Tools, parts and what you need for guitarmaking
The neck here consists of the fingerboard and the actual neck wood. For the fretboard I plane the wood to 6.5mm thickness and use the scraper and a radius block to attach the desired fretboard radius (16"). I keep some of the fine sanding dust. I will use it later to fill the fingerboard inlays, mixed with epoxy. With the calliper I check the dimensions, then I clamp the blank on the fret saw device.
For the neck blank I use mahogany. For stability reasons I build it from two pieces, as middle layer I glue a light strip of maple veneer in between. As you can see on the following picture, the grain should be mirror-inverted and even.
The channel for the truss rod is milled out with the router and a rip fence. In this model it is 6.4mm wide and 10mm deep. To reach the nut with the wrench, the outlet is extended about 35mm beyond the beginning of the grip width to 10mm width.
I also use the router to mill the dovetail of the neck attachment. I draw the outer shape of the neck base with a small template, chisel it out roughly with a carving tool and then adjust the shape with a rasp, carving tool and sandpaper.
I mill the thickness of the back of the neck and the head of the neck with the "Safety Planer". This is a milling head, which is driven by the drill, which makes a nice and safe milling.
I attach a garnish with the thickness of the neck slope under the thinnest part of the neck. In 3mm steps I mill the desired neck thickness. I leave an allowance of 3-5 tenths for safety and remove it at the end with sandpaper.
Safety Planer in use:
The thickness of the head plate including the front veneer is usually 16mm. The shoulder left behind during milling is removed with a chisel and carving iron.
I prepare the fretboard with a small bench router and the thrust ring.
Using the same template I adjust the neck width and the head plate transition.
The neck feet are then roughly prepared with a chisel and plane.
This is what the raw machined neck parts look like:
With a two-hand plane, rasp, file and carving iron I create the neck back profile.
With a small steel pin (Ø 0.6mm) on the first and 10th fret I fix the fretboard with a small pin on the first and 10th fret respectively to prevent it from slipping. Please do not forget to pre-drill the holes, otherwise the fretboard will crack!
I apply lateral fingerboard markings with a drill. Here I use abalone. After drilling with the 2mm borher I add some super glue and with a small rubber hammer and tweezers I set the marks. It should stick out a few tenths, so you can file it with the file.
I also insert my logo in the head plate. I milled the opening with the Dremel. The 5 minutes epoxy is warmed up with a 150W heat lamp. This makes it easier for trapped air to escape and spreads the glue into all joints.
If the body cutout is also finished, the neck must still be fitted. The goal is a tight fit that is suitable in depth and direction. To make it easy to see where it is missing, I use small strips of carbon paper, lay it with the carbon side towards the worked surface, put the neck into the dovetail and shake it carefully. If I remove the neck and the paper, the black marks show the protruding areas. After two or three times, the neck fits.
I have cut the fret pieces to length and pre-bent them. I inserted them with a hammer and after assembling, the fret pieces are trimmed and polished.
Before painting, the areas not to be painted must be masked.
This is what a neck looks like after painting. Before further processing, the paint must dry for at least 14 days.
In the neck section I also added the pictures of the dressing. The neck is already glued into the body, the spaces between the cuffs are well taped. With a straight file I dress the frets and then I file the crowns round again with the fret file. Finally I polish the frets to a high gloss.
One last time carefully remove the adhesive strips, clean the fret bars with alcohol. If the neck feels good, you can use a wax/oil emulsion to let the fretboard sink in. Ready is the beautiful neck!
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