Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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andreas777
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Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by andreas777 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:18 pm

Do you think it's possible to (re)build a classical guitar with detachable neck? I wonder why even travel guitars have a neck (and fretboard) that consists of one large piece only.

I thought about buying a low-bugdet guitar, bring it to a local carpenter, and ask him to make the neck detachable. I just drew a sketch that should illustrate my idea. The carpenter should remove/mill the neck between the 4th and 9th fret and cut the fretboard between the 6th and 7th fret. Then he should recreate the same piece of neck that he has just removed, drill 4 (or 2x4 holes) in the fretboard and the (new piece of) neck, and finally fix the new piece with 4 (or 2x4) screws. (Optionally he should varnish the new piece.)

Possible problems that I see is the high accuracy that is required, and that the string tension might be to high for such a construction.
Any experiences or comments?
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andreas777
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by andreas777 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:34 pm

To prevent the fretboard to break at fret 4 or 9 I think it could be required to add two bolts (or rods) at the new piece of neck as shown in my modified sketch. Or would a 1cm thick ebony fretboard (without bolts) be stiff enough to resist the string tension?

A second modification to the guitar that I have in mind is to cut a 30cm x 20cm oval hole into the back of the guitar, just to make it easier to store some clothes inside the guitar when the guitar is inside my luggage :lol: , but I'm not sure how much the stability of the guitar will suffer.
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simonm
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by simonm » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:55 pm

andreas777 wrote: ...
A second modification to the guitar that I have in mind is to cut a 30cm x 20cm oval hole into the back of the guitar, just to make it easier to store some clothes inside the guitar when the guitar is inside my luggage :lol: , but I'm not sure how much the stability of the guitar will suffer.
There are commercially produced travel guitars that do exactly this. The necks come off at the heel/body joint and get stored inside as you suggest. Other travel guitars let the neck flip up and over the 12th fret. None of them are very common but a search should find them. None mentioned the possibly of filling up the rest of the gap with clothes. :-)

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andreas777
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by andreas777 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:21 pm

simonm wrote:There are commercially produced travel guitars that do exactly this. The necks come off at the heel/body joint and get stored inside as you suggest. Other travel guitars let the neck flip up and over the 12th fret. None of them are very common but a search should find them. None mentioned the possibly of filling up the rest of the gap with clothes. :-)
Thank you for the answer. I was not aware that such travel guitars already exist. A prerequisite for me is that the guitar has a full size body like a normal classical guitar. All travel guitars that I know have either a small body or no acoustic body at all (silent guitars).
EDIT says that steel string travel guitars are also a no-go.
EDIT2 says I still can't find a full size (body and neck) classical guitar with nylon strings and a detachable neck. Can anyone give me a hint or send me a link?
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Monteverde
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Monteverde » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:08 pm

I wonder if something like the Journey Instruments OC520 might be of interest? It looks like the lower bout may be slightly narrower than standard. I have neither played nor heard one in person, but it is classical guitar with a detachable neck specifically made for travel and designed to fit into its own backpack.

Bill B
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Bill B » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:12 pm

Scot Tremblay builds reproduction romantic guitars some of which have a revocable bolted on neck. It was a thing that was done on some full sized concert instruments in the 19th century.
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Trevor Gore
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Trevor Gore » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:21 pm

andreas777 wrote:Do you think it's possible to (re)build a classical guitar with detachable neck?
Certainly. I build plenty of them. Here's my standard bolt-on neck joint:
DSCF8508s.jpg
I also do an adjustable neck angle joint which allows the action to be adjusted without using any tools. Both of these neck joints can be disassembled in less time than it takes to wind the tension off the strings (if winding by hand).

There are some pics of guitars with these neck joints here, with some comments on what people thought about the guitars.
andreas777 wrote:EDIT says that steel string travel guitars are also a no-go.
I use the same neck joints on steel string guitars and they work fine. I originally developed the bolted joint shown above for steel string guitars.
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andreas777
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by andreas777 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:40 am

Thanks for your replies.
Monteverde wrote:I wonder if something like the Journey Instruments OC520 might be of interest? It looks like the lower bout may be slightly narrower than standard. I have neither played nor heard one in person, but it is classical guitar with a detachable neck specifically made for travel and designed to fit into its own backpack.
This travel guitar looks interesting. Unfortunately the body is smaller than the body of a regular classical guitar, but not so small as other travel guitars, and with a Dynarette cushion it could be ok. It seems that the only place to get such a guitar is a guitar dealer in Swiss.
Bill B wrote:Scot Tremblay builds reproduction romantic guitars some of which have a revocable bolted on neck. It was a thing that was done on some full sized concert instruments in the 19th century.
I will check.
Trevor Gore wrote:
andreas777 wrote:Do you think it's possible to (re)build a classical guitar with detachable neck?
Certainly. I build plenty of them. Here's my standard bolt-on neck joint...
This is a great guitar, and of course the best solution. I hope that I can travel to Australia in one of my next trips, and then order and collect my new travel guitar from you.
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Alan Carruth » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:08 pm

I use a detachable neck on my 'test mule' Classical guitars. That way I only need one neck. It's a very simple setup. The fingerboard is cut off at the 12th fret, and has a couple of small pins sticking out of it as locators. There is a stub fingerboard on the top with two matching holes. The neck itself is reinforced with an L-shaped inlay, the lower arm running down into the heel. A bolt run through the hole at the back of the heel goes through the neck block into a T-nut. String tension holds the neck on, and the bolt keeps it from folding up. I normally put a wedge between the end of the neck and the box to keep it from folding backwards while it's being played: it doesn't take much of a pull to do that.

I used a similar joint on a folding harp guitar that I built last year. On that one the neck heel is inlet into the body to hide the joint, and I put in screws to adjust the pitch and yaw angles. The instrument carries the usual six strings on the neck, plus five on an extended harp arm. It's based on a small body, more or less like a Martin size 1, or, say a Panormo. The whole thing had to fold up into a box that would fit in the airline overhead; 22" x 14" x 9", so I could not use a full size Classical body shape. It was a challenge....

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:45 am

andreas777 wrote:This is a great guitar, and of course the best solution. I hope that I can travel to Australia in one of my next trips, and then order and collect my new travel guitar from you.
Thanks for being so kind. And yes, you're welcome to drop by if you're traveling in this direction.
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Michael.N.
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:01 am

The Stauffer adjustable (or removable) neck joint was adopted by some German/Russian guitar makers. Those made in the mid part of the 20 th century tend to be larger models. A lot were mass produced, so perhaps not the best quality. Just one single bolt adjusted by a clock key, obviously a raised fretboard too.

http://guitarcentre.com.au/pages/wp-con ... -NeckA.jpg
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by andreas777 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:03 pm

Michael.N. wrote:The Stauffer adjustable (or removable) neck joint was adopted by some German/Russian guitar makers. Those made in the mid part of the 20 th century tend to be larger models. A lot were mass produced, so perhaps not the best quality. Just one single bolt adjusted by a clock key, obviously a raised fretboard too.

http://guitarcentre.com.au/pages/wp-con ... -NeckA.jpg
Thank you, Michael, that's a good hint. I already found some old Hopf and Framus guitars made in the 60/70ies, but with very low quality. Maybe such a guitar with acceptable quality will appear in the next days or weeks.
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Trevor Gore
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:34 pm

andreas777 wrote:Thank you, Michael, that's a good hint. I already found some old Hopf and Framus guitars made in the 60/70ies, but with very low quality. Maybe such a guitar with acceptable quality will appear in the next days or weeks.
Be careful what you wish for! :D

Available now:
Small body_2.jpg
The neck joint is my updated version of the Stauffer tilt neck. Adjustment is via a spin wheel through the sound hole, so no tools required. Drop the tension off all the strings and the neck can be lifted off the body. Follow the link in my first post in this thread for a bit more info.
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by printer2 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:01 am

Trevor Gore wrote:
andreas777 wrote:Thank you, Michael, that's a good hint. I already found some old Hopf and Framus guitars made in the 60/70ies, but with very low quality. Maybe such a guitar with acceptable quality will appear in the next days or weeks.
Be careful what you wish for! :D

Available now:

Small body_2.jpg
The neck joint is my updated version of the Stauffer tilt neck. Adjustment is via a spin wheel through the sound hole, so no tools required. Drop the tension off all the strings and the neck can be lifted off the body. Follow the link in my first post in this thread for a bit more info.
We need a video of the process. Heck while you are at it maybe a recording of the guitar also (many people have asked if anyone heard one of that Gore's falcate braced guitars being played). :wink:
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Trevor Gore
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Re: Classical guitar with detachable neck?

Post by Trevor Gore » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:21 am

printer2 wrote:We need a video of the process...
I haven't got a video of taking the neck off, and the GIF I have of the tilt action is too large to load, so here are a couple of stills showing low and hi action.
3_Lo Tilt_Cropped_CS.jpg
1_Hi Tilt_Cropped_CS.jpg
printer2 wrote: Heck while you are at it maybe a recording of the guitar also...
Anyone wanting a recording of the tilt-neck, just contact me via my website (click on the "Contact" dialogue box under my avatar) and I'll send you a 4Mb MP3. Posting it here would contravene M. Delcamp's rules.
printer2 wrote:(many people have asked if anyone heard one of that Gore's falcate braced guitars being played)
There's a recording of one of my falcate classicals here.
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