neck angle and ideal bridge height TOM

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by theMIDrange, May 14, 2016.

  1. theMIDrange

    theMIDrange Member

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    On les pauls with tunomatic. What do you guys use as an ideal bridge height when setting neck angle. Measuring from the fretboard surface (no frets) , I get 5/8" inch at bridge location. My guess is acceptable range is .5 to .75" or so? I've got a 78 les paul that is around .5" but that is my only reference.

    And would this height be the same when using say a wraparound 70's lightening style bridge?

    Thought about it, and I guess there is no maximum height, as the pole pieces that hold the adjust wheel can be made any length. So I guess The minumum is say 7/16" or so and reasonable maximum, about 7/8".....
     
  2. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this is what you ask for?:

    If you put a straight edge on the frets it should touch the top of the bridge (screwed all the way down). That's the important thing. Neck angle is secondary.
     
  3. bmac6502

    bmac6502 Member

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    That's all? Not concerned about the break angle at the saddles and downward pressure on the saddles?

    I'm not challenging. Just a beginner who is trying to learn and understand others' approaches. Other luthiers have made a big deal of break angle at both endpoints of the scale. Do you not worry so much about that in general? Or do you have specific knowledge that a TOM configuration always has enough break angle even at minimum height?
     
  4. Murkar

    Murkar Well-Known Member

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    Knarbens is right on.

    One thing to add - you mentioned you guessed there is no maximum height. That bit is incorrect because if you make the bridge too high, over the years it can cause it to collapse and fail under the string pressure (or so I have been told by the people over at MyLesPaul). This obviously takes a long time but it will eventually need to be replaced.

    Also, if the neck angle is incorrect and the bridge ends up being too high, what can happen is that it's possible for your strings to be high enough above the body that you can't adjust your pickups close enough, even though your string clearance might be perfect. Don't ask me how I found this out.....

    If you look at old Les Paul's, they are almost flush with the body in many cases. Your best bet is to keep the bridge as close to the body as possible, while leaving a bit of room for downward adjustment.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, for Les Pauls specifically people tend to use 4.4 degrees as the neck angle, and it tends to work out for bridge height. But that will depends on the carve profile so test to see if a straightedge sits on the bridge when laid flat along the fretted neck.
     
  5. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    To be honest I haven't thought much about break angle on my guitars. I think as long as the headstock angle and the used bridge height is common and the strings don't slide off the saddles of a TOM you're good.
     

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