Neck construction opinion...

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by foreright, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Hi guys,

    A quick question if I may... I'm finalizing plans for my next build and would like some opinions on whether you think a Strat style or "normal" scarf jointed headstock would work better. The rough plans look like the below with obviously the scarf jointed option at the top.

    [​IMG]

    This is going to be a one piece (ie. not laminated) rosewood neck with a separate rosewood or cocobolo fingerboard. My concern with the Strat style headstock is what to do with the truss rod access. If I cut the channel normally, I'm presumably going to end up with a squarish access hole in the face where the "plug" usually goes - I'm concerned that this will look pretty ugly and there's not really any easy way to cover it. I could always put the truss rod access at the bottom of the neck but I do prefer to keep it at the top for ease of use.

    All my builds up to this point have been scarf jointed so I would like to try something different but I don't think I've ever seen a (non-Fender) 7 string build with this style of headstock. Is there a reason for that?

    Opinions?
     
  2. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    ^Not a 7-string variant, but I have seen a Framus 12-string acoustic with a straight style headstock. It seemed to hold up rather well, despite being rather ancient looking.

    As for the truss rod access, you can drill it for a bullet adjuster (like some Fenders have), or maybe if you don't have a usable drill bit to drill through into the channel like that you could rout it through, chisel a tight fitting block with a hole drilled through it in the size of the adjuster key that you could glue into the "exit wound" (drill before shaping or it'll most likely split).

    ...or you could put a curved truss rod cover on, like the old Peavey T models had. This can cover up an unsightly square hole nicely.
     
  3. skeels

    skeels ..to pay the beels

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    Wait. I'm sorry- these are "rough" plans?

    You should see my cave painting designs....
     
  4. Gregori

    Gregori SS.org Regular

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    I think the biggest reason to not choose a scooped headstock is because you'd need string trees to get the correct string angle over the nut. Some locking tuners are staggered to eliminate this issue, but that doesn't always work(in my experience).

    Other than that, there isn't a big reason not to choose a scooped headstock. As already stated, you can drill a small hole for truss rod access.
     
  5. teleofseven

    teleofseven spontaneus orgasmer

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    t-nuts! great plan!

    personally i would go for the angled headstock. easier to make and better for tuning stability IMO.

    but when i made a tele neck, i routed the channel for a 2-way truss rod, just behind where the nut would go and right off the back (not backside) of the neck, and then used a block of wood with a hole in it for a guide to drill the hole for where the adjustment nut goes in.

    then it was just a question of sliding the truss rod into the chanel i had made for it, trough the back (rear end, as in at the 22nd fret). you don't need to rout the chanel trough the back (still not backside). you can kinda snugly nudge it in there. but you may have to make the hole a little bigger.

    i hope i made any sense :D
     
  6. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Oh, yes, good point - that's something I'd not thought too much about... sketching it out I get about 5 degrees of string angle to the farthest tuner which means I'd definitely need the string trees.

    "Rough" plans meant they're not fully marked out with dimensions and quite a lot of detail is missing. I know I do tend to go slightly overboard with the plans - the result of slight OCD I think :p
     
  7. Walterson

    Walterson SS.org Regular

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    This is the reasons why I would allways use a scarf joint/angled Headstock.
     
  8. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    I've tried a 7 string neck with a strat style head just last year, the construction process on these is much simpler in my opinion, several steps in the build are simplified when dealing with a neck that has a linear headstock, and far less material is wasted in the process as well. Check out some Music Man guitars, I think most of their 6's and 7's have straight headstocks, so thats all I got for the straight headstock, and now bout the scarf joint... I definitely prefer scarf joints over straight. When you put tension on a string it naturally wants to just go in a straight line, the scarf joint allows it to be as straight as possible with only a single bend at the nut, it stays in tune longer and has slightly more sustain with a scarf joint. When you add in string trees things just start to get a little awkward and messy looking above the nut.

    Something else to consider, if you do go with a straight headstock you could always put the truss rod adjustment at the heel end, no worries about an ugly looking adjustment above the nut.
     
  9. canuck brian

    canuck brian Bowes Guitars Contributor

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    You can avoid the whole worry about having a truss rod access at the headstock by using a wheel nut truss rod with access at the base of the neck.
     
  10. Berserker

    Berserker SS.org Regular

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    EBMM JP7s use the Fender style headstock without string trees, so it can definitely work.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Yep I think this is the option I will end up going with here. I'm actually building a 6 and 7 at the same time - the 6 being a short scale length (23") and the 7 being more "normal" so this should get the wish to build these non-scarf jointed necks out of my system :)
     
  12. mwcarl

    mwcarl SS.org Regular

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    I believe Suhr also does the same Fender-type headstock with no string trees also. I've done a 7-string with that headstock type with string trees, which worked out well.
     
  13. Gregori

    Gregori SS.org Regular

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    That's a good point. Staggered tuners are meant to eliminate the string trees, but I think there are a few things that can be done to ensure that they do work as they are supposed to. That EBMM doesn't have all of the strings inline like a strat(I had problems with my 1st string sitaring, even with staggered tuners). Doing a 4/3 tuner configuration will definitely help out.

    Another thing that can be done is to make damn sure the headstock is just barely thin enough to access the hole in the shortest tuner. The less material removed from the back of the headstock, the less the tuner pokes through.

    Also, I'm no expert on how wood works when force is applied, but I have always assumed that a quartersawn neck would resist string bow a littler better than a flatsawn neck. I don't know if there is any validity to that, but if so, that could help to keep the headstock from bowing toward top(had that happen on a strat with a flatsawn neck before.

    And the headstock can be made deeper by using a thicker neck blank. However, I'm not sure of the stability there, since there would be more short-grain introduced into the equation.
     
  14. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    But hey, just think people have been playing guitars with both straight and angled headstocks for decades, some people swear by one and the rest swear by the other, so either way you go the guitar will be just fine.
     
  15. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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  16. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Liking the look of that build :) The plan is to get started on this at the weekend - a short scale 6 and a 7 - finger's crossed for some decent progress by Monday! :)
     
  17. Necromagnon

    Necromagnon SS.org Regular

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    But EB head are rather small, and in the case of foreright, he will have in line tuners. So the angle for the last string (farther tuners from the nut) will be very very low. It's still could work, but I think it would be better to make some schematics before buying and working wood.
    For my personnal opinion, I really prefer scarf joint headstock. I can barely stand Fenderish headstock. Maybe because I can't stand Fender's at all...:scratch:
     
  18. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    I am not completely adverse to using string trees. I will give it a go without but as you say, an inline headstock will probably force their use, even with staggered tuners. C'est la vie...
     
  19. skeels

    skeels ..to pay the beels

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    [​IMG]

    Not a tree, but there's some options..
     

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