Although I like 'simple', when it comes to project detail, I've found that complications pop up regularly in the world of luthery.
Since the last post about my venture into the acoustic guitar-building arena, I've learned a lot more about the building process; how additional specialty tools aid the process; and how current eco-unfriendly government restrictions cause unplanned delays. But, Uncle Sam's Postal Service saved the day (I'll explain this later), so I don't want to hear any complaining about how you didn't receive Aunt Willa's birthday card on time.
So, just what have I been up to?
After gluing up the body, the neck was the next order of business. This is one of the most crucial elements in the building process (how do I know?, because my friends at Martin Guitar are so willing to share advice and information), because, if the angles of the heel and neck are not perfect nothing else will align properly and string action will be lousy. I follow the 'measure twice (or more) and cut once' theory, always, and it works! The angle alignments are spot-on Martin recommendations.
In the photo to the left, the truss rod is in place, sitting flush with the top of the neck.
The rod is shrink wrapped in a vinyl film for a reason -- to prevent the epoxy resin used to glue it in place from seeping into the rod's movable parts and rendering it useless for possible neck adjustment, down the road.
Next comes attaching the fingerboard to the neck. This can be done in a couple ways, but the 'simple' rule applies -- press in the frets and dress them prior to gluing the board in place. Why? Because, it would be easy to snap off the portion of the fingerboard where it overlaps the heel, if the board were to be glued on prior to setting the frets.
The headstock is at an angle. The back of the neck is rounded off. The heel extends downward and is curved.
I need a new tool! As you can see, I created a simple jig to hold the neck in place, while a sturdy board rests on the top of the fretboard for adjustable clamps to apply pressure without damaging the surface of the board. This took me all of thirty minutes to build from scrap stock laying around the shop gathering dust. Damn, I like it when a plan comes together!
When the glue dries, I'll be ready to move on to the next phase of the acoustic dream. Stay tuned for more progress.