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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:18 pm 
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Koa
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City: Escondido
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I'm not usually an electric guitar guy, but I've a request from a dear friend to build a 335 style semi. Looking at as many pictures as I could find, I'm still not sure I understand the neck joint. In some pictures it simply appears that the neck continues past the heel the full width of the fingerboard, to a depth of about an inch and a quarter, and the full length of the fretboard plus an additional inch or so under the neck pickup. In others, there appears to be a shelf under the fingerboard that mates to the top (like a fingerboard extension on a traditional arch top) and only a relatively narrow tendon set into the body of the guitar.

One system seems MUCH harder than the other. I can't imagine trying to mate that shelf along a couple of inches to the top. My friend wants a reproduction, not my interpretation, so I want to do it the way Gibson did it. But am I seeing that right?

I know a bunch of you have built semis. Anyone have a picture of the neck join before glue up? How do you do it?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:16 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 2013
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
The little bit I know is that Gibson changed their neck joints over the years - there are the "short" tenons and "long", some are the full width of the neck and some are narrower. I always thought that SG's were the full width (which is why the body is slightly wider than the heel) and LP's were narrower (but I've heard of some that are not). The short tenons have a reputation of failing, particularly on guitars with the body joint a high frets.

However, to your question. I have built two 335 style guitars and two LP's and all of them have had the long narrow tenon extending all the way into the pickup pocket. I think that gives me the maximum gluing surface and also lets the fretboard extension sit on the top of the guitar with only a very small gap at the end of the end.

Attachment:
IMG_2560-1.jpg


My tenons are 1.50 wide, 1.450 tall and have parallel sides. I'm also using LMII dual acting rods if it makes a difference. The neck angle called out on my LP plans (the old StewMac ones that are no longer available) is 85.6 degrees, but I set my necks to the bridge just like you would do on an acoustic and I think the actual angle is more like 3.5 degrees. My 335s and LPs did not have any overstand.

Also, I do have the Jamie Unden 335 plans which shows the long narrow tenon, but I also know that there are some things about those plans that are not true to the way Gibson built them.


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Last edited by Freeman on Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.


These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: rlrhett (Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:40 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:22 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 2013
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Here is a build thread I did for another forum, it might help. Neck tenon at post 19 and 27 I think, might be others. Also some tricks you might want to think about as you build yours

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/lets-buil ... 5.1057700/

I'll add to this that I was not trying to duplicate exactly what Gibson does - I wanted the strongest best neck joint that I could make and I had also made the jigs for my first LP build and just wanted to leverage them.

Hope this helps, 335's are interesting guitars to build.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: rlrhett (Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:33 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:37 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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City: Escondido
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 92029
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Looking through your build I’m left with one question.

In several pictures during the construction it appears there is a slight gap between the fingerboard extension and the body. Very slight, but the shadow is evident from the pictures and makes sense given that the tenon was slightly proud (especially at the end). And yet I don’t see that gap in the finished guitar. Is there a slight gap between the fingerboard and body? If not, how did you deal with that?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:18 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
rlrhett wrote:
Looking through your build I’m left with one question.

In several pictures during the construction it appears there is a slight gap between the fingerboard extension and the body. Very slight, but the shadow is evident from the pictures and makes sense given that the tenon was slightly proud (especially at the end). And yet I don’t see that gap in the finished guitar. Is there a slight gap between the fingerboard and body? If not, how did you deal with that?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


There is no gap. I make the tenon slightly too thick so the neck stands proud of the body, then slowly bring it down flush with the top. I have built guitars with the little wedge under the fretboard extension but not the 335/LP's

Attachment:
IMG_3354-1.jpg


Getting everything to fit at the neck joint is a bit tricky - neck and fretboardd widths, body width, bindings. Its particularly finiky with the thin plies of the laminated plates. I spent a lot of time measuring before I cut anything.


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These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: rlrhett (Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:36 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:34 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 1066
City: Escondido
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 92029
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I think I understand now. Looking at the picture in the second post it doesn't look like the back of the tenon is more than 0.030" (less than a millimeter) taller than the body when the front of the tenon is flush. Did you sand the tenon flush to the body and glue the fingerboard down? A little "fall off" at the nineteenth fret doesn't seem to be a bad idea.

To make it easy on myself, I think I will model a flat area in the plate mold 2-1/8" wide at a 4º angle right there. I was thinking it was impossible to sand that area flat because of the veneers. Of course, Gibson was using .060" veneers. Maybe they had a little more wiggle room to flatten the part under the fingerboard without sanding through. I'll likely be using five ply of .020" veneers.

I assume how much "cheek" you leave on the heel doesn't matter too much. Sounds like you left 3/16" on either side of the tenon and 1/2" at the bottom. That seems reasonable to me.

Considering how many cheap copies of this guitar have flooded the market, I'm surprised how finicky this joint is.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 5:30 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 2013
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I typically set the neck angle (and overstand if there is any) with the fretboard off, in fact I bind and fret the board before I glue it on. That lets me make the top at the same angle as the neck - it becomes an extension of the board. I don't put any fall off in the extension. There is very little sanding into the veneers, unlike a les paul or something where the top is thick and I can sand all I want. It is very important to set the neck angle depending on the arch of your plate and the particular bridge you will be using - I usually put the bridge on little pieces of wood that emulate the studs and adjusters and I set the fret plane so it just touches the top at what would be the lowest adjustment (very much like setting an acoustic neck to the top of the bridge).

The bad news about a set neck is you only get once chance.


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