#1
Basically what I want to know is a confirmation of my idea that there is no real difference between the two other than one is bolted on and one is glued in?

I assume with the set neck you use dowels or some sort of tongue and groove type thing to hold it in there more snug?

Reason I ask is I have been dreaming of building my own guitar and Ive finally decided to do it as a winter project. Initially I wanted to do a neckthrough, but I think itll be a little hard for me to maneuver.

What I mean by maneuver is that I dont have tradition woodworking tools such as a planer and all that, but I do work in a machine shop and I have mills I can work with (technically I could make every component from scratch save for the electronics). I planned on planing and milling out the general shape of the neck and body before I go to town with the files and sand paper, but I think holding an entire guitar (neckthrough would be a pain so I want to go set neck.

I either want set or neckthrough because I really want to sculpt the heel out, I have small hands haha.

For those wondering I want to do a 5 piece maple/cherry/maple/cherry/maple neck, the cherry pieces about 1/4" thick. Mahogany body with a flame maple top, though I have a keen interest in spalted maple Though part of me thinks I should avoid a top for my first build incase I route out the pups wrong and part of me is led to believe a 1/2-3/4" flame maple top doesnt come cheap.

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Last edited by glenthemann at Aug 9, 2010,
#2
Neck through is harder, but a lot of people think that you get better tone, sustain, etc... the natural characteristics of the wood are more prevalent. Whether or not this is true is another story. Bolt on necks are far easier to manage, and Fender has been doing it successfully for 60 years, so it can't be that bad.
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#3
Quote by seemeel
Neck through is harder, but a lot of people think that you get better tone, sustain, etc... the natural characteristics of the wood are more prevalent. Whether or not this is true is another story. Bolt on necks are far easier to manage, and Fender has been doing it successfully for 60 years, so it can't be that bad.



Uh, how? A neck thru is no harder to make then a bolt on or set neck.
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#5
Quote by salgala2000
Not to threadjack. And this is a question not an answer... Wouldn't a neck-thru be easier because you don't have to deal with neck joints? Or am I missing something?



this,

all my future builds will be neck through for this reason. unless it's an already premade pocket. i have never had a totally perfect neck pocket.


also, a good bolt on will sound better than a shabby set neck.
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#6
You don't have a neck joint, but you have to get the angle of where the neck meets body right. You can't shim it if you goof up.
#7
I would do a bolt on, just to make your life easier, 5 piece neck, holy crap dude.

I've played bolt on neck guitars that put neck through guitars to shame, if you do it right, bolt on can be just as good.

As for the set neck thing, I think instead of bolting it up, they just glue it in, kinda like an acoustic guitar.
#8
Quote by cedricsmods
You don't have a neck joint, but you have to get the angle of where the neck meets body right. You can't shim it if you goof up.

Wouldn't it just be straight? So that the neck and body are straight lined up as if you put it through a planer... but then you would glue the fretboard on top so that the fretboard is higher than the body?
#9
Im not really interested in what is harder, building a guitar is hard, this is just one minor little thing. I was considering neckthrough but have decided to go with a set neck just so that holding the work is a little easier. Once I get one guitar under my belt then Ill toy some more.

My only concern is what are the neck pocket differences between a set neck and a bolt on.

edit::

Aye yes someone above mentioned angles.. I need to know those, been wondering about that a lot actually.

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
GET THIS GUY OUT OF HERE, FIND ME A DRAGON
Last edited by glenthemann at Aug 9, 2010,
#10
Quote by ethan_hanus
I would do a bolt on, just to make your life easier, 5 piece neck, holy crap dude.

I've played bolt on neck guitars that put neck through guitars to shame, if you do it right, bolt on can be just as good.

As for the set neck thing, I think instead of bolting it up, they just glue it in, kinda like an acoustic guitar.

I've found that bolt on neck guitars have thicker neck joints than set necks. Is it just the one's I've played (not that many) or is there a reason for it?
#12
Quote by salgala2000
I've found that bolt on neck guitars have thicker neck joints than set necks. Is it just the one's I've played (not that many) or is there a reason for it?



Strat style guitar have large neck joints, but I played an Ibanez bolt on and was just blown away, and my neighbor has one of the Yamaha versions of the Les Paul from the 80's, it was bolt on and it played better than a $3000 Gibson Les Paul, course, every guitar he has is awesome.
#13
Quote by cedricsmods
You don't have a neck joint, but you have to get the angle of where the neck meets body right. You can't shim it if you goof up.


Only for a TOM though. and if you dont want to do this, you can just recess it.
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Quote by mikeyElite
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#14
Quote by ethan_hanus
Strat style guitar have large neck joints, but I played an Ibanez bolt on and was just blown away, and my neighbor has one of the Yamaha versions of the Les Paul from the 80's, it was bolt on and it played better than a $3000 Gibson Les Paul, course, every guitar he has is awesome.

Oh ok thanks... So in my post above about neck-thru's am I right?
#16

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
GET THIS GUY OUT OF HERE, FIND ME A DRAGON
#18
I prefer bolt-ons. I sometimes take the neck off for travel, leveling etc. Plus and it is shimable and replaceable.
#19
Quote by salgala2000
No problem. Always gotta keep the GB&C Essential Links/Hub thread in your sig where it's always there when you need it

I had looked in that thread and found only the one link you sent me. Maybe I didnt look hard enough :P

Either way, thanks again.

And yes 5 piece neck, I think they look cool and its only a little extra gluing and waiting, big deal.

Quote by Tempoe
I prefer bolt-ons. I sometimes take the neck off for travel, leveling etc. Plus and it is shimable and replaceable.


if I am building the guitar, im sure I could replace the neck if such a tragedy were to happen

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
GET THIS GUY OUT OF HERE, FIND ME A DRAGON
#20
Quote by ethan_hanus
I would do a bolt on, just to make your life easier, 5 piece neck, holy crap dude.

I've played bolt on neck guitars that put neck through guitars to shame, if you do it right, bolt on can be just as good.

As for the set neck thing, I think instead of bolting it up, they just glue it in, kinda like an acoustic guitar.

No. A set neck pocket requires more surface area than a bolt-on because you are relying on the tenon and glue to hold and you don't have bolts.

There is one inherent advantage to a neck-thru ... it is possible to have as much fret access as you want, even to the point of not having a body at all, and thus no joint. (like a Chapman stick).

With a set-neck, you can have an extra long tenon design that will give you better access than a bolt on, but this is not true of Les Pauls or acoustics.

Obviously some bolt-on joints (Ibanez AANJ) are more streamlined than others (Fender Strat).
#21
So Ive looked around but not come across it, what would be the minimum heel size for a set neck?

Someone mentioned something about having the neck extend into the neck pickup hole, but then that would mean routing after the neck is installed, which in that case I might as well just go neckthrough.

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
GET THIS GUY OUT OF HERE, FIND ME A DRAGON
#22
Quote by glenthemann
So Ive looked around but not come across it, what would be the minimum heel size for a set neck?

Someone mentioned something about having the neck extend into the neck pickup hole, but then that would mean routing after the neck is installed, which in that case I might as well just go neckthrough.

Well, there is not a minimum size. It all depends on how you join the neck and body. The longer the tenon extends beyond the fretboard, the smaller you can make the heel, to the point there is almost none. Of course, as you said, it gets to the point where it is almost a neck-thru.
#23
Well, I guess my terminology was off, what I meant was, on average what would you say the minimum joining surface area is for a set neck?

I guess the proper word is how long does the tenon have to be?

I suppose you could not just glue in a regular bolt on size neck into its pocket without its bolts.

On my strat the heel starts at the 16th fret, with the guitar i build Id like there to be pretty much nothing but regular neck upwards to the 19th fret and only finally reaching full body thickness around the 24th.

I plan on a 25.5" scale and im going to probably go with dual humbuckers, one jammed as close to the fretboard as guitaringly possible

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
GET THIS GUY OUT OF HERE, FIND ME A DRAGON
Last edited by glenthemann at Aug 10, 2010,