Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 TDPRI Tele Build Challenge - Routing neck pocket and pickup cavities

Yesterday I started work on the neck pocket. First I built a jig. Carefully lining up the neck withthe center line and then fastening two boards to either side. I cut a special board to fit at the base of the neck and drove a screw into the body of the guitar where the front pickup will be.

I made several passes with the plane parallel to the body. However, I still needed to route for the (what I thought should be) 3°- 4° angle. I place two smaller boards on either side of the neck pocket with a half inch board about 7 inches back. This gave me just under 4°. After I checked this with the bridge. I discovered that 4° was too much of angle. I then moved the half inch board back to about 14 inches, and re-routed the pocket. This gave me a 2° angle. Which turned out much better. (Although the neck is sitting about a 1/16 of an inch lower than I would have liked it - but I can live with that.) Once the nut is in I should be able to adjust the string height lower than in the photo below.

A note about geometry - had my high school geometry teacher back in 1984 used guitar building to teach us, I might have paid closer attention. The equation used to find the distance the half inch board need to be at was TanA = a/b. A=2°, a=.5inches, solve for b. I know the equation on the graph paper is for a 1.5° angle. I decided against going that far.

After I finally got the neck to the right height, I moved on to the pickups. First I routed the front pickup using a home made template. For the bridge pickup I needed to attache the neck and measure the distance of the saddle of the bridge from the zero fret, 25inches.

After routing the neck pocket and pickup cavities, I cut the body shape. Then I started sanding the sides. Here is the side view. I'm liking the mahogany veneer.

I then drilled the 7/8 of an inch hole for the output jack.

A note about the GFS Xtrem Vibrato - it's not a direct mount. The saddles sit about a 1/4 inch to close to the neck. In order to compensate for this I moved the neck about 1/8 of an inch out of the body and the bridge about 1/8 of an inch back. Also, the GFS website recommends angling the neck 2.5° - 3°. Actually 1.5° - 2° is probably better. I originally tried a 4°, because I thought the bridge would be identical to the locking roller bridge from Stew Mac. There is a difference in string height that I had not expected. Since this is a new build this wasn't much of an issue. As a replacement bridge this would likely require some modification to work.

No comments:

Post a Comment