Moving the neck/headstock break line location

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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2023 12:53 pm

Moving the neck/headstock break line location

Post by BlindBo »

Had an interesting issue pop up today that might be helpful to new builders. I’m building a new 1937 Gibson L-OO from LMI plans. I purchased a rough machined neck from Blues Creek and a short scale rosewood fretboard from LMI. This afternoon I began the initial dry fit of these items. With the 14th fret properly positioned at the body joint , I marked the fretboard end/nut leading edge line on the neck. It turned out ot fell about 1/8” short of the break line for the beginning of the headstock. I have a collection of unfinished nut blanks with both flat and angled bottoms. Neither would seat properly as they both “rocked” on the break line. I went to work trying to figure out how to custom fit a nut to this situation. I couldn’t figure out a good way to do that and have it not look like one of my patches. So, called John for suggestions. After a few minutes of explanation he asked, how thick is you headstock? I gave him the thickness and he said, you’ve got plenty. Just take a CLT sanding block and remove a few thousandths from the face of the headstock. This will move the break line to meet the fretboard.
Well, 10 minutes of sanding moved it just like he suggested and now the break line meets the end of the fretboard. Tomorrow I’ll add an angle to the bottom of a nut blank and plow ahead.

All of the kits I’ve built before say to establish the break line and work from there. That leaves the possibility of the body joint/fret location subject to the quality of the neck blank. I like the process of working from the body joint back tp the nut/headstock joint. I’m sharing this experience in hopes that some other beginner will be able to fix the same problem. What started out as an “Oh, shite” moment turned into a victory!👍
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm

Re: Moving the neck/headstock break line location

Post by phavriluk »

This makes sense. The parts and bits we buy are all rough cuts that need adjusting and trimming to work. Nothing has a precision fit.

And now OP has some new experience to store away for future reference.
peter havriluk
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