US 3251257 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D. D. BUNKER May 17, 1966 STRINGED INSTRUMENT OF GUITARITYPE Filed March 10, 1965 DAVID D. BUNKER INVENTOR.
ATTORNEYS 3 251,257 STRINGED INSTRUMENT F GUITAR TYPE David D. Bunker, 1104 S. 121 St., Tacoma, Wash. Filed Mar. 10, 1965, Ser. No. 438,520 Claims. (Cl. 84267) This invention relates to improvements in the construction and design of musical instruments in the guitar,
banjo and mandolin categories, More particularly, it relates. to the body design and detail of construction of the neck and finger board portions of such instruments; it being the principal object of the invention to provide a body of novel design and to embody novel means in the neck portion of the instrument for overcoming or avoiding neck and finger board warpage under tension of the strings with which the instrument is equipped; to permit the neck portion of such an instrument to be made lighter in weight and smaller without loss of strength or utility; and to provide for making adjustments in the spacing of the strings above the finger board as associated with the neck structure.
Further objects of the invention reside in the novel designing of the body of the instrument, for easier and more comfortable handling in playing' Further objects and advantages of the invention reside in the specificdetails of construction and assemblyof its parts,'as will be disclosed and fully explained as this specification progresses.
In accomplishing the above mentioned and other objects and advantages of the invention, I have provided the improved details of construction, the preferred forms of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein- FIG. 1 is a top view of a stringed instrument of electric guitar classification, in which the novel features of the invention have been embodied.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal section of the instrument, taken on line 22 in FIG. 1, a portion of the neck being broken away to shorten the view.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional View of the neck portion of the instrument taken on line 3-3 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an outer end view of the string anchoring plate at the outer end of the neck portion of the instrument, showing the spacing of the strings of the instrument as anchored thereto.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-section of the main body portion of the instrument, taken on line 55 in FIG. 2.
In the following specification, the various features of the invention have been described as embodied in a certain type of electric guitar applicable to various types of similar stringed instruments without change in purpose or relationship, and without departure from the spirit of the invention.
Referring more in detail to the drawings:
In FIG. 1, designates, in its entirety, a typical musical instrument, of the electric guitar category, embodying a main body portion 12, a neck portion 13 that is attached to and extends from what is designated the top end of the bodyblock and carries the usual finger board 14 in which fretslS are transversely mounted. The instrument as here shown has the usual strings 16, which are anchored at their outer ends to a flanged head plate 17, presently to be described in detail, and at their inner ends are passed slidably across a supporting bridge member 18 mounted on the lower end portion of the body 12 and are individually wound on tuning shafts 19 mounted in supports 19 and operable by thumb screws 20 for string tuning.
The body portion 12 is formed from a solid wooden block, preferably spruce, approximately 1% inches in thickness and of the novel shape or outline best shown United States Patent 0 in FIG. 1. This body block terminates at what has been designated its top end, in a central continuing projection 21 and at opposite sides of this projection, is formed with laterally directed horns or prong-like portions 22-22.
The neck portion 13 of the instrument is of wood and it is overlaid to its full length on its flat top surface with a substantially flat finger board 14 in which the usual metal frets 15 are transversely set. At its lower or base end, the wooden neck 13 flatly overlaps the top surface of the central projection 21 and is firmly and securely fixed thereto by a plurality of screws 22, or the like, applied upwardly through the part 21 of the body block 12 and threaded as in FIG. 2, into the opposite side portions of the base end of the neck.
This wooden neck of the present instrument has a length of approximately twenty inches and, at its base end, has a transverse width of two inches and a thickness of about one inch, and it tapers slightly toward its outer end. Also, it has a slightly transversely rounded undersurface, as indicated at 13x in FIG. 3.
A feature of the neck 13 is that it is formed to its full length in its central longitudinal plane, with a straight channel 30, as noted in FIG. 3, of a width of about onehalf inch, and with parallel opposite side wall surfaces. This channel 30 originally was open to the bottom side of the neck but in the final formation of the neck, is closed by a thin strip of wood veneer or metal 32 applied as shown in FIG. 3.
Contained entirely within and lengthwise of the neck channel 30, as seen best in FIG. 2, is a metal bar 35 which terminates at'its inner end just short of the square cut inner end surface of the wooden neck and extends from the channel 30 at its outer end a short distance beyond the outer end of the neck.
The bar 35 is pivotally mounted near its inner end on a cross-shaft 36 that extends horizontally through the base end portion of neck 13 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The bar 35 as contained in the channel 30 is free of its walls, and at its outer end is contained freely in a guide slot 37 of a metal plate 38 that is applied over the end surface of the neck as in FIG. 2.
At its inner end, the bar 35 rests against an adjusting screw bolt 39 that is threaded upwardly through a metal plate 39 that is fixed to the body block member 21, as shown in FIG. 2. By adjustment of this screw bolt 39, the bar 35 may be adjusted downwardly or upwardly at its outer end, thus to regulate the spacing of the bank of strings 16 from the finger board. The use of the bar 35 for this purpose and for sustaining the string tension is important in that it relieves the wooden neck of that strain that is usually applied through the tension of the strings. The relief of this string tension from the neck avoids the undesirable warping or bowing pressure to which the necks of such instruments are subjected. The manner herein shown of pivotally mounting the bar 35 provides the short inner end lever portion 35' and the relatively long outer end portion 35" through which the position of the strings 16 relative to the finger board may be changed and retained to suit the individual using the instrument.
On the extended outer end of the bar, the string anchoring plate 17 of angular formation is rigidly fixed flatly to the bar 35 and turned angularly to extend slightly above the level of the finger board and is then again turned at a rightangle away from the neck end to give stiffness to the plate. The upturned medial portion of this plate 17' is bored as at 40 in FIG. 2 to receive the ends of the guitar strings 16 therethrough for their secure anchoring. At the lower end of the body block 12, the bridge member 18 is mounted on a metal plate 42 which overlaps with the lower end of a metal plate 43 that is fixed to the lower end surfaces of the wooden neck 12. The overlapped end portions of the plates 42 and 43 are held by screws 44 applied therethrough into the body block as shown in FIG. 2. The plate 42, at its upper end, carries a screw 45 that is threaded therethrough to engage a seat 46 on the body block for elevational adjustment of the bridge 18.
It is further to be explained that in the use of an electric or electrified guitar, the tone produced by strumming the strings is picked up by what are generally designated as pick-ups as indicated at 50 in FIG. 1. The pick-ups are connected to transmit the string tones to suitable amplifiers, not herein shown. The players forearm, which holds the pick or plectum, is normally rested on a cover plate 51 that is pivotally mounted on the body block to be swung over or from the turning screws 20. To make the instrument more easily handled and held in use, it has been found practical to materially reduce the usual size of the body much below that of the usual guitar; this being accomplished by cutting away the lower outside portion in a rounded end surface 55 merging in a rounded end surface into a straight diagonal or sloping edge 56.
What I claim as new is:
1. A stringed instrument of the character described having a body portion with a neck structure extending therefrom; said neck structure including a wooden neck member rigidly fixed at its inner end to said body portion and formed longitudinally to its full length, with a channel, a finger board mounted on and extending along said neck member, a rigid metal bar disposed in and extending to the full length of the channel in said wooden neck member with clearance and projecting beyond its outer end, a transverse pivot supporting said bar in said chan-. nel adjacent its inner end, a string supporting bridge mounted on the body in alignment with the neck member, string tuning shafts mounted on the lower end of the body spaced from the bridge, a complement of strings for the instrument anchored at their outer ends to the outer end of said metal bar and extended therefrom along the neck and finger board and applied at their inner ends across said bridge and individually attached to the corresponding tuning shaft and means mounted in the body portion and engaged against the inner end of said bar to adjust its position in the neck to establish the spacing of said strings relative to the finger board.
2. An instrument according to claim 1 wherein a slotted plate is applied to the outer end surface of said channeled neck; said bar being contained near its outer end in said plate slot to guide it in its adjustment, withoutinfluence on the wooden neck.
3. An instrument, according to claim 1, wherein said inner end of said wooden neck member overlaps and is rigidly secured to said body and said finger board overlies the longitudinal channel of said wooden neck member,
and wherein said metal bar is equipped at its outer end with a transverse plate in which the outer ends of the strings are anchored in proper spacing and said bridge is adjustably supported and is equipped with string spacing and bridge adjusting means whereby to establish the spacing of the strings above the finger board.
4. An instrument according to claim 1, wherein said metal bar is pivotally supported on a transverse supporting pin, and an adjusting bolt is threaded upwardly in the body to engage the inner end lever arm of said bar and is adjustable to effect upward or downward movement of its outer end lever arm as a means for establishing string elevation along the finger board.
5. An instrument according to claim 1 wherein said bridge is mounted by a plate secured on the body and said plate has a screw therethrough for adjusting said plate from or toward the body to lift or lower the bridge relative to the finger board level.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,101,3 64 12/1937 Dopyera 84293 2,497,116 2/1950 Dopyera 84293 2,793,556 5/1957 Maccaferri 84267 3,185,011 5/1965 Anderson 84-267 X LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.