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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Vintage 335 neck construction

    Simple question...
    On a vintage 335, the piece of wood that is underneath the last few frets, and above the body, just before the neck cavity (seen below)...is that a solid piece of wood from the bass side to the treble side, or is it 3 pieces...one that mirrors the width of the tenon, and 2 "wings"?


  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    That should be a solid piece of wood.

  3. #3

    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    TM1 is correct....it is the actual heel of the neck that is exposed. The fingerboard and binding are glued on top of the solid neck. If you remove the neck pickup and P.U. ring, you can see where the tongue of the neck is glued into the body in the pickup cavity.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    Took me a while, but I founds pics to show more clearly what I'm talking about. This is a 60s 335. When the fretboard is pulled off to make a repair, you can see 3 pieces (4 if you count the truss rod cover). It looks like there are 2 thinner strips of wood that are layered along the edges.



    In this one, at the top, it appears to be different piece of wood. There is also a slight crack, but just below that crack you see what looks like 2 pieces of wood coming together.



    Definitely looks like 3 pieces of different grained wood which stops right at the neck joint, and then it becomes one solid piece of mahogany from low E to high E.



    Maybe this is a 60s thing? And the 50s kept the solid piece of mahogany from low E to high E?

    Not being a woodworker, it also doesn't make sense why they needed those 2 extra wings. Maybe those had to be sized on a guitar by guitar basis since neck angles varied, while the center piece didn't since there is no "top" underneath that part of the neck.

    Sorry if my original question was confusing.

  5. #5

    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    Can't tell for sure from your photos, but here is a tip. Look at the underside of the removed section of fingerboard. I think when you examine it, you will find a matching build up of glue that corresponds to the pattern that you see on the exposed part of the neck. My guess is that the clamps used to hold the fingerboard itself on to the completed neck blank when it was glued together (with the truss rod and filler strip already installed) was tightened with enough force to leave those impressions and actually cause the slight crack. Look closely and I think you will find the grain pattern matches up with the rest of the neck. What you are seeing is the thin film of glue removed, leaving the bare wood of the neck, when the section of fingerboard was removed which should match the underside of the rosewood fingerboard. I don't think you are actually seeing splices of wood on the neck heel and have never seen or heard of it before. Anyone else have a guess?

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    Perhaps it started as one solid block of wood, but in these pics, where I added the yellow, you can see where 2 wings were cut out, and in the Low E wing, re-glued.
    The high-E wing looks like a completely different block of wood.




    The more I think about how I'd join a neck to a body, it would make sense that these wings get added after you see the fit of the neck angle. Perhaps the early models had that angle hand carved to fit the top, but later moved to using blocks of wood which could be shaped. Unfortunately, pics like these for 335s are much harder to find than LPs.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    Is it possible that this particular guitar has already had a neck repair before?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    Quote Originally Posted by fakejake View Post
    Is it possible that this particular guitar has already had a neck repair before?
    In theory, I suppose it's possible. Or that construction methods evolved from 50s. I did find a picture of a modern-fish 335 with that same construction, but I ignored it as almost anything could be different.


    I did find a '63 which looks like it has those wings as well. But I've also seen others that are too blurry to say for sure. Plus, if the wing is glued tightly, and then painted, it would be almost impossible to tell unless a) the board is taken off, or b) the wings/seams become visible over time. I've seen b) in many burst cavities. Perhaps the neck is knocked.


    Anyway. Thanks for the insight.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    Have a look at the 12th photo....maybe they're like this?
    http://www.shuriyaguitarcraft.com/re...bsones335.html
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  10. #10
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    The fifth photo in that link shows what's up.

    The neck is fitted then two side filler pieces go in. That's all.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    As an aside, there's some nice repair work on that site. I really enjoy seeing the luthier craft so well executed.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    Quote Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
    Have a look at the 12th photo....maybe they're like this?
    http://www.shuriyaguitarcraft.com/re...bsones335.html
    Thanks. Cool photos. I'm in awe of people who can do woodwork. I spent a bunch of time in Ft Worth just chatting with the custom builders...amazed at how they do what they do.

    The 3nd pic on that site, before the neck is cutoff...you can see the wings. Wish I could zoom in.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage 335 neck construction




    This one you can see a couple shims/wings too.


    The late 50's and 60's ES specs are all over the map, they did what they did to get'em out the door from what I can tell.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Esseries Re: Vintage 335 neck construction

    They are wedges. I fit them in after the neck is in.
    the old guys might have fitted them to the underside of the flat fretboard which was glued to the neck, leaving the bottom to be fitted to the guitar too surface upon fitting the neck.

    I think you guys figured it out. The wedges need to be separate from the neck. If you look at the neck where it meets the body there is a joint, a butt joint where the little wedge narrow end meets the neck.

    Then the neck is in place and the pickup cavities are routed leaving the two wedges sandwiching the tenon. If left, it wiuld prevent the neck oickup ring from sitting on the top. So it is routed off.

    I hope this makes sense.

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