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Thread: Tenor Guitar Build?

  1. #1

    Default Tenor Guitar Build?

    Hi I am currently planning a tenor guitar build. So far my dimensions are:
    Nut Width: 30mm
    String width at nut: 23mm
    Neck Width at body: 38mm (joining at the 14th fret)
    Bridge string Width: 40mm
    Do these sound right?
    Also what is, in your opinion, the best way to attach the neck?
    Thanks
    TheHighlandCal

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    I'm also building a tenor and am using the Antes plans at Elderly: http://www.elderly.com/books/items/113-55.htm

    It shows both a dovetail and bolt-on mortise and tenon. I'm planing the bolt on. There as a guy building from this plan with a video series (25 episodes and counting) online at RandallPrice.com. he's doing the bolt on neck also using barrel nuts.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    I was planning on doing a bolt on neck too, so that is dandy.
    What are your dimensions for the neck?

  4. #4
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    If you are interested I have a 1935 Gibson TG-0 with the following dimensions:
    Nut Width: 30.3mm
    String width at nut: 23.6mm
    Neck Width at body: 39.5mm (joining at the 14th fret)
    Bridge string Width: 32.2mm

    Of course it is a dove tail joint.
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    I'm away from my shop and plans. I'll let you know monday

  6. #6
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    My first tenor I took dimensions from my octaves, so had a 34mm nut width and 44mm at the 15th fret (body join). What I overlooked was that the tenor only has 4 strings rather than the 8 of the octave, so the spacing is rather generous, though I play it regularly and others who have tried it find it fine to play; i allowed more space on the outside of the strings on the G and E! My current tenor I am making narrower in those dimensions, much like the ones you quote here. Both have dovetail joints.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    Thanks for all this help confirmed some of my measurements- I will definitely change the bridge string width probably to about 33mm but will draw it out properly again.
    Also, this may be a silly question but, with the neck angle- surely there will be a gap between the fretboard and the soundboard- how is this prevented from happening? Or have I got it all wrong in my head?

  8. #8
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    Mr. Kelly--did you build the Octaves, or were they purchased? If you built ... where did you find plans?

  9. #9
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    I just got back from the shop where I have one I built in 96 and one I am working on now.

    Width at the nut- 32mm
    string spacing at the nut-25.5mm
    width at the 14th fret- 39mm and 40mm (old vs new)
    string spacing at the bridge- 35mm and 38mm (old vs new)

    Both have bolt on neck joints.

    Yes there might be a gap at the end of the fingerboard, you can make thin ebony wedge to fill it.
    What style of body are you using?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

    "I plan to live forever or die trying" Groucho Marx

  10. #10
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Mr. Kelly--did you build the Octaves, or were they purchased? If you built ... where did you find plans?
    I built them, and I drew up my own plans, having had a look at several existing octaves and taken measurements from them, either directly or from the info supplied by the makers. I decided on using the cross-bracing system modified from guitar building and this has given me instruments which to me sound good and seem to be liked by others who hear them. If you have a look at my website you will see on the instrument pages photos of the building of the instruments: www/luthierjohn.co.uk
    As Charles has said, the gap between the fingerboard and the soundboard is filled with a fillet of suitable timber; he mentioned ebony and I use an offcut of spruce from the soundboard. This is shaped to the fingerboard dimensions, glued to the top then planed down so that there is a continuous level along the neck right to the end at the rosette. I have an angle of about 3 degrees at the neck joint to get the height of the bridge correct.
    Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Registered User Leroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    John, the forward slash (/) is messing up your website link.

    www.luthierjohn.co.uk
    Leroy Beal

    www.leroybeal.net

    Eat it all, use it up, wear it out

  12. #12
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy View Post
    John, the forward slash (/) is messing up your website link.

    www.luthierjohn.co.uk
    Many thanks for that, Leroy. should indeed be http://www.luthierjohn.co.uk

  13. #13

    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    Thanks, I was thinking about doing a 3 degree angle but due to my worry I almost decided to do no angle- I am sure that would not have gone well. Okay, well now to getting started. Thanks again, I am sure I will have future problems and post again!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tenor Guitar Build?

    Hi Highland,
    I built the guitar from Antes' plans and figured out the neck angle by running a straightedge from the bridge (in place) to where the neck joins the body. I modified a leftover bridge from my MidMissouri mandolin and wanted to be sure I got the angle close enough to be useable. It worked out fine.
    Steve



    "They're approaching. That's very forward of them."

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