We've not really done much on the actual instrument hardware in recent days - except perhaps finally settle on a design we're happy with. Since trying numerous ways of building the instrument from layers of acrylic, we feel we never quite got the neck/fingerboard design right. Until tonight....
This latest style - the Les Paul classic shape - now has a fingerboard slightly raised from the body join. This is how a real guitar looks- the neck may be bolted flush to the body, but the fingerboard is always slightly raised (presumably to help the player to reach those tricky 22nd and 23rd frets!)
We're going to use this design on all our guitars in future, raising the fingerboard slightly proud of the guitar body. Here's how we acheived it -
Each guitar body is made of 2 layers of 5mm acrylic (with the middles cut away to create a hollow into which the electronics are places inside the guitar body). The lower layer does not include a cut away for the guitar neck to sit in. In the old design, we would glue the 5mm guitar neck onto this lower layer, so that when the fingerboard and 3mm top body layer were placed on, they were pretty much in line.
By adding a 3mm shim on top of the bottom layer, when we put the guitar neck on, it is raised above the height of the second layer. When the final (top) layer of acrylic is in place (often a different colour to the 5mm layers) the whole assembly is flush. The fingerboard is placed on top of the neck, with the end result that it stands a few millimetres above the guitar body - just like the real thing!