Hi everyone. Getting through my first build……slowly. Needing a few bits of advice though. Below is pic of where I am so far. Nothing is attached yet, neck just clamped to help you visualise it. As you can see, it’s a bolt on neck, gonna be a double coil humbucker (wee fawn coloured cap for it just randomly ended up lying where it is) but to be played as acoustic too.
So, questions, neck, should I cut it, lay it flat and glue to sound board, or cut it and cut down into the 5mm end to make it almost flush to soundboard? I’ve marked position for bridge (wee cross line on centreline) at 25.5”. What kind of bridge would you recommend I go for? Bolt, Floating or whatever with bone or something else? Same with nut, got a bone nut somewhere and an ebony one or again bolt? Finally where is best to position the sound holes and the humbucker?
Lot of questions for on;y my second post I know but there’s so much conflicting info everywhere so I’m just hoping for some ideas that work for you.
Oh, and finishing. It’s a nice bit of wood. Best finish for it is??
Thanks all, first one but needs to be decent enough for the wife seeing fit to lose me to the workshop for the next one!!
, welcome to the fold.
1- I find it best to have the fingerboard sitting on top of the soundboard [top] The fingerboard being a1/4” thick should give a decent bridge height and string break angle to the tailpiece.
2- Bridge height I aim for ½” – 5/8”. That’s a big heavy bolt so I look at timber with a hard saddle material. Which could be a bolt.
3- Nut, choose for same reasons as saddle. Harder material improves sustain/string vibration.
4- If you think as the box top or lid as a soundboard and keep in mind that’s where the acoustic sound comes from, then understand that what I do and where I do it will affect an ideal outcome, acoustic wise or the best I can get from this box. This in my book is Volume and a pleasing sound.
5- So, whatever one des to the top will affect how well it responds to the string’s vibrational energy.
6- With the above in mind- place the pickup away from the bridge, place the soundholes away from the bridge area. Keep anything that may have a dampening effect on the “soundboard”, away from the bridge area.
There’s always a compromise, just build it, enjoy it, and as others will say learn from this build for the next one.
Thanks for that Taffy. Really helpful reply with tons of great advice. Like you, volume and tone are number 1 but being able to plug in every now and then is always handy.
I did ask about about finish but mainly because I’m unsure whether I need to treat the inside of the wood with something before assembly to help with effects of humidity, Also I’m assuming the to should be done prior to fitting the neck, bridge, hole covers etc.
So many questions sorry. I will try to be as helpful a contributor say all who have replied to my post as my experience grows.
Everything Taffy said and if you are going acoustic, I try to keep the soundboard thin. I’ll even belt sand the top for better vibration. Scale length - nut to 12th fret and 12th fret to bridge equidistant.
the first builds are a lot of fun and based on your picture I suspect you know your way around wood.
welcome and have fun, the members on this site are a treasure chest of info and they are gracious with suggestions.
Thank you so much for your help/.
I agree with Taffy's comments. I'd probably remove some of the unfretted portion of the fingerboard and mount that humbucker fairly close to the nut end of the box. On my very first build I had the fingerboard roughly flush to the top of the soundboard, won't do that again. Putting the fingerboard basically on top of the soundboard gives you more flexibility in managing action height and just makes it more playable in my opinion.
Thanks for that. Did think of cutting some of the fingerboard off for a bit more space for the humbucker but wasn't sure if this would be necessary. Don’t know whether it’ll have a major effect on tone having a shorter overlap.
Hi, I keep the finish simple, a few coats of Shellac and a wax finish over it. Some full size guitar builders coat the insides of their guitars but I don't see a need here as we are not talking fine tone woods.
If you want to maximize the acoustic capabilities, I think you'd benefit from getting that mag pickup close to the edge of the soundboard. Having the mass of the pickup out in the middle-ish will dampen the vibrations of the top to some extent.