Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #92171  by redbeard
 Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:22 am

About to start building my 2nd guitar now, and it will be a neck-thru. I had been thinking of using the Schaller 455 bridge or maybe an old L5 Harmonica bridge similar to Jerry's, but I just had a punch-in-the-face moment and realized that with a neck-thru I really probably need to have a flat-mount bridge/tailpiece since I can't really (at least yet) angle the neck properly when the neck is really 38" long. Is that a safe assumption or is there a trick I haven't thought of yet? Any words of advice on a great flat mount bridge, without having the strings go through the body? At this point the Schaller 475 is seeming to be the least bad of all evils, I just really don't like the string spacing adjustment, I have that on a tuneamatic on the guitar I just built, and I don't like it at all. Help is appreciated, and for the record:

Alder body with a 1/2 " padauk top , cut similar to Tiger but not exact unless I can find a better template
Neck-thru laminate of flame/purpleheart/maple/cherry
Purpleheart fretboard
Waldo's buffer
Most likely an SDS in the neck and 2 Super Distortion's with coil tap switches, going for more of a 73-74 and earlier sound, so not sure which humbuckers would be right since Jer used Singles....I know that Super Distortion's with coil switches are essentially Dual Sounds, no?

Making this one as part of the Advanced Electric Guitar class at Red Rocks Community College here in Denver. It will be kind of funny to see the reactions of the instructors when I reveal my plans, as I'm fairy certain that none of them have ever installed anything like an Onboard Effects Loop or a buffer. If I do this one right who knows, maybe I'll be teaching people how to make Jerrytars here in a few years!

 #92178  by erock
 Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:20 pm
I've been thinking about this myself also as I have a neck thru project guitar I have been thinking about what I want to do with it. If you want to do a tune o matic. I believe you could route the area where bridge would go down below the wood level to get the bridge lower into the guitar.

I think that would work, but I haven't tried it myself and I am not 100% sure it would work.

I also don't know if the above made any sense, let me know if it didn't :)
 #92188  by redbeard
 Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:44 pm
Well the problem I ran into building the first guitar was with a tunematic bridge. Tall bridges like that require routing the neck pocket at a slight angle, 1.5-3 degrees, I believe. It cause me no shortage of stress getting it to work, and even still the rout was imperfect and so I have to keep my bridge and tailpiece raised a good 1/2 inch or more off of the body just to get the strings up off the fretboard. Now, even with the hardware raised up so much, the thing SOUNDS super sweet, perfect intonation, etc., but I really think that making a thru-neck angle back the proper amount to allow for a tune o matic requires a good bit of woodworking skill which I have yet to master. I will find out next week in class, but as it stands I think I'll end up with a flat mount bridge, for starters. But I do know that you can dig down into that nack to pack everything sink a little lower, so who knows.....
 #92191  by TI4-1009
 Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:14 pm
"Advanced Electric Guitar class at Red Rocks ..." so many things come to mind! :-)

There's a redbeard over at the Warmoth discussion board that did a WGD build, but I think he's from PA.
 #92205  by erock
 Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:50 am
Redbeard actually got banned from that forum. If you need to get in touch with him, I am his friend on Facebook
 #92211  by Mandoborg
 Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:28 am
Theres no reason you can't use a Harmonica bridge on a neck through. Calculate the angle the same way as any other bridge, you'll just have a lot more meat to get rid of after you glue your wings on. Hope i understood your question !
 #92557  by Woody
 Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:44 pm
Since you're in the design phase, if you select the bridge of choice, draw out the side view, and determine the angle of the neck to body. Could you then cut that angle into the neck before you glue on the wings?
 #92562  by Rusty the Scoob
 Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:00 pm
Mandoborg wrote:Theres no reason you can't use a Harmonica bridge on a neck through. Calculate the angle the same way as any other bridge, you'll just have a lot more meat to get rid of after you glue your wings on. Hope i understood your question !
Exactly. You can achieve any neck angle you want with any type of neck attachment. It's the neck angle that determines the bridge height that's required, not the construction itself.

I have a good book here called "Build your own electric guitar" that goes over all this in detail. I'd highly recommend getting something similar before you get too deep into the planning stages.