Head and Shoulders

The guitar neck glue up went well. Counting the heel block pieces and the bookmatched (to get a stable quartersawn end product) neck and headstock pieces, the neck is made up of 10 individual pieces, taken from the same , relatively small, board (18″x4″x1.5″). Talk about frugal!

The next step was to create a channel for the truss rod. For non-guitar people, the truss rod provides a way to adjust the straightness of the neck and counteracts the tension put on it by the strings. After ripping the channel on the table saw, I put a spline above the truss rod, leaving a full surface to glue the fingerboard to, and a nice, tight, fit for the truss rod.


Then it was time to create the holes for the bolt assemblies and the tenon. The traditional joint for an acoustic guitar neck has been a dovetail. On cheaper models, they may simply bolt on the neck. However, because of the inevitable need to adjust the neck’s set (the angle that it attaches to the guitar) over time, more and more custom builders are turning to a bolted tenon system. This provides a very sturdy joint, that is easy to adjust, when the time comes.


The last task, before shaping, was to inlay the acorn logo into the headstock overlay, in mother of pearl (MOP). I had been worrying about this one, since I have not done marquetry inlay before, and dealing with the hard, yet brittle nature of the MOP adding to my trepidation. But, I must soldier on. I glued the MOP to the overlay, and the acorn pattern to the MOP, drilled two tiny holes with a pin drill, and fired up the fretsaw with a 2/0 blade. I decided against the powered scrollsaw, so that I could have more control over the cuts. (I don’t have a terribly good scrollsaw.) Many saw strokes later (man, MOP is hard!), I had a reasonably good inlay, ready for the CA glue. Perfect? Maybe not, but certainly acceptable.


That gets glued to the headstock, with a maple veneer between it. Next up will be cutting the final profile of the neck and head, and then breaking out the rasp, chisels, files and gouges.

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