US 2469582 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 10, 1949. STRONG 2,469,582
MUSICAL STRINGED INSTRUMENT Filed Aug. 51, 194.5
Patented May 10, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE MUSICAL STRINGED' INSTRUMENT (Emerson Strong, Hempstead, N. '.Y., 'assignor to The Fred .Gretsch Manufacturing Company, Brooklyn, N. Y larcorporation of New York Application AugustBl, 1945, Serial No.'613,908
"My invention relates to improvements in musical stringed instruments and *refers particularly to means for increasing the rigidity of the necks of such instruments against strains and stresses as well as against-warpingof the neck due to atmospheric and other agencies.
As the neck of musical instruments such as violins,- cellos, 'mandolins, guitars, ukeleles, balalaikas-andbanjos, are of considerable length with comparatively small cross-sections to adapt itself to the proper fingering of the strings, or wires, and as'tlie strings, or wires, are anchored in taut condition between the free end portion of the neck and the body, and as this tautness is increased as the'stringsor" wires are presseddownwardly during the playing of the instrument, the neck is subjected to a series of spasmodic stressing,tendingto warp it'from its desired horizontal plane.
As the neck of such an instrument is warped upwardly from its original position,-the-tautness of the strings or wires, is decreased and the strings, or wires, are positioned higher above'the neck than they were in their original position, all of which interferes with the playing of the instrumentand prevents the production of the desired tones.
In addition to the warping of the neck of a musical stringed instrument'due to the straining orstressing of the strings, it is subjected to the warping conditions incident to varying degrees of humidity and temperature of the atmosphere, which have a tendency to warp it toward the point of least resistance orrigidity.
It is evident,- therefore, that it is important that the neckof such a musical instrument should be of such compositionand construction that it will not warp from its original position during its normal periods of playing and when it is stored away and not in use.
The instruments of my invention are constructed to overcome this danger of warping, bending and twisting, as will be evident upon a consideration of the accompanying drawings in which similar parts are designated by similar numbers.
Fig. l is a perspective view of one form of a device of my invention.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged side ,view,-partly'in section, of the neck of the device'of Fig. 1.
3 is enlarged exploded view of the bcttom of the fingerboard and thetop of the base member of the device of Fig. 1.
4. is an enlargedsection through the line 4-4 'of Fig. 2.
Figs'fi isanenlarged horizontal section on the line 5-'5.of.Fig. 2.
The body of theparticular guitar shown in the accompanying :drawings comprises a top member It and a bottom member 1! connected together with a side member l2. The top member 'lfl acts asa soundingboard and hasan aperture l3, a tailpiece l4 connected by strings orcords, l-4AI'4A to the string anchor I 4B, and a bridge 15.
Asno claim is made to any particular body formation, the illustrated body'isgiven simply as a means for clearly-describing my invention as applied to a particular musicalstringed instrument.
My invention refers particularly to the construction and formation of the neck portionof stringed musical instruments of the character mentioned, and the particular'construction and form-of the device of my invention as shown in the accompanying drawings comprises the elongated base'neck member '28, having an elongated recess, or groove, -2 i 'extendingdownwardly from the upper-face ofthe base member Ziiand abutting thereon is a'fingerboard'fl'having an elongated extendedtongue 23, said extended tongue 23-being insertable into, and preferably cemented within, the grooverecess M of thebase member 20, said extended tongue'being extended beyond theend of the fingerboardm'as at 24, adapted to fit-within the'extended portion ofthe groove 2| of-the'base member'Zfi, the lower'face of'the member 24 being inclined upwardly and the lower face of the groove 2| being inclined upwardly at 25 in order that the upper-face of the member 24 maybe flush with the upper face of the base member 20 when the tongue '23 is inserted within the groove 2|.
The rearportion of the base member 20 is eX- tended downwardly and has the male dovetail member 26 which extends downwardly from the top member Hlthrough the recess '21 of the side member 12 of the body, and is fixedly attached to the member 28, which latter member is fixedly attached to the inner face of the side member '12 of the bodyythe top member ID of the'body and the bottom member! I of the body.
The lower end portion 20A of the base member "lfl'and the lowerend portion 22A of the fingerboard 22 extends over the upper face iii of the body and are spaced therefrom asshown in'Fig. 2.
In the usually constructed'device'of this character, where'the-fingerboard member extends over the body of the instrumentthe fingerboard and the lower neck member rest upon the top mem- I overcome this interference of tone vibrations,
by spacing the neck members from the top of the body, thus allowing full vibration, the construction of my neck members, as shown and described, making this previously employed attachment of neck member and body unnecessary.
The fingerboard 22 carries a plurality of spaced parallel frets 29, 29 of the desired spacing and number, the base member carries the desired number of string keys 30, 30, as anchorages for the strings, or wires, 3|, 3!, the other end portions of which are carri d over the bridge l5 and are attached to the string anchor MB.
In the particular form of my device the fingerboard 22 carries the frets, but it is evident that if H 1 desired, the frets may be carried by a separate member fixedly attached to the upper face of the fingerboard 22.
One of the features of my device is the particular construction of the finger member 22 of the neck and that of the base member 20 of the neck and the means of attaching the neck member to the body of the instrument, all of which are designed to prevent the bending and warping of the neck member and to maintain the position of the neck with respect to the body in the desired position.
A consideration of my device shows the following rigid construction:
The fingerboard 22 is positioned above the base member 20 of the neck, the lower faces of the fingerboard 22 and the upper faces of the base member 20 having been coated with a proper cementing material, and the fingerboard 22 is then forced downwardly, the tongue 23 of the fingerboard 22 entering the groove 2i of the base member 2%, and is preferably cemented thereon. It will be noted that by this construction the tongue 23 and the groove 21 prevents a sideway warping of the neck and assists the other portions in preventing a vertical warping of the neck.
In the usually constructed devices of this character, a separate metal tongue, such as 23, is inserted into a slot, such as 2! of the base member 20, the top of the tongue being flush with the upper face of the base member. A fingerboard, such as 22 without the shown integral tongue 23 is then cemented to the upper face of the bottom member 20. The result of this construction is unsatisfactory as there is no stiffening member connecting the fingerboard and the base member, the wood and metal do not bond and the variant characteristics of the two materials with respect to heat, humidity, etc., prevent them from acting as integral to each other.
It will be noted also, that this construction presents a much greater area of cemented surfaces than is possible in the ordinary method of cementing a fiat surface of a fingerboard to a fiat surface of a base member, thus increasing both the rigidity and prevention of warping and bending of the neck as a whole.
The rigid neck thus produced is fixedly attached to the body by means of the extended base member '26 which is cemented to the member 28 car-- ried by the interior members of the body of the device. By these means the extended face 32 of the base portion 20 abutting upon the outside face of the side member 12 prevents any horizontal, or vertical, movement of the neck with respect to the body, this abutting portion being fixedly assisted by truncated pyramidal, or dovetail member 26 positioned within the truncated pyramidal, or dovetail, recess 33 of the fixedly attached member 28, as clearly shown in Figure 5.
While the neck member of my invention can be made in the usual manner by cementing a separate fingerboard to the upper face of the base member, I prefer to employ the form shown in the accompanying drawings in which the fingerboard is a part of the base member, thus avoiding the possibility of a separation of the fingerboard from the rest of the neck.
In this preferred form, the fingerboard is composed of a material composed of a plurality of thin wood laininations, pressure in'ipregnated with a phenol formaldehyde resin, heated and then superpressed in heated steel dies to produce the desired shape. The material thus formed has high tensile strength, high compressive strength, high modulus of rupture and bending and exceedingly low moisture absorption and is light weight, all of which properties are desirable in the neck portions of musical stringed instruments. This material has the additional valuable properties in that it can be molded or machine into the desired shape, its surface can y polished so that it needs no further tree ent, and it has practically the same eX- pansioa and construction ratios as the body of the device, and it is capable of much more permanent attachment to the base portion of the neck than the metal parts usually employed.
Materials thus formed and having the described characteristics are commercially obtaina which under heat and pressure is converted to a con tact solid. The long unbroken wood fibers provide unusual high tensile strength values. The resin bonds the fibers to give high shear resistance and provides moisture protection. The maximum physical properties are in the direction of the wood grain. The properties of Pregwood of importance by comparison with other laminates are its stiffness and its impact and tensile strength, and also its ability to be firmly bonded to other wooden structures.
' h physical strength proper- Prcgivcod an inherent beauty due to netration of resin into the wood cells, thus b nging out the full depth of the grain. This material is refinishable throughout its thickness.
While I have thus described my devices as being constructed with a fingerboard made from the material kllOJill as Compregwood and a base member of wood, Compregwood may be employed for both the fingerboard and the base member of a neck.
I do not limit myself to the particular size, shape, number, arrangement or material of parts as specifically mentioned and described as these are given solely for the purpose of clearly describing the devices of my invention.
What I claim is:
1. In a musical stringed instrument comprising a neck member having an elongated base portion one end portion of which is extended downwardly carrying a rearwardly extended portion, said rearwardly extended portion being adapted to extend through an aperture in the side body member of a said musical stringed instrument and of being fitted within a recess of a member within the said body of said instrument fixedly attached to the inner face of the body of said instrument, said neck base member having a longitudinal groove therein and a plurality of stringed key carried by the other end portion of said base member; and an elongated fretted fingerboard having an integral, elongated tongue, said fingerboard being fixedly attached to the upper face of said base member with said tongue inserted within said groove of said base member, the lower end portions of said fingerboard and said base member being adapted to extend over the upper face of said body portion and being spaced therefrom.
2 In a musical stringed instrument comprising a neck member having an elongated base portion one end portion of which is extended downwardly carrying a rearwardly extended portion, said rearwardly extended portion being adapted to extend through an aperture in the side body member of a said musical stringed instrument and of being fitted within a recess of a member within the said body of said instrument fixedly attached to the inner face of the body of said instrument, said neck base member having a longitudinal groove therein and a plurality of stringed keys carried by the other end portion of said base member; and an elongated fretted fingerboard having an integral, elongated tongue, said fingerboard being fixedly attached to the upper face of said base member with said tongue inserted within said groove of said base member, the lower end portion of said fingerboard and an end portion of said base member being adapted to extend over the upper face of said body portion and being spaced therefrom.
3. A neck for a musical instrument comprising an elongated base element having a centrally disposed longitudinal groove, a fingerboard of substantially T configuration adapted for union with said base element, and a longitudinal tongue on said finger board constituting the vertical part of said T configuration arranged and constructed for sealed disposition in said groove.
4. A neck according to claim 3, and means including a dovetail tongue which is adapted for mesh engagement with a dovetail recess in a body portion of the musical instrument.
REFERENCES CITED following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 608,279 Benson Aug. 2, 1898 1,596,763 Place Aug. 17, 1926 2,100,249 Hart Nov. 23, 1937 2,148,589 Stathofonlo Feb. 28, 1939