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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Setting a neck

The walnut tenor turned out to be flat and square where it needed to be flat and square, and its alder neck was also dead easy to align. Usually I do quite a lot of sanding on the mating surfaces to get the centerlines perfectly straight and I also shoot for either a slight neck angle or a flush surface from neck to soundboard. 

The final neck angle I set when I glue the back so as long as I don't have a negative neck angle at this stage I'm content. 

And the joint between heel and body doesn't have to be perpendicular to the centerline. It was exactly so on this tenor but a miniscule angle won't matter. (I'm talking about angles that could be measured but hardly seen, and certainly not after the fretboard goes on.)

But this time everything was aligned after a couple of minutes, so onwards with drilling the holes. I use a screw and barrel bolt connection and since I made this drilling jig I get consistent and accurate results every time. I chose to shim it this time because the heel is rather slim, but that only offsets the hole from the face of the heel. (Oh, the anatomical nightmares of luthiery.)


Pointy end at centerline and away we go! The jig fits the Zyliss vise beautifully. 


The neck gets two holes since the barrel bolt is there, 10 mm for the bolt and 6 for the screw. I used to make my own barrel bolts to get down to 8 mm, but that was hard work so now I just buy the standard ones. 


This last pic is from the dry fit. I often make the hole in the neck block 6.5 or 7 mm to get wiggle room but that wasn't necessary today. Now off to the office. 
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