Bolt On Method....what's your method and why?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by pettymusic, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. pettymusic

    pettymusic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    So, I'm here going through my list of parts still needed for my first build and realized I haven't decided what option I want to go with for attaching the neck.

    So, we have:
    - the classic screw to wood - simple and time tested
    - brass inserts - Preventing future strip out
    - T-Nuts - same as above and seems a little more solid method


    What are you guys' experience in this area?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    skeels likes this.
  2. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I've used only glued pockets and wood screws in the past, but I've got an order ready to rock with McMaster Carr for some inserts and flanged button head socket cap screws. Can't wait to try them out.

    Insert:
    1/4"-2019/32"3/8"1090192A1216.35
    Bolt:
    1"Full0.560"2591355A08310.03

    Both are 1/4"-20

    I've been in no rush to use inserts and machine screws, but I figured it's time to try something new. Wood screws are fine and have been proven effective for decades.
     
  3. ormsby guitars

    ormsby guitars SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    84
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    Inserts are great. Except when you're installing them. Pain in the but. But we still do it anyway. If you have a hard timber, they are even more difficult. We made a thread tap (or die?) and it works well but the brass can still shatter.

    T nuts don't suit our production sequence, so no comments there. Careful of glue filling the threads.

    All said and done wood screws are fine, and threads into wood stripping is extremely uncommon. I've fixed ten times more broken headstocks than stripped neck screws.
     
  4. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Yeah, T-nuts scare the hell out of me. Those barbs look like they're just waiting for an opportunity to split a neck. There's too much real estate on the top of those too, so you have to recess, which I wouldn't like gluing a fretboard to. I've seen it done, but it just seems like you'd be gluing so much of the fretboard to those inserts and not the neck.
     
  5. pettymusic

    pettymusic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    Pretty coo! So, the washer is built in. Are you planning on recessing those or just leaving them above the wood?

    I don't know why I'm afraid of the inserts. I have them in my Neck Jig and they are rock solid. On the other hand, I would be adding another piece of metal to a crucial section of the guitar.

    When I think about those T-Nuts, they just seem so much better, gripping the neck from the top and pulling the neck down in the pocket. :yesway:

    I had to use the T-Nuts when I was swapping speakers out of my 4x12 cab....I don't remember details but, I recall that it was not that easy to get them installed. Could have been my fault though.

    I have time to think about it I guess. UPS tracking is showing my walnut top will be delayed due to weather conditions. My bridge and bridge pup are still not here yet.
     
  6. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Yeah, the flange will take the place of a neck screw ferrule. They're a wasted expense that really offer nothing structurally over a washer. I got the idea for the button head cap screw from Adam at Elysian, who mentioned them in one of my build threads over at LuthierTalk. I saw they had a cap screw with a flange, and that would render even a washer obsolete.

    Same structural result, clean look, less cost. Win-win-win
     
  7. pettymusic

    pettymusic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    Thanks guys! Definitely, a few things I didn't even consider.

    I started looking around and I still have 4 inserts and this "insert" driver from here:

    1/4-20 Insert Driver - QTY:1 - 4ZE54

    Could be a sign....lol!
     
  8. sehnomatic

    sehnomatic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    55
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    Location:
    Ottawa
    I used to do T-nuts, but they can get in the way of the truss rod so inserts are the go-to.
     
  9. skeels

    skeels ..to pay the beels

    Messages:
    4,136
    Likes Received:
    721
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Location:
    milwaukee,WI
    I'm trying my first T nuts and I have to say I'm liking them. After I got my pilot holes set for the pocket and neck, i routed out for the 'T' that sit under the ferretboard and counter sunk for a firm fit. I pressed slightly to imprint the barbs and then predrilled for them with a sixteenth bit then used a small clamp to press them in. They went into the Birdseye maple easily.

    [​IMG]

    Not the cleanest routes- free handed it this first time. I'd make a small template for the next. To keep glue out, I put tiny squares of clear tape on the T heads as they sat just shy of flush anyway.

    Here you can see the heel side and the thread collars.

    [​IMG]

    Inserts ground my gears but these fit the same bolts I had so wth, I gave it a try. This neck pocket was such a nice fit, I could have glued it. Maybe thats my next experiment.
     
  10. helferlain

    helferlain D.I.Y. autodidact

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    225
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    I use easy to mount inserts:

    [​IMG]

    and flat headed screws:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Knarbens

    Knarbens Montag Custom Guitars

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Location:
    Saxony, Germany
    Inserts all the way! I prefer steel over brass though! Have never done T-nuts, but as you could never replace them I'd never use them. Also never had a problem installing inserts with a drillpress like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIhEqoKE8Dc
     
  12. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

    Messages:
    3,209
    Likes Received:
    135
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Odense; Denmark
    ^That's brialliantly simple! Thanks for that... :yesway:
     
  13. Deegatron

    Deegatron SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    795
    Likes Received:
    574
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Just my 2 cents.
    Do as Ormsby does and find a tap that's very close to the od thread on your inserts or use inserts intended for metal (they will always have a tap that matches the od threads and should be plenty strong enough despite the slightly smaller threads)
    The drill press method will help you get the insert in strait but likely will not help prevent you from splitting your neck.. especially if your insert needs to be fairly close to the edge of the neck blank. I find most "wood inserts" are intended for softer wood than maple... and they therefore tend to get stuck, break, or worse crack your neck blank.

    I like to use 6mm Allan head bolts with the stew mac ferrules. you have to drill out the ferrule a smidgen but the bolt head fills up the ferrule better than a 10-32 bolt head would. looks really nice when done and the combo is unmistakably "overkill" when completed.

    I've wanted to try to epoxy a brass block into a neck blank... then just drill and tap. I suspect that will be plenty strong... but never got around to it. I've also seen guy's use inserts intended for plastic (they have barbs that dig into the material as the bolt is screwed in) and they seemed to have great success with them without the headaches associated with installing wood inserts...
     
  14. pettymusic

    pettymusic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    I just may give the inserts a try then. Sounds like stainless steel is the way to go.

    Are you guys setting the inserts flush with the neck? - at least in Renkenstein's case since the bolt is 1".

    I mean, is there a difference if I set the insert further in toward the fret board?

    Excuse me, I may be over thinking this.;)
     
  15. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Yeah, I'm going with short screws bc the body I'm working on now is 1-1/4" thick, pocket is 11/16" deep, leaving a heel that's just over 1/2" thick. A 1-1/4" bolt would go through my fretboard after it's countersunk.

    I plan to make them flush from the heel side so they don't interfere with the fretboard at all.
     
  16. Knarbens

    Knarbens Montag Custom Guitars

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Location:
    Saxony, Germany
    I think it's better to have them recessed a bit (maybe 1-2 mm). That ensures a tight wood to wood contact. The inserts I use are 12 mm long and the screws 30 or 35 mm.
     
  17. pettymusic

    pettymusic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    Yeah, that's exactly what I was questioning. Thanks, knarbens!
     
  18. immortalx

    immortalx SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    GR
    I'm using stainless steel inserts and install them with an alen bit in the drill press. Despite using a tap to help them go easy, the wood fibers in the top almost always like to split...
    So I experimented with a method to prevent that. Just drill a hole a tad bigger than the OD of the insert on a piece of hardwood scrap, clamp it tight over the neck and install the insert through it. It helps support those wood fibers and reduces split to a minimum.
     
  19. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,192
    Likes Received:
    360
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    I'm currently doing a build with SS tee nuts and so far I'm loving them. The issue described above did bother me a little at first too, but after I cut the recesses, I simply drilled out 4 little pilot holes for the barbs inside each recess, I forgot the exact size of bit I used, it was enough to make sure they didn't split the wenge/maple neck.

    But gotta say, this is one of my favorite construction methods now, rock solid like a set neck when its bolted on and perfectly removable multiple times without any wear on the wood itself.

    The only downside is yes they do take up alot of space at the heel, mine are 3/4" dia. but I just gotta get a truss rod thats the right length to begin just above the tee nuts.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. pettymusic

    pettymusic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    Great Idea immortalx. Thanks!

    That's some clean work DistinguishedPapyrus. Thanks for the tip!
     

Share This Page