Designing the neck of Brian May's Red Special
There are certain dimensions of the neck that can be variable depending on your own requirements. For example, thickness, width, etc. I will describe the original dimensions and the dimensions that I used to create this one. The only major difference between the two sets of dimensions is the width of the neck. The meassurements I have used for the neck are taken (and calculated) from a standard sized guitar except for the 24" scale.
|Width at nut||47mm||42mm|
|String spacing at nut||41mm||35mm|
|Width at 12th fret||51mm||52mm|
|Length of fretboard area (from nut)||470mm||470mm|
|Depth at 1st fret||25mm||25mm|
|Depth at 12th fret||27mm||27mm|
|Neck pitch||2 degrees||2 degrees|
Many years ago I printed out an actual size photo of the Red Special. This printout gave me the actual (or near enough) the measurements of the guitar. I printed it based on the only known-to-man measurement of the Red Special of the 24" scale. This then gave me a starting point, AND an actual sized picture of the goal I am trying to create.
Using the measurements above (either) you must draw out your neck. To do this you will need a large piece of paper or card (or multiple sheets glued together). Start by drawing a line down the length of the paper using a metre ruler. Pick a point towards the top and mark it across the centre line. This will mark the end of the headstock/neck.
From this mark, measure down 180mm and make another mark. This will be the start of the headstock and where the zero fret will be.
From this mark, measure down 305mm and make another mark. This will be the location of the 12th fret.
From this mark, measure down 155mm and make another mark. This will be the approximate start of the fretboard. The reason it is approximate is because it is down to you as to where the fretboard will finish. The 24th fret (not including the zero fret) is placed at 152.5mm, so it cannot finish anything prior to this point.
From the zero fret, measure down 610mm and make another mark. This will be the location of the bridge.
Now we need to measure the width of the neck. The measurements of the neck are calculated using predermined values for the nut and bridge (plus string spacing).
|A||String spacing at nut|
|B||String spacing at bridge|
|C||Width of nut|
|E||Length of fretboard|
|F||Width of end of fretboard|
Fretboard shape formula
C + ((( B - A ) x E) / D ) = F
Draw the width of the neck at the zero fret using your preferred measurement, and making sure that it is centred over the long line down the middle.
Draw the width of the neck at the end of the fretboard using the answer from our formula, and making sure that it is centred over the long line down the middle.
Now join the ends of the two lines you have just drawn, and extend the lines beyond the end of the fretboard to the bridge. It should look like this.
Now you have your birds-eye view of your neck, you now need the thickness and angle of it. The angle of the neck is 2 degrees from the body.
Click here to view my plan of the neck.
Except for the fretboard and headstock, you have now designed your neck.
Page updated: Wednesday, December 5th 2007, 8:57 pm