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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Neck blanks progressing

It was time to go further with the necks. They were planed and the length was scribed, so typically I'd have whipped out the rip saw for the slanted cuts lengthwise, but the blanks were square and clean so I thought what if...

... I were to cut them at the heel first. At the correct angle for the string height in conjunction with the well, the cone, the whole works really. That angle is (for me) 1.5 degrees and it can be a bit awkward to get it right after those rip cuts. 

So; what I needed to whip out was my appropriately sized carcass saw, a saw I got from my aunt a long time ago. It's a Swedish backsaw, modern enough to have a fugly plastic handle but old enough not to have hardened teeth. I cleaned the rust from the plate a while back but haven't used it since. 

I remembered at once why that was - it wasn't sharp. Well I just had to sharpen it then, I mean I did buy a couple of saw files when I cleaned that rust off. But how to clamp it? I never got around to buying one of those nifty saw vises on ebay did I. Luckily I have seen Paul Sellers' wooden clamp so I made one similar to that. It can be seen in the pic, sort of, at the back. 

So after dinner tonight I sharpened the saw and actually got a decent result. 

And then back to the necks! I set a bevel guage at the correct angle and scored both sides at the heel, a deep knife line which I, since a cross grain cut was next, made into a knife wall. Again, thanks mr. Sellers. 

The first pic shows the saw and the prepared blanks. And the bench hooks. And a new chisel. And a couple of marking knives. 

After cutting all three blanks I laid out the taper with a centre finding rule. That is a great tool, and the cherry stripe in the neck makes it dead easy to measure. I set the width at 36 mm at the nut and 42 mm at the heel connection, which is at the 13th fret. 

Then I mark the taper at the heel face. One neck won't get any and you can see why - the alder sides are a bit short so I need a full width heel to cover the gap. Now don't lie awake thinking that gap will magically reduce sustain and volume. I won't because it won't. 

Now it's about time to whip out that rip saw..!

One last pic since I cleaned the workshop the other day. I mounted my Record vise on the bench and I love it to bits. Blue, really heavy bits. This was taken yesterday when I was planing the halves for the saw clamp. 

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