to move when you use the vibrato so it helps stop tuning problems. Fender factory-fitted Bigsby Teles had them for this reason. It usually needs a thin neck shim on a Fender, but you can build that in without an obvious neck angle or height rise.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Now that is a splendid idea - I shall perform research. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33945
    Actually, having thought about it you may not need any angle at all - you do on a Jazzmaster or Jaguar because the bridge is mounted over the pickguard, and on a Bigsby Tele because it's mounted over the bridgeplate… but on a Strat-style body neither of those will apply and the bridge can be lower. The actual height of the saddles is no greater than Strat or Tele ones so I think it should work with a zero neck angle.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9146

     if there is any doubt, draw out a full size side profile with the known dimensions and the chosen bridge.

    I used to do this for every build as often it then becomes a plan for side profiles and route depths.   I was doing different scales, necks joins and bridges so  standard dimensions often did not apply.  I have not done it for a while, but it was a useful way to learn about neck angle geometry and cross check I had everything correct   There are many ways to skin a cat, and drawing it out can help visualise where to begin


    As ICBM says, height adjustment can be fiddly on a recessed traditional style TOM, but go for one with slotted posts and its no bother at all.

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  • GSPBASSESGSPBASSES Frets: 1210

    I have made several Strats and Teles with a TOM bridge also several with Bigsby tremolo. There are two different angles you can use depending on how you want the guitar to look. The one I use most is 2.5 degrees, that's about the same as in SG and a LPJ. I have the neck set very deep into the body see the photo below. The other angle I use is 1.5 degrees, with this angle , the neck has to be set much higher on the body, at least 2mm more than then you can see in the photo below. I think this is covered in Melvyn Hiscocks book on making guitars with minimal machinery. I believe it shows you how to make different jigs for different angles to use with a hand router. Also how to have flat neck joint in the body but angle the neck heel. That's if my memory serves me correctly as it's got to be over 20 years since I last looked at the book.




    As you can see the neck is set very deep into the body so it requires a 2.5 degree angle, if you raise the neck by about 2 mm you only requiring neck angle of about 1.5 degree angle.


    From the front you can hardly see the neck angle , if at all.

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  • 1.5 degrees sounds manageable - I’ll put that into the mix! I’m back on the idea of the tune o matic bridge. 

    Pickups - I’m thinking something 62ish arranged in a Robbie Robertson manner... 
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  • Which brings me to the subject of the two Strat pickups by the bridge. When I first saw them in the film The Last Waltz, I assumed that moving them together would act like a humbucker - I wasn’t that savvy back then! Now I realise that they wouldn’t if they were just Standard Strat pickups. 

    So... it seems to me that two Strat pickups, both the same polarity but one reverse wound, would make a form of  humbucker.... or am I wrong? Putting a switch to allow series or parallel or only one coil would give some options.... Am I missing anything here? Treat the pair as a single pickup and switch like a tele between that and a Standard Strat pickups in the neck... I think I’d better dig out my old Adrian Legg book for how to do it... 

    thank you you for all contributions so far - I’m a long way from finishing the planning! 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33945
    You need the two pickups to have opposite magnetic polarites to cancel hum - both the coil and the magnetic field must be reversed in order to do that and have the outputs in phase.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Ok, thank you
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  • downbytheriverdownbytheriver Frets: 224
    edited January 13
    I’m reviving this thread and declaring it part of the first quarter challenge! I’m off on my course in a week or so and intend to tackle the important bits of this Guitar as part of the course (if not all). 

    I’ve obtained a Schaller bridge, changed my mind and now have a Duesenberg Les Trem for which I also obtained Gotoh inserts (and the stop tail in case I hate the trem), electronical bits n bobs, ordered a set of Creamery Strat P90s (thanks Jaime for efforts above and beyond), string trees obtained. I’ll be getting a set of open backed tuners. 

    Finishwise I have some staining and oiling  in mind but I’m not disclosing this yet. 

    Further Q1 challenges will include a pine bodied Esquire (body blank ordered) and a new neck for an ancient Ibanez CN100. 

    I’ll also be obtaining various tools (new router, bandsaw) in order to achieve the non-course elements. 

    I reckon that’ll keep me busy one way or another. 

    Updates will follow. 
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  • Under way at last - wood - ash body, spalted beech top, sycamore neck, ebony fingerboard.... 

    Body thicknessed, planed and jointed, top the same. 

    Neck cut cut out on the bandsaw then routed to the template on the router table... more follows. 

    https://i.imgur.com/YWGWgPc.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/2VdlefT.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/gkyPsEB.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/h6ggspq.jpg
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  • DrBobDrBob Frets: 1844
    You have been busy havent you !
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    Nice! Looking forward to updates..
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • Today’s progress has been all about the neck... 

    stuck the figerboard on last night

    cut it down with bandsaw and router table 

    https://i.imgur.com/5BBCBey.jpg

    marked out the neck for shaping then got stuck in with the Shinto saw rasp 

    https://i.imgur.com/3ySpn5V.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/oRm1PHK.jpg
    got the bulk of the shape done then attacked the ends with some Japanese rasps - brilliant tools 

    https://i.imgur.com/8aURabt.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/RbEIT2M.jpg

    Thicknessed the headstock using a spindle sander

    https://i.imgur.com/vxoI2Do.jpg

    radiused the fingerboard (12inch) then sanded and polished - recut the fret slots and beveled them and
    whacked in the frets and trimmed and filed flush then angled 

    https://i.imgur.com/XVKTzxi.jpg

    what will tomorrow bring?

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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    That looks a serious handful neck profile, very nice!
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • paulnb57 said:
    That looks a serious handful neck profile, very nice

    It’s quite chunky! I won’t be finishing it until I’ve tried the instrument out! 
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  • downbytheriverdownbytheriver Frets: 224
    edited January 24
    Day 3 - first of all, fret work - levelling, crowning, sanding, polishing, buffing - that took care of at least three hours! 

    Next, cut out the body and top on the bandsaw then stuck them together. 

    https://i.imgur.com/HpAynzo.jpg

    Neck sanding - 120 up to 320 grit the made the nut from bone and slotted it and fitted it. More neck sanding.... 
    neck side dots fitted. 
    Then unclamped the glued together body. 

    https://i.imgur.com/kvAhboT.jpg

    Took this to the router table and trimmed down to the template. Clamped the neck in exact position in order to create a neck pocket template in place 

    https://i.imgur.com/81Sd6pP.jpg

    Template made, off to the pillar drill to clear out the bulk of the wood from the pocket with a forstner bit! 

    https://i.imgur.com/2SOrULf.jpg

    And thats it for today. 

    Tomorrow is rout the neck pocket, rout the rest of the body, lots and lots of sanding..... 
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    Looking great! 
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • Another day of action - most significant decision today was to abandon the set neck- I want the flexibility that bolt on will give me in order to get the correct angle. 

    Anyway... routed out the neck pocket and fitted the neck - bang in line! 

    https://i.imgur.com/ntkwbhr.jpg

    Drilled neck ferrules and screw holes... 

    https://i.imgur.com/k8u1rhC.jpg

    Routed the pickup and control cavities. 

    https://i.imgur.com/F4GQykZ.jpg

    Turned the body over and radiused the low edge then carved out the belly cut. 

    https://i.imgur.com/jqWv5Le.jpg

    Neck fitted then then drilled for the bridge and stop tail. 

    https://i.imgur.com/kemrkYE.jpg

    Then take it it apart and LOTS of sanding.... 

    tomorrow - more sanding then staining (scary) and oil. Make scratchplate. Begin assembly? We’ll see...
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1620
    Enjoying this thread!... good work fella!.
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  • Day 5! 

    Sanding..... much sanding..... 

    And then.... 

    Staining - headstock came out great

    https://i.imgur.com/mkZAMvY.jpg

    Same approach to the body body less successful - this is due to the wood darkening the stain more and showing more variance across the wood... 

    https://i.imgur.com/ZdZBu2g.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/6CtKpri.jpg

    Sadly, oiling has made this worse 

    i turned to the scratchplate which is made from burl poplar.... I had intended to try staining this too but the risk of yet another different reaction to the stain is too great so it will just be oiled. In a world with more time this would have resin impregnated but I play finger style so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. 


    https://i.imgur.com/ahRGLzU.jpg

    Routed the neck cutout into the scratchplate 


    https://i.imgur.com/l1vu0i7.jpg


    None of the the issues were problems with the stain, more a lack of foresight on my part when selecting wood - I should have gone with a flame maple top which would have taken the stain better. 

    Pub. 
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  • No real option- sand it off...
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