I'm building a kit guitar for the first time. Should I install the neck or bridge first. It seems to me that the bridge first would make setting the neck much easier. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
I would set the neck first as you will already know the hite of the bridge you can always set the bridge on the top to get the neck angle .And it will shure help when you go to set it to scale to be able to move the bridge ahead or back. Just be shure and get the neck right down the centre so your bridge won't be off centre. Bill.............
That makes sense. I can just tape the bridge on temporarily.
Jeff, I also would be putting the neck on first. There are a few of us in this Forum who, if we have an already slotted bridge, have a slightly padded trapeze tailpiece that attaches to the endpin only. This tool has helped me several times to get intonation as good as it can get. I just attach the D and high E string up to pitch, and that is all that is needed. This is what I do anyway. Building a functional trapeze tailpiece may be a pretty big pain if you are only doing a single guitar though...
do you have a pic of this tailpiece? I plan on doing many more
Acoustic or electric?
Acoustic with a dovetail
Fit the neck first. Bridge and saddle location are absolutely critical but in respect to the scale length or more specifically the neck, frets, nut, etc.
Dovetails are not entirely predictable in terms of exactly where things will end up, in respect to the thousandths of an inch while and after getting the heel fit and flossed well and the proper neck angle in respect to the bridge.
You can make a pseudo-bridge as a guide for setting the neck angle and the pseudo-bridge really only needs to be a scrap of wood milled to the respective bridge height(s).
Fix the neck in place at the proper angle (what ever that angle needs to be for what ever radius, or not..., your top has) and eliminate that variable and then you will be able to calculate the exact saddle/bridge location.