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Dovetail Template

Dovetail Template - Device for Precise Cutting of Guitar Neck

On this site I show my milling device for attaching the neck on acoustic guitar cabinets.

Since there are quite different ways. A basic distinction:

  • Screw (cheap, often sound leakage)
  • Wood joints
    • dovetail
    • Straight groove connection
    • Dowel connection
  • Combinations of both techniques
  • Fix stump with high-tech adhesives (approve, not to imitate!)

Some of these compounds are protected by patents. The company CF Martin has eg under the US patent number US005461958 leave in 1995 to protect their way. It is a combination of straight groove connection and screw connection. A wide slit in the neck pad and a screw hole sitting in the guitar body, the anvil and a metal rediscover Setzmutter located at the neck itself. Even Taylor, Kaman and other companies protect their production methods so easy to imitate before.

Examples of Patent Drawings:

 CF Martin Patent Plastic body with dovetail Kaman Patent hinged

The old, executed with high expenditure of time and skill forms such as the dovetail joint is hurting to my knowledge at any time be used without rights there.

The ensuing device achieved a steel-string approach was also used by the size of her decades of the company CF Martin. It is a so-called dovetail or in English a "Dovetail Joint". Since this wood connection since ages in numerous variants found use, she's also become a kind of industry standard is not an invention of the instrument makers from the US, but by multiple use and imitation. Especially in the repair therefore you meet again the size, a reason for me to decide me for it. Previously, these connections are made with high craftsmanship effort and skill under the help of saws, chisels and knives. Of course, one only makes today in vocational schools to the trainees to work out the basis, in the normal production of course you use cutters. I use this a router with a 80 ° zinc mills. This means do I stop ring at a plexiglass mask along.

Neck Block Sketch Metabo thrust ring and groove cutter to the neck block Metabo thrust ring and groove cutter at the neck with moderation

The device requires two templates, one for the neck, one for the neck block. The cut-outs on the template are with me on my Metabo router with a Ø11mm ring fence and adapted to the slotting cutter (see picture above). As support for the cutter is a simple wooden structure that you herrichtet of plywood is best. This construction is then secured with two clamps on the workbench. On the base plate to do then with clamps (Klemsa) the Fräsling fixed, either the guitar body or the neck. Man needed to produce:

Sketch device in three views
  Dimensions piece Remark
Baseplate 520x300x12 1 Cutout 60x60
Stencil plate 300x250x12 1 Neck 95x125
Mounting board 450x75x20 1  
Verstrebungsbrett 180x75x12 2  
Template guide 250x48x8 2 Plastic coated wg. Sliding properties
Setzmuttern M5 4 Mounting and alignment template
Stencil material 200x200x8 2 PMMA (plexiglass)

The template I prepared as follows. I drew the outline and pasted this drawing with nonpermanent spray angle exactly on the stencil material. With the jigsaw, files and sandpaper I approached gradually to the final contour. With this method, you can reach a very high accuracy, but it is also time consuming. With a scriber I marked the center lines, these I drew on the stencil plate and and can thus adjust the angular position accurately.

Template Body Template neck

Since most steel strings necks have a tendency of 1-2 °, the necks must be this underlaid. I do this with a 5mm thick pressboard, for centering I have it glued a strip in the width of the steel bar channel. The neck is directed first in width and in length according to the center line and then fixed it in about 1 mm distance from the Schablone.Da I've honed the necessary inclination to the end of the neck, I now überpfüfe the parallelism of the neck front side and the template. If this is given, I put the router on the zinc depth of 16mm and work my way into 2-3mm layers on the Schablonenumriß out a final check and finished the neck.

The milling is done similar to the guitar body. A rough positioning I reach with a lashing strap, which I accreting to the Korpustaillie, the final fixing I reach back over wooden clamps and possibly wedges and sticks to be inserted underneath. Aligning the ensemble's both in width and in length (any deviation changes the Satienverlauf and thus the bridge position). Checking the parallelism of the cutting face to face masks. Important here is that the ceiling and the neck block and frames together form an angle of exactly 90 °, as this is the reference for the neck. Some instrument makers to drill with a Forstner bit most of the previously milled away, but it also works without. Also worth mentioning is that by shaking pretty from solid milling the body and to thereby possibly blurred the focus, necessarily eg check again on auxiliary labels.

Template neck 1 Template neck 2 Detail from below Metabo thrust ring with jointing cutters

Here are two results, once a finished neck and the corresponding dovetail neck itself. If you cut the overhang still away and drags a little, fit the connection like a glove. Have fun with it!

Pavers Halausschnitt