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Thread: Now what do I do?

  1. #1
    Registered User Valerie Jestice's Avatar
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    Default Now what do I do?

    I am building my first instrument, a guitar. I have to say it hasnt be going all that bad, sometimes I do wish Id never started, and this time is no exception. So, I bought a neck that was a little less then half done. It was cut out for the 14th fret, and I assumed it was all figured out. I ordered a truss rod that was a little on the short side, but I made it work. I put a nicely figured oak veneer, and inlay it with turquoise recon stone. I got it glued to the body, and then finally measured it. My plans says from the nut to the body joint is 14 5/32. Its actually 14 7/8. I could cut right behind the truss rod, cut out the extra, and glue it back. Would that be a stupid idea since it would be a weak spot?
    Keep going like nothing happened? Arrange the frets?
    What would be the best option?

    Another question a have is, do I put in the position markers before, or after I radius?
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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Are the fret slots already cut? If they are is there room to place the bridge where it would need to be for those fret spacings? How tight of a radius are you going for?
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Cutting your neck as described does create a weakness in an area that is already weak. You have a lot of better options, one which is to get a neck that matches your plans... But another is to change your planned fretting scale, and another yet is to position your bridge differently than planned. If you're planning on a floating bridge with strings attached to a tailpiece, bridge adjustment is even simpler, simply based on harmonics and your 12th fret.

    If you want to keep a permanently mounted bridge position as planned, perhaps one of our experienced builders here can help you with a new fretting plan based on the scale length you've ended up with, or if you don't mind moving the bridge (and potentially the bridge plate), with specifics about where to position a permanently mounted bridge (and bridge plate) for your scale length.
    -- Don

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  4. #4
    Registered User Valerie Jestice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Are the fret slots already cut? If they are is there room to place the bridge where it would need to be for those fret spacings? How tight of a radius are you going for?
    I haven’t cut in the slots yet. I’m not sure how much the bridge can be moved back, I’ll have to check exactly where the backing plate is. I’m doing a 16” radius.
    The guitar I’m building is a OM, with a 25.5” ( I think ) scale
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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    I would put the bridge where I wanted it then measure the scale, if the neck isn't too long you could just use a zero fret, just a thought, if it is to short and the bridge can't be moved enough then replace the neck for your desired 25.5 inch scale or make it a shorter scale. The mark of a true master isn't being so perfe3ct you never make mistakes but being able to take a mistake, fix it and move on like nothing ever happened and no one will ever know there was a mistake.
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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    I would think if you haven't cut the fret slots yet, just measure the new scale length and cut the frets accordingly. But I'm not a builder (yet) so idk
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  7. #7
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    I would think if you haven't cut the fret slots yet, just measure the new scale length and cut the frets accordingly. But I'm not a builder (yet) so idk
    Exactly but they stated they want a 25.5 inch scale if that isn’t cast in stone you are correct you could do that.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  8. #8
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie Jestice View Post
    OM, with a 25.5 ( I think ) scale
    Re:Exactly but they stated they want a 25.5 inch scale
    Based on the quoted statement, it looks to me like maybe the plans said 25.5" but the parts didn't quite fit that, they didn't seem too set on that length?
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  9. #9
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    Re:Exactly but they stated they want a 25.5 inch scale
    Based on the quoted statement, it looks to me like maybe the plans said 25.5" but the parts didn't quite fit that, they didn't seem too set on that length?
    A picture would be nice and the real pros here could help a lot more. I’m just an amateur.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  10. #10
    Registered User Valerie Jestice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    A picture would be nice and the real pros here could help a lot more. Im just an amateur.
    A picture of the guitar and my messy work area?
    I marked on the top of the guitar where the backing plate is, and unfortunately to keep the scale at 25.5 the bridge will be on the very edge.
    The scale will not have to be 26.5, and will I know where to put the frets?
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  11. #11
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    So if I read that correctly in order to maintain your 25.5" scale length the bridge would be closer to the sound hole at the very leading edge of the backing plate?

    If so I would mark the neck where the 25.5" is and mark your nut position then since the neck is in a very early stage I would cut the headstock of and then remove what I needed to scarf it back on to maintain the 25.5" scale I wanted. Or perhaps more simply remove the neck and rework the end where it joins the neck to maintain your desired scale.

    The pros here will have a better way to do it but that is what I would do. You know you could leave it at the 26.5-inch scale and either put a zero fret where the first fret would be or use a capo. Heck, you might find you like the longer scale although I can't imagine how much more difficult some of the chordings would be.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Tell us about the way you joined the neck to the body. Is it possible to remove the excess length from the heel- end?

  13. #13
    Registered User Valerie Jestice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Oliver View Post
    Tell us about the way you joined the neck to the body. Is it possible to remove the excess length from the heel- end?
    I did a dovetail, and in order to do as you suggested I would have a remove the truss rod.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Explain how you did your dovetail, I don't see were it goes into the body of the guitar.
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  15. #15
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie Jestice View Post
    I did a dovetail, and in order to do as you suggested I would have a remove the truss rod.
    You mentioned your truss rod was short and the neck still has some work to go pulling it would probably be a good choice and you could profile it a bit more before you reattach it and have a proper length truss rod in a proper length neck for the scale you desire.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    If you are happy with the neck-body joint and it is aligned 'pitch, roll and yaw,' as Sunburst would say, I see two possibe ways out. 1. Cheat the bridge location forward about 0.4 inch from the plan, and cheat the nut towards the bridge about 0.3 inch.
    2. Go with the longer scale, as others suggested.
    The world is full of 25.5 inch scale guitars, and the longer scale may drive this guitar better anyway.
    My current two cents...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie Jestice View Post
    I am building my first instrument, a guitar. My plans says from the nut to the body joint is 14 5/32”. It’s actually 14 7/8”.
    If I understand correctly, the actual distance from the nut is 23/32" greater than the distance called for in the plans.
    If that is so, you have the following choices:

    1. Increase the uncompensated scale length by 23/32".
    2. Install the bridge 23/32" closer to the sound hole.
    3. Remove the neck and shorten it at the heel end by 23/32".
    4. Replace the neck with one of proper length.

    #1 is the most practical, but will result in an unusually long scale for a standard steel string guitar.
    #2 will result in a bridge that is not only forward of the usual position in relationship of the bridge plate, but also forward of the usual position in relationship to the X brace.
    #3 is a lot of work, and is practical only if you have plenty of heel material to work with.

    We avoid part replacement when it is sensible and practical to do so. That is something you will have to decide for yourself. Sometimes it is better to replace the out-of-spec part.

    A combination of #1 and #2 would also be a consideration.

    We like the X brace to intersect the back corner of the bridge. This gives maximum structural advantage. I am more concerned about this than if the front edge of the bridge is at or over the edge of the bridge plate. If you move the bridge forward, I would recommend adding a small stiffener to the sound board to support the back corner of the bridge. But this is probably less essential with a bridge that is forward of the X brace than it is with one that is too far back.

    In the future, measure anything you are assembling at least twice before you glue.

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  19. #18
    Registered User Valerie Jestice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    This is what the bracing looks like, I did more than what the plans said to.

    I think lengthening the scale seems the most practical to me, mainly because I already carved the heel down close to what it should be, and I dont want to remove the neck.
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  20. #19
    Registered User Valerie Jestice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    Here are some pictures of the neck.
    I got pictures of pretty much every step, so I can go back later and see all the things I messed up on
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  21. #20
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    Default Re: Now what do I do?

    While it might look a little different you could keep the same scale, put the nut where it should be according to scale, but leave the remaining fingerboard extend past the nut and possibly inlay your name in the extra fingerboard on the headstock end of the nut. Now your bridge is in the correct place, scale the same and will play easier than the longer scale. and it is personalized. Just a thought.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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