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All these discussions on scraf joints inspired me to try something off the map. Uh... unless it's been done before...?
I wanted to 1) angle the body to the neck 2) use frets 3) eliminate the fingerboard 4) reduce the time spent shaping the neck inside the box by keeping the inside wood intact, but adding small spacers to limit contact with the lid.
The resulting join is weaker than a full scarf joint, but I'm hoping three strings on red oak will hold up.
That should be plenty strong enough. I have done a similar joint on a couple & I guessed if I have a 2" long joint, it will hold up to anything it needs to. I like the little notch, since on mine the heel was a full 3/4" down. I may steal it for the next one.
Your pics (and that blue line illustration I stole from one of your posts in particular) were my inspiration! All I did was try to figure a way to head your overall direction but also eliminating some steps. Your long scarfs are WAY stronger, but I was quite impatient smoothing the cuts!
(Also... I don't have a band saw; I had a little trouble controlling my jig saw; and my scroll saw was working REALLY hard in oak. A shorter angle cut was very attractive.)
The spacers are all you, too. I just used a little leftover fingerboard scrap, but I like the economy of using the cut-out box side. Waste not, want not, eh?
This is a banner day for me! You know I've been stalking you, but now you've given me an "atta boy!" I may swoon. ;-)
Seriously, though... thanks for the thumbs up.
Neck not so steep. Close to 12°. Bridge on the Punch build was 1 1/8" tall.
(I know you don't measure or calculate, but I had to set the bevel gauge to something and I just couldn't stand a "looks about right" without knowing! Oh...and I love trigonometry, BTW!).
I think that is an excellent technique!! Thanks for all the good pics too. Gonna be trying that. I like being able to have a taller and or adjustable bridge and this seems just the ticket!
Approx how tall is the bridge?
On this, the first complete experiment
the bridge is 1 1/8" tall.
I've noticed that my bridges, which I do last (just like my Phrygian mentor!), are right around an inch. I'm thinking it's because I've (arbitrarily) locked my bevel gauge at 12° and stick to a 24" scale (because it matches my 24" English/metric steel rule!).
PK pointed me to the Red Henry bridge blog
and I have to say I quite like it — even my poor attempts at knock-offs.
The tall bridges places strings well above the sound board, so us no-talent knuckle-draggers don't add a drum beat on every downstroke. I hear that people who can play enjoy the extra room, too. You'll have to ask them why, though. 0.o
I may be missing something here...but why are you introducing the notch rather than doing a simple scarf to get the angle? I know it sort of works, but it just seems unnecessarily complicated and more difficult. You are cutting 25% out of the thickness of the neck end, thus weakening it at the greatest point of stress, and the glue joints I see are really thick - a glue joint ought to be virtually invisible in order to be strong. A simple scarf would be easier and stronger. To introduce some angle it's much easier to just glue the pieces together with no angle and taper the part that goes into the body..or do what I do - don't put any taper on the joint, screw the neck to a block running down the back of the box and use shims to introduce an angle.
Heres an illustration...the top two are the was I typically do it. The lowest picture shows a simplified version, but I always prefer to keep as much 'meat' in the end of the neck by extending the joint into the box. These give you a nice simple joint, and keeps the thickness and strength where you need it most. The key point is maintaining continuity, that's why it's better in my opinion to extend the neck well into the box as single continuous pice of wood, keep the notching and cutting to a minimum, and ensure there's plenty of glueing surface on any laminations and joints.
Well, my face is a bit red because you've got called me out in a couple of spots where I deserved it and possibly poked an Achilles heel that will take money for me to adequately cover. It will just have to remain exposed until I am better heeled. =D
It is silly to defend a weakness, so I I'll gladly admit them. But how should I answer direct questions without avoiding or sounding defensive (because I dont ~feel~ defensive! :-D ) Point by point then?
> I may be missing something here...but why are you introducing the notch rather than doing a simple scarf to > get the angle? I know it sort of works, but it just seems unnecessarily complicated and more difficult.
Lack of the right tools, Dude! Compounded by a lack of patience, of course. I don't have the cool setups some of the guys have shown, so I wanted to shape less wood. And since I was going experimental, I decided to eliminate the fingerboard, just for giggles.
ALSO... those short frets in the first picture were also an experiment. I cut to length and knocked the sharp ends off on a belt sander before pounding into slots. Proof of concept. Less ugly than the marks I was leaving with the file, but still unsettling.
NOTE: I've seen $tew-mac and the DIY tools and jigs. I already have a wish-list + a to-do list.
> You are cutting 25% out of the thickness of the neck end, thus weakening it at the greatest point of stress,
Acknowledged from the get-go. Dead on.
> and the glue joints I see are really thick - a glue joint ought to be virtually invisible in order to be strong.
Uh-oh. Really guilty here. I hyperfocused on knocking it together and let a hairline join fall to the wayside. On the upside, it created greater visibility in the photos! It's a feature, not a bug!
> A simple scarf would be easier and stronger. To introduce some angle it's much easier to just glue the pieces > together with no angle and taper the part that goes into the body..
Ah, there's the rub! I was on the "stronger" bandwagon from the start, but easier?... Tools and shop setup! Remember how I departed from the map? I was exploring certain sacrifices to fit my methods to my means.
> or do what I do - don't put any taper on the joint, screw the neck to a block running down the back of the box > and use shims to introduce an angle.
WHOA! I like the heck outta that shim approach! Thanks for the pics. The shim for the bottom is simple enough. How long do you typically make the notch removed from the top? I fear it could put me back in the long cut business. <sigh> (More like long-time-with-hand-rasp-and-why-isn't-this-flat-yet business)
> Heres an illustration... <SNIP for space>
I guess my only philosophical leftover is NOT to disagree about what is stronger or better ('cuz I don't), but to wonder how far I can move from "stronger." Somewhere inside of "failure" plus a nice margin is "strong enough." Yes, good enough is the enemy of the great, but I think it may be another of those trade-off sliders that I see mentioned all over the CBN archives (you know... like the ones where Oily posts pics from the Les Paul museum to illustrate! Thanks, Oily, most helpful!).
Man, I really appreciate your input! I have been semi-stalking you, but am now moving you up my list.
OH... if my experimental joints fail, I'll post to this thread. Uh...unless it takes 5 years or something. Who knows where we'll be!