Learning Ukulele 50 Sites Top 50 Ukulele Sites Argapa Ukuleles - one size louder: Installing neck reinforcement rods

Friday, August 8, 2014

Installing neck reinforcement rods

I know it's rarely needed, but I see other builders do it and argue for it so since I had some carbon fibre rods at home I wanted to give it a go. Five necks; three sopranos, a tenor and a concert.

I cut the rods to length, roughly from the heel end and back to the first fret. Then I sliced them diagonally to wedges, thinking the thinner end should go towards the headstock where the neck profile is slimmer. But why, you might wonder, strengthen the fatter part more - that'd be strong enough already. Well there's more wood there and my feeling is that a thicker piece could warp more if humidity and temperature would play up. 

In the pic there placed on the neck backwards. 

Then I was going to place a block of 12 mm thickness at the first fret location and run it across my mini table saw, to get the slot to even out to zero where the wedges end. But the table on the saw is tiny and the block wouldn't make contact at first. Bummer! I really did not fancy making special wedges for each neck size!

But wait..! Wedges? I had wedges already didn't I. After an unprecedented stroke of genius, this is what I came up with. 

I superglued the sliced rods on some wide masking tape and Bob was, indeed, your uncle. Or my uncle. 

After running it over the blade a couple of passes (blade is 1.5 mm and the rods 2) this was the result. 

And after 10 more minutes this was the result. 

Clever, huh? And the tape already in place in time for glueing! Out came the epoxy. 

You'll notice that not all pairs are centered, but they will be. I avoided some sapwood on one and a chip out on another.

I feel so good about myself I'm gonna publish this method on various fora. 

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