Neck Blank AssemblyThe neck is made from two halves glued together along the neck
centerline, with the headstock glued on using a scarf joint. The photo
below shows the neck halves laid out on a piece of 5/4 stock - maple,
in this case. Other neck woods I've used are mahogany and walnut.
The halves are cut out and glued together, and the top surface is
flattened. The angled joint for the peghead stock is then cut and
smoothed. The taper on the peghead joint is 1" in 4". The trick with
this joint is to know where it should be placed on the neck so the end
of the fretboard will be at the desired position once the peghead is
glued and the top surface is flattened. Using a thickness of 9/16" for
the peghead stock, the length of the top surface of the neck that will
be on the peghead stock is 2.32 inches. Assuming the scale length for the guitar
is 25.5", the 14th fret, where the neck will attach to the body, is 14.14
inches from the nut. Using a 1/2" depth for the dovetail joint and a
1/4" thick nut, the total distance from the end of the dovetail to the
end of the nut is 14.89 inches. Subtracting 2.32 from this gives 12.57
inches; thus the taper should begin at a distance of 12.57 inches from the end
of the dovetail.
The angle is cut with the bandsaw, and then smoothed with a handplane.
The photograph shows the cutoff piece attached to the bottom surface of
the neck with double-faced tape. This helps to support the neck while
planing the angled joint, and is used as a clamping caul when the neck
and peghead are glued.
The peghead is then glued to the taper. The headstock is 9/16" thick,
and alignment lines are drawn to align the neck stock for gluing.
The peghead is then glued to the neck
stock - or rather, as the pictures show, the neck stock is glued to the
peghead. Notice the block taped to the neck stock for the clamping
caul, so the clamping surface will be parallel to the headstock surface.
Once the peghead is glued, the portion
of it that protrudes above the top surface of the neck needs to be cut
off. The cut is made on the bandsaw, with the top surface of the neck
moving against the plexiglss jig shown.
The cutoff portion of the peghead is then planed flat with the surface of the neck.
The groove for the truss rod can now be cut down the center of the
neck. This is done on a router table, with the table's fence set so the
groove will be on the exact centerline of the neck. Because the peghead
protrudes beyond the edges of the neck blank, a rectangular spacer is
attached to the side of the neck with double-faced tape. A 1/4" wide
groove is cut first, to a depth of 7/16" (in several passes). A 1/2"
wide groove 1/2" deep is then made just to the position of the nut, to
provide space for the end block of the truss rod. The end of this
groove is then squared with a chisel.
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