I am finally getting around to building some acoustics that have been on my mind for decades. I love working with wood, have done so all my adult life, and truly appreciate machining fine joints as much as the next gal.

So, it is not a lack of skill that is making me consider an alternative an alternative to the dovetail neck joint. The fact that a loved and played acoustic will eventually need a neck reset is making me challenge the prejudice I instinctively carry for anything but the time honored dovetail. ( By comparison... I am not willing to use anything but hide glue for most assembly, it was the great hide glue explain on that got me to this forum, thanks )

So, here is my question...Is there much in the way of experimenting/ experience / consensus among fine hand builders regarding alternatives to traditional dovetail joints ( for the purpose of disassembly, not ease of construction !! ) that do not compromise sound at all ?

I am sure there is prejudice against bolt on's from buyers in the marketplace ...but I am not concerned about that as I am not trying to sell my work.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Tags: bolt, building, neck, on

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I've been using bolt on for some time now & now this thread is going I'll ask this supplementary question: Everyone is saying 'i use bolts' but not indicating if glue is used as well. So, are you bolting the mortise/tenon absolutely dry- no glue, a little bit of glue, or flooding with glue, in addition to the bolts? I asked a guy who does a lot of martin repairs and he said Martins hes seen with bolted neck joints have lots of glue in there.

no glue neck to body....dwy
I'm an amateur at this, Rory, but I have worked with wood since I was a kid and I can not think of very many mechanical joints that are strong enough, in the long run, that they wouldn't be better with some glue. Every purely mechanical system I can think of ultimately suffers in the long term because wood is not stable. In some cases, flexibility in a construction is desirable but, personally, I want my neck joints to be as ridged in ten years as they are when new and I just don' think a purely mechanical solution will do that.

wow, everyone, thanks for all the relevant responses...Thanks to Jeff and the mention of Stauffer which led to me to...William Cumpiano's hardware-based neck joint, that Gary also linked to above -that link is clear as day and very cool, as I get easily bogged down when I try to reinvent any wheel. A dovetail would actually be easier for me, but now a few days after posing this question, I am of the mindset that bolt on is a perfectly valid system and I am gonna go for it. Thanks for all the other ideas too.

Funny thing is I bought Cumpiano's book as soon as it came out in the eighties, but for some odd reason I just assumed he and all other luthiers are all busy working away in ye olde shoppe with hand tools and no computers :-))...ok so thanks everyone for getting me up to speed so quick, I see there is a wealth of info, new ideas and very generous people willing to share/ help on the web.

I have been rereading Irving Sloane and William Cumpiano's books and finally have the time to turn my book knowledge in real world guitar building. For me this does require inventing a wheel of sorts....I love my little Gibson LG-1, I want a baritone, I sorta want to combine that thought in an instrument that only has to please me. I have asked a two experienced luthiers if they will collaborate with me on ideas so I might have a chance at building something decent.

I am usually not one to join a group but... here I am, and I will work on learning what one does here and about "My Page" on this forum, since maybe this is a way to post my work to a group of people who might be interested in what others are building.

Thanks again for the welcome and info with all your responses !



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