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Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?
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Author:  sdsollod [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Looks like I didn't take enough off the front end before gluing on my top and I have some fall away on the end of my fingerboard (OOO 12 fret). I don't like to have any fall away, but my perception is that fall away is considered to be perfectly acceptable... Is that right? Fall away is better than ski slope though.

Author:  pat macaluso [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I guess it would all depend on how much.

Author:  AndyB [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Personally I like a bit of fallaway. It has no negative effect on play, gives a bit of insurance maybe ...

Andy

Author:  Haans [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I like fall away too, but depends on how much. Is it fretted?

Author:  Chris Pile [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I wouldn't call it acceptable, but it does seem to be normal.... if you take my meaning.

Author:  Freeman [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

1 - very few people actually play above the 12th or 14th fret
2 - fall away will never buzz - the action is getting higher
3 - the big problem is the hump at the neck joint

Author:  Mark Mc [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

It is only unacceptable if it is a problem, or unsightly. Planning for a little bit of fall away if often the safest way to go about establishing a good neck angle and avoiding any buzzing

Author:  Terence Kennedy [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Acceptable amount unstrung depends a lot on how your guitars move or settle under tension. A portion of the unstrung fall away may disappear under string tension depending on your neck attachment system system and upper bout structure.

I like a little fall away strung up.

Author:  Trevor Gore [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I have a customer who just loves her 15 fret guitars. I've made two for her, now. Fall away? Ski jump? What's yer problem? :lol:

Attachment:
DSCF7829s.jpg

Author:  sdsollod [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I usually try not to have any fall away. I'd prefer that the fingerboard be nice and straight. I did sand the front with the the rear elevated, but apparently not enough. If I had checked it before installing the binding, I would have taken it down further after the top was glued on. I would feel comfortable with taking it down to a degree, because the upper transverse brace would provide adequate support. At this point, I've installed the binding. I did take it down a little, but not enough to be obvious. With the pitch of the neck now giving a gap of 3.5 mm at the saddle location without the fingerboard. I have a 3 mm gap at the end of the fingerboard when it is placed on the neck. I don't think there is much I can do about it... Unless someone suggests something. It should play okay, but it Will bother me...

Author:  meddlingfool [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I plan it in.

Author:  Trevor Gore [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

sdsollod wrote:
With the pitch of the neck now giving a gap of 3.5 mm at the saddle location without the fingerboard. I have a 3 mm gap at the end of the fingerboard when it is placed on the neck.


That's an unusual set of numbers for a new guitar. Is the lower bout dome really high, or has the UTB sunk or something? Possibly a bigger problem than a small mis-calc of your initial neck angle.

Author:  Hesh [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

It's desirable and we create it intentionally and so too do a number of excellent builders including Mario P. I always created it on the guitars that I built to sell.

One of the very most limiting factors for having uber low action possible is a kick-up or ski ramp at the end of a fret board commonly seen on Fender style bolt-on necks. Likewise the dreaded body hump, 14th, 12th, etc. fret hump what ever you want to call it is a limiting factor too.

Some players are heavy handed, Bluegrass is known for needing to keep up volume wise with say a banjo and having decent string/fret clearance until the fret board terminates is a desirable quality for these people.

How much? If you use the plane of a straight neck from the nut to the body fret (14th, 12th, what ever since we live in a 13 fret world too with some builders) fall away that does exactly that of .010" to .020" inch is acceptable measured at the last fret location in respect to the plane mentioned. I always shot for .015" and I think that that's what Mario once posted on this forum too that he likes.

We have three students in our shop this weekend who just intentionally milled in about .015" of fall-away as they were taught to do. The instruments include a 40's L-7, a new OM built from a $3,500 set of the tree and a new shredder built to, well shred of course. What's relative about these three instruments is that obviously they are specifically designed for different playing styles yet they all benefit from some fall-away.

What's not desirable is any kind gof a kick-up, ski ramp, hump, etc.

Author:  SteveSmith [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I like my personal acoustics with a very low action and fall away is a neccesity so I can dig in a bit when needed. I put it on all of the guitars I setup too if they are getting the frets leveled, both electric and acoustic. My customers like it; they keep bringing me the rest of their guitars to get them done too :) . I learned how from Dave and Hesh.

Author:  sdsollod [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

It apears that the concensus is that fall away is a good thing... However based on Hesh's comments that acceptible fall away gap at the end of the fingerboard is up to 0.02", might be screwed...

"With the pitch of the neck now giving a gap of 3.5 mm at the saddle location without the fingerboard. I have a 3 mm gap at the end of the fingerboard when it is placed on the neck."

...I sure hope I don't have to re-top this thing... gaah

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Hey Steve, I have a thread got my right now with the opposite problem. Too bad call away is not a commodity to be traded! I think you have enough to fix my two guitars with ski-jumps. :)

Good luck, I hope your thread helps you find a solution!

Have you considered a wedge under the FB extension?

Author:  AndyB [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

In your case the first thing I would suggest is to attach the neck and determined the string geometry. That is given where the neck is now, what is the string height over the saddle projected to be.

Andy

Author:  Terence Kennedy [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Bolt on neck? Glued extension or bolted?

If a bolt on (like Andy says) I'd get the neck angle right and check the height over a surrogate bridge with the fretboard clamped on. If OK glue the fretboard on, bolt on the neck, if a glued extension, clamp it to the upper bout through the soundhole so it is where it will be when glued. Then support the headstock, place 5 or 6 lbs of weight on each shoulder of the upper bout and see what your drop off is under simulated string tension. If more than 0.020-0.030" use a wedge under the fretboard.

I think you might find that even a 0.030" drop off might drop to almost nothing when you see the guitar back in a few years so it is some insurance against a rising extension down the road in a conventionally attached neck. With a fully supported extension like Trevor and others do or as in an archtop it's a different story.

Author:  sdsollod [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Okay, here is a look at what is going on. I have adjusted the neck angle to produce a gap of 3.5mm (as necessary) at the saddle location with the unfretted fingerboard laying on top of the bolted on neck. This 3.5mm gap at the saddle location should be appropriate for a typical 3/8" thick bridge (without the saddle installed) and at that measurement, the plane of the unfretted fingerboard should be approximately 1/32" above the bridge. You'll notice I had taped off 3.5mm on the rule. The gap at the end of the fingerboard is 3mm. I am doubtful that much fall away will normalize once the guitar is strung up. I am not confident that I could pull off a wedge under the FB extension and have it look like I didn't try to fix a problem. [Terence, my intent was to glue the extension on.] [Bryan, we have similar but opposite situations...]

So, It looks like I may have the following choices...
- continue with the build, accepting the pronounced fall away that shouldn't impact the playability of the instrument, but just look a little wonky and move on to the next build.
- attempt a wedge, which I'm not real confident I could pull off, and it probably looking a little funny on a typical OOO 12 fret guitar.
- remove the top and start over, being disgusted and setting me back for the time and materials...

Did I forget something?

BTW - Not a commission.

Author:  johnparchem [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

The three mm is a lot of fall away. If you play beyond the body join there is a good chance of buzz down the neck at the body join. Trying the wedge is a safe non destructive fix. You can try it and see how it will look before you glue it on. I think it will look better than bending the fret board half of its thickness at the body join. You can use the same wood as the neck wood or ebony. Some creative thoughts might be to make the wedge a bit smaller than the extension and allow the fretboard to have a cantilevered look like a violin. The main point is you can safely try and retry a bunch of options before pulling the top or forcing the fret board down.

It is easy to make a properly sloped wedge with a plane. I double tape a blank at the end of my bench and then place a strip of wood twice as tall as the thick part of my wedge twice the length of the wedge away. The back of the plane rides on the strip. Then just plane away. Once the leading edge of blank is 0 the back of the wedge should be your intended thickness.

Author:  sdsollod [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

I'll try making a wedge... There is always something new to learn. Do you think a No.4 plane would be long enough?

Author:  AndyB [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Wedge. Easy. Works and won't bother anyone. You can dry fit and see what you think. Will take you 30 minutes.

Andy

Author:  Terence Kennedy [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Yeah a wedge is the way to go. I wouldn’t retop it. Since a lot of folks just glue the edges of the extension to the top one thing I have done is to cut tapered strips about 1/4” wide on a table saw jig and just have the wedge on the edges of the extension. You have to join them at the end with a cross strip. Makes fitting it easier. I’ve only done it a few times but it worked.

With Ebony or dark Rosewood it can be made invisible but in your case you might even consider a contrasting wood and make it a feature.

As they say in jazz “if you are going to make a mistake make it a big one and no one will be the wiser”.

Author:  pat macaluso [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

4. If the fretboard is not glued on yet, on the underside you could inlay a few carbon fiber rods from the 10th to the end of the board and actually make it cantilevered.

5. You and Bryan could trade necks and each produce a Sollodbear guitar.

johnparchem wrote:
It is easy to make a properly sloped wedge with a plane. I double tape a blank at the end of my bench and then place a strip of wood twice as tall as the thick part of my wedge twice the length of the wedge away. The back of the plane rides on the strip. Then just plane away. Once the leading edge of blank is 0 the back of the wedge should be your intended thickness.
Thanks for sharing that method!


Terence Kennedy wrote:
cut tapered strips about 1/4” wide on a table saw jig and just have the wedge on the edges of the extension. You have to join them at the end with a cross strip. Makes fitting it easier.
Great idea!


Terence Kennedy wrote:
...make it a feature.

As they say in jazz “if you are going to make a mistake make it a big one and no one will be the wiser”.
Yep!

Author:  sdsollod [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fall away considered perfectly acceptable...?

Thanks guys for all the support. I'm convinced. The wedge is the way to go. I have a pretty nice Wood River No. 4 plane. Not sure it is long enough, but I can probably figure something out. I have an old long plane (not sure what number). Its not in the best of shape though. I may be able to sharpen the blade and make it work...? Pat, I like the carbon fiber rods idea, but I think the top of the rosette that's not complete would be visible...

As far as Bryan and me trading necks... nice thought, but we would probably still have problems. For one thing, mine is a 12 fret... I always say that I wouldn't want to trade my problems for someone else's...

Where else could I go to get this kind of encouragement and collaboration?

Thanks again,
Steve

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