#1
Searched but didn't see any threads for this, though saw a few on Google but, never really a good answer.

Picking up a Les Paul archtop styled body this weekend, just a kit guitar someone tried to turn into a bass guitar, so, a few bridge holes to fill and a few to re-drill. Upside, dirt cheap body.

Anyways, takes a bolt on neck... which I am fine with, but looking at options.

Idea was... bolt on a neck, get the guitar setup and working (pre-painting) and once it's all set up, glue in the neck (hide glue? epoxy?) and bolt the neck on. Once dry and tested with strings again and I am happy with how it is, take the bolts out, drill press through the holes into the neck as far as the screws went, then glue dowels the same size as the holes and push them in all the way.

Theory is, with the glue and dowels, it should be pretty strong.

Again, just playing with ideas as I plan out the build. I haven nothing against bolt-ons, and I am not a musician at all, so I'll never notice any differences in tone, sustain, etc... just being a "Les Paul" styled guitar, I kinda like the idea of no bolts/backplates.

Any thoughts?
#2
OK, here's a pic of a Gibby LP studio body and neck before gluing:



For contrast, here's a cheapy kit:



For gluing, you get strength from a combination of the glue and the surface area of the join. As you can see, the kit neck pocket is shallower, and doesn't extend equally far up the cutaway, so you'd be losing surface there.

It might be a better idea to - very carefully - shorten the bolts and countersink the heads to get rid of the backplate.
Quote by Diemon Dave
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#3
Ya, I noticed the neck difference while pricing them online... hopefully easy to find one that fits. Won't know until I get it home and start measuring.

I was thinking although shallower, it's a wider surface for the bolt on. Make sure any finish is sanded off of course. With the dowels glued in snug, they'd hold just about as well as screws, no?

Countersinking is a good idea though, forgot about those flush neck ferrules you can get.
#4
Also, if the neck isn't pre-drilled, and you do your measurement really craefully, you might be able to soften the shape of the heel a bit for comfort.

You might need to fill one of the holes in the body and move it a bit, though.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#5
Neck won't be drilled, at least none I am looking at have been. The body has been. Hoping when I sand off the bad paint job the tuneomatic holes are there even if filled. It has some holes way down for the bass guitar bridge that was installed.

Guy bought it 2nd hand and removed all the bass stuff, but then found a flamed maple top one, so just wants rid of this one. Always wanted a Les Paul, but haven't played in 20yrs so, can't really justify buying one. Building one at least keeps me busy.
#6
Quote by THRobinson
Always wanted a Les Paul, but haven't played in 20yrs so, can't really justify buying one.

Who are you trying to justify?

If you want a Les Paul and you could afford one, then get one. Forget about having nice guitars being something you have to earn by becoming a better player first. If anything getting a nicer guitar will motivate you to play it more and as a result, be you become a better player.
Quote by Axelfox
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Apr 5, 2016,
#7
why glue in a bolt on guitar neck? are you putting bass strings on it? it's entirely unnecessary. go with the flow and get back to playing. imo, you're foot shooting.
Last edited by ad_works at Apr 5, 2016,
#8
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Who are you trying to justify?

If you want a Les Paul and you could afford one, then get one. Forget about having nice guitars being something you have to earn by becoming a better player first. If anything getting a nicer guitar will motivate you to play it more and as a result, be you become a better player.



what he said
#10
Quote by slapsymcdougal

For gluing, you get strength from a combination of the glue and the surface area of the join. As you can see, the kit neck pocket is shallower, and doesn't extend equally far up the cutaway, so you'd be losing surface there.

It might be a better idea to - very carefully - shorten the bolts and countersink the heads to get rid of the backplate.


But the pocket is considerably wider. I'd be surprised if the surface area was significantly different. With a quality glue I'd be very surprised if there was any real difference in strength. I may be wrong, that's just a visual estimation of the situation.

I'd think the second idea there was a very bad one. The wood won't withstand the crushing force that the steel flat clamp (backplate) will and you'll end up with an ever loosening neck until it finally fails entirely.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#11
Quote by Arby911
But the pocket is considerably wider. I'd be surprised if the surface area was significantly different. With a quality glue I'd be very surprised if there was any real difference in strength. I may be wrong, that's just a visual estimation of the situation.

I'd think the second idea there was a very bad one. The wood won't withstand the crushing force that the steel flat clamp (backplate) will and you'll end up with an ever loosening neck until it finally fails entirely.

I get that the backplate will distribute the force over a larger area, but I have to ask why the backplate is essential here, and not on a £1200 Ibanez?
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#12
Quote by slapsymcdougal
I get that the backplate will distribute the force over a larger area, but I have to ask why the backplate is essential here, and not on a £1200 Ibanez?


Inserts.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#13
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Who are you trying to justify?

If you want a Les Paul and you could afford one, then get one. Forget about having nice guitars being something you have to earn by becoming a better player first. If anything getting a nicer guitar will motivate you to play it more and as a result, be you become a better player.


Can't afford one... if I played and was any good, I could convince myself to spend the $2000 on the model I want, but, since I don't play and haven't for years, it would be a waste of money. I enjoyed working on guitars more than playing them, which is why buying parts... that and cheaper.
#14
Quote by ad_works
why glue in a bolt on guitar neck? are you putting bass strings on it? it's entirely unnecessary. go with the flow and get back to playing. imo, you're foot shooting.


1) More a curiosity than anything.
2) Why not? if it's as strong and I don't like the looks of a plate as much as without, it's not like I'd be dumping tonnes of time and effort in doing so. Plus, if trying to make a Les Paul clone, it would look closer to the real thing.

I think building the guitar (when done) will get me to play more, because I'd be happy with having built it. Once built, I don't plan on taking the neck on/off so how it's affixed makes no difference. Not as if I could remove a neck from a real Les Paul so, gluing the neck on probably won't affect me any.
Last edited by THRobinson at Apr 5, 2016,
#15
Quote by Arby911
But the pocket is considerably wider. I'd be surprised if the surface area was significantly different. With a quality glue I'd be very surprised if there was any real difference in strength. I may be wrong, that's just a visual estimation of the situation.

I'd think the second idea there was a very bad one. The wood won't withstand the crushing force that the steel flat clamp (backplate) will and you'll end up with an ever loosening neck until it finally fails entirely.


That's what I was thinking... Les Paul is deeper but narrower. Overall surface area may be about the same as the shallow but wide neck. Plus, the addition of the dowels. I've seen a few posts online about gluing on a bolt-on, and it was always just gluing on a neck. I think the reinforcement of the dowels would make it pretty strong. Actually, I think glue + dowels may be stronger than either glue or bolts on their own. A good quality glue and a strong dowel would make a good combo.

Was kinda hoping someone with more experience than me may have tried something like this before or just knows from general experience. But, then again, the few posts I've seen similar to this thread, just wanted to glue in a neck, nothing more.
#16
Quote by ad_works
why glue in a bolt on guitar neck? are you putting bass strings on it? it's entirely unnecessary. go with the flow and get back to playing. imo, you're foot shooting.

+1
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#17
Quote by THRobinson
1) More a curiosity than anything.
2) Why not? if it's as strong and I don't like the looks of a plate as much as without, it's not like I'd be dumping tonnes of time and effort in doing so. Plus, if trying to make a Les Paul clone, it would look closer to the real thing.


The glue acts as a vibration dampening layer between the neck and the body. It is widely agreed that one of the LP's best trait's is it's sustain and adding the glue would hurt that so you need to ask yourself if it's worth sacrificing tone and sustain for a look that you can't actually achieve because the heel of the neck isn't the same shape when you have a bolt on neck like the one in your kit. If you glued the neck on it is still going to look like I bolt on neck.

I feel I should also point out that the neck pocket is the wrong shape for a stable set neck, so the gluejoint will likely fail in time unless you use the bolts too. it is possible to just glue it and not use bolts and it would probably work just fine for several years, but in time you are going to have stability issues and because it's the wrong shape pocket you are not going to be able to steam the neck apart and fix it. It was engineered to be a bolt on neck and as a result assembling it as a bolt on will give you the most strength as well as easy repair options in the future.
Not taking any online orders.
#18
Quote by Arby911
Inserts.

Damn, I can't handle the detail in that response.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#19
Quote by CorduroyEW
The glue acts as a vibration dampening layer between the neck and the body. It is widely agreed that one of the LP's best trait's is it's sustain and adding the glue would hurt that so you need to ask yourself if it's worth sacrificing tone and sustain for a look that you can't actually achieve because the heel of the neck isn't the same shape when you have a bolt on neck like the one in your kit. If you glued the neck on it is still going to look like I bolt on neck.

I feel I should also point out that the neck pocket is the wrong shape for a stable set neck, so the gluejoint will likely fail in time unless you use the bolts too. it is possible to just glue it and not use bolts and it would probably work just fine for several years, but in time you are going to have stability issues and because it's the wrong shape pocket you are not going to be able to steam the neck apart and fix it. It was engineered to be a bolt on neck and as a result assembling it as a bolt on will give you the most strength as well as easy repair options in the future.


Pretty much every bit of this is absolute bullshit. Your comment about the glue conveniently forgets that the LP "best trait" that you are claiming has a glued neck. "Tone" is a bullshit subjective weasel word, and in the few studies that have been done bolt-on necks appear to have a marginally better sustain. (But it's small enough that there's no real difference between set necks, bolt-on's or neck-through construction, assuming similar quality in each.)

Given that modern glues are significantly stronger than the wood that they bond, there's no reason the glue joint would fail either.

In fact about the only thing you said that was right was your last sentence, and even then only half of it (easy repair options).


Quote by slapsymcdougal
Damn, I can't handle the detail in that response.


Apologies, I honestly assumed you would know what I meant. Quality bolt on designs that do not use backplates often use metal inserts in the neck bolt holes so they can use a cap screw instead of a wood screw, and then the cap screws either have much larger heads (large surface area) or use washers (again, large surface area) or both to spread the load across the body to eliminate wood failure, which is all the backplate is needed for from a functional standpoint.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Quote by Arby911
Pretty much every bit of this is absolute bullshit. Your comment about the glue conveniently forgets that the LP "best trait" that you are claiming has a glued neck. "Tone" is a bullshit subjective weasel word, and in the few studies that have been done bolt-on necks appear to have a marginally better sustain. (But it's small enough that there's no real difference between set necks, bolt-on's or neck-through construction, assuming similar quality in each.)

Given that modern glues are significantly stronger than the wood that they bond, there's no reason the glue joint would fail either.

In fact about the only thing you said that was right was your last sentence, and even then only half of it (easy repair options).


Apologies, I honestly assumed you would know what I meant. Quality bolt on designs that do not use backplates often use metal inserts in the neck bolt holes so they can use a cap screw instead of a wood screw, and then the cap screws either have much larger heads (large surface area) or use washers (again, large surface area) or both to spread the load across the body to eliminate wood failure, which is all the backplate is needed for from a functional standpoint.
So this sort of business then?

I had been thinking along the lines of these for the purpose, but figured it might need a 5th screw, because they aren't that big, or deep.

Oh, and for the record, when I mentioned shaping the heel, I was referring to a 'Fender Deluxe' shape, just rounding that one corner.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#21
For those metal-insert screws, you would then use the ferrules with them?

Hmm... getting some options and ideas.

Though, part of me now wants to grab a $25 guitar, test my dowel/glue theory. Take all the good hardware off a bad shaped body/neck and just stress test the heck outta it.

Glue wise, agreed, newer glues are stronger than wood. "IF" you were do what I suggested, what would be your glue of choice? I'm a fan of epoxy... not sure if a wood glue like 'gorilla glue' would work.
#22
Quote by THRobinson
Can't afford one... if I played and was any good, I could convince myself to spend the $2000 on the model I want, but, since I don't play and haven't for years, it would be a waste of money. I enjoyed working on guitars more than playing them, which is why buying parts... that and cheaper.

If its only because you cannot afford it, then that's totally fine. But I think self-imposing that you cannot buy such a guitar because you aren't good enough is a bit silly.

If you want a nice guitar and you don't have $2000, then go used. Any money that is wasted on getting a new guitar and reselling it has already gone if you buy the guitar used. So if you do resell it, you practically get your money back.
Quote by Axelfox
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#23
Quote by THRobinson
1) More a curiosity than anything.
2) Why not? if it's as strong and I don't like the looks of a plate as much as without, it's not like I'd be dumping tonnes of time and effort in doing so. Plus, if trying to make a Les Paul clone, it would look closer to the real thing.

I think building the guitar (when done) will get me to play more, because I'd be happy with having built it. Once built, I don't plan on taking the neck on/off so how it's affixed makes no difference. Not as if I could remove a neck from a real Les Paul so, gluing the neck on probably won't affect me any.


it's just impractical but it's your guitar. go for it.

use titebond. actually gibson uses titebond 50 but mere civilians can't get that stuff in sizes smaller then a 55 gal drum. titebond original or titebond ultimate 3 is what i use for building. the og titebond is actually stronger. lap shear is 4000 psi vs. 3000 for ultimate 3 but u3 has a longer open time, requires a tighter fitting joint, and is more watery. try to get the freshest you can find:

(Per Titebond) - In March of 2009, we switched to the new lot numbering system. The new one is: The first digit represents A for America (made in), the second digit is the last digit of the year of manufacture, the third and fourth digits represent the month, the fifth and sixth digits represent the day of the month and the last four digits represent the lot number. Example: A904270023 – This material was manufactured on April 27, 2009

read the mfg's date code on the bottle. it's significantly weaker after a year on the hardware store shelf.

another option is epoxy though not as strong as titebond og at 3300 psi lap shear although more smellier and messier then titebond. west systems, system 3 and smith's all wood are good choices but the stuff from bob smith epoxy (bsi) is probably the better choice because of the convenient packaging, various open times, and amazon sells enough of it for less then $20. i suggest the 10 min version because you need some time to mix and get your clamping sorted out.

dowels. choose hard maple straight dowels but be very careful of the fitment of your holes. if they are too tight where you have to pound them in with a hammer, you will crack either the body or the neck. even if you pound them in and it looks ok, a couple of days later you may see cracks and splitting. so make sure they're not too tight.

clamps. bessey bar clamps are a good choice. nice rubbery pads on them. do a dry run of your clamping routine first before you get your glue ready. don't clamp too tight to where you are just squeezing all of the glue out of the joint. firm and tight, but don't go animal on it. a moist paper towel to wipe up any runs and squeeze-out is a good idea.

glue, clamp, and leave it alone for an honest 24 hours before unclamping.

http://www.titebond.com/index.aspx

http://www.bsi-inc.com/

http://www.besseytools.com/en/category.php?ASIMOID_MC=000000000001f3f000030023

have fun.
Last edited by ad_works at Apr 6, 2016,
#24
Quote by slapsymcdougal
So this sort of business then?

I had been thinking along the lines of these for the purpose, but figured it might need a 5th screw, because they aren't that big, or deep.

Oh, and for the record, when I mentioned shaping the heel, I was referring to a 'Fender Deluxe' shape, just rounding that one corner.


Yes, although I'm not a fan of the tapered heads they would work just fine with the ferrules you linked, assuming the taper is the same. I personally prefer socket head cap screws as they are harder to strip and easier to consistently torque.

http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/truss-rods/neck-parts/bolt-on-neck-inserts
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin