00 Falcate braced Cocbolo\Lutz Spruce Steel String Guitar blog:


September 26th 2014

On to the neck. I will do a bit of a description in line with the pictures but I will mostly let the pictures talk. This neck is going to be a bolt on bolt off neck cut from a solid piece of mahogany. The head stock is going to be like my Gore guitar with the odd shape but the strings in line with the nut. I did modify the shape a touch to make sure that edge of the head stock was the same distance from all of the tuners.

First off I rough cut a single piece neck blank out and cleaned up the faces, establishing the nut line. With the edge square to the fret board face a used my router to cut the truss rod slot. I also use some cut off from the mahogany to makes some wings as my head stock is just a touch wider then the neck blank I had.

I had a slotted fret board so I rough profiled it the the size minus the thickness of some binding on a band saw. I use a plane to finish the profile to just the correct size. I tried to come up with a bunch of ways to clamp the bindings onto the fret board. But now I just clamp down a board. Hold the binding tight between the fret board and the clamped board and spot glue the binding while applying pressure. Once tacked in place I turn the fret board over and apply a line of glue the length of the binding.

I use a template to drill matching holes for a small dowel using a template. These dowels allow me to maintain the fret board registration will working on the neck. While setting and even carving the neck I can take the fret board off and back on with the same registration. They also will help when I will glue down the fret board.

I rough cut the head stock shape, used a safe-t plane to thickness and glued on the head stock veneer. Once the head stock veneer was on I cut verry close to the profile on my band saw and used only a spoke shave and a cabinet scrapper to take it to the final shape. I finally learned how to consistently sharpen a cabinet scraper. Life is really good with a sharp scraper.

Now for the fun stuff. I reworked my neck extension routing template to work with the 14 fret neck by pressing in a small filler on the bottom and I made a matching extension. Before doing in routing a drilled the back tenon bolts of that I could have the neck bolted on while routing. By the way before routing I also made sure the neck angle was correct as that angle is getting routed into the neck extension pocket. I the past I always drilled sort of straight holes into the tenon. I finally figured out that I can drill the holes for the brass inserts with the drill press.

With the neck bolted on I used my truss rod slot indexed jig to cut out the pocket. I then final fit the neck extension into the pock and glued it only to the neck.

I used a bench plane to put the extension in plane with the neck. All that was left was to drill the bolt holes and the holes for the brass insert.

Whoops I forgot to leave most of the neck square so that I could simply extend the truss rod slot on the router table. I thought of bolting down so straight guides and using a router, but ultimately I did it with a razor saw and a chisel.

Maybe I will have it carved by Sunday.

September 27th 2014

I was able to rough carve the neck this morning. I need to glue on the fret board before I can finish the neck but it is very close.

The first step to finish the neck from where I was at was to design a heel cap that would drive the shape of the heel. The heel itself is square to the face of the neck. as I am still playing around with that shape for a steel string. On my last guitar I thought the profile that I had looked a bit boxy (it basically was a rectangle with rounded corners on the top), so on this guitar I found a circle arc that gave me the three intersections I wanted.

I transferred my shape to a bit of amboyna burl I had and gut and sanded it to shape. This was one of the first guitars that I maintained the curve on the top of the guitar body. In the past I glued the sides to a flat heel block. Maintaining the curve has interesting side effects. For example if I had used a classical heel shape, properly fitted heel cheeks would have had to follow that curve. (Part of the reason I have the squared off heel). In this step I had to put the curve into the bottom of the end cap before gluing it down. Not really shown but to assure that I had the proper fit when gluing on the end cap I glued it while the neck was bolted to the guitar body. I sprayed CA accelerator on to the bottom of the heel, clamped the heel cap in place and wicked in CA from the top of the heel cap. The accelerator made sure that the CA stopped before gluing the cap to the body.

With the cap in place I could draw out my carving lines onto the neck. I already had the neck properly tapered. For the neck shape I decided to match what the plans that I had. They had a profile for the 1st and 9th fret so I boxed in the profile and drew in a tangent line using a fixed distance from the fret board line and the neck profile. I transferred the measurement from the center line to where my tangent line intersected the boxed in profile line. The pictures may be clear than my description.

Then I used my spoke shave and sharp cabinet scraper to carve the facets that I laid out on the plan. Some also lay out all the secondary facets, I find that once the large facet is carved the required secondary and tertiary facets are easy to see by eye.

With the neck mostly carved I went to the heel and used a rasp to shape the heel to the end cap and to bend the heal into the rest of the neck.

Now it is starting to look like a guitar