Guitar building tips

Determining the neck angle
of an electric guitar

Neck angle on Fender-style guitars

If you use a "low" Fender-style bridge the neck pocket should be 5/8" deep and no neckangle is required.

Neck angle on guitars with tall bridge

With a "tall" bridge like for instance a tune-o-matic-style bridge you have to angle the neck backwards to achieve the required low action.

determining the neck angle

To work out the neck angle place the bridge roughly in the position it will eventually be in and set the saddles as low as possible. If the bridge is mounted so that it doesn't touch the body - because it is, for instance, supported by posts - insert a shim of appropriate height under it. Then put a piece of wood left over from cutting out the fingerboard on the top edge of the body and lay a T-bevel (made up of two battens held together by a clamp) on top of it and the saddles.
This is the required neck angle. The string action is adjusted later on by increasing the hight of the bridge (turning the posts).

Excerpt from my book Building Electric Guitars

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