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rhoads56

How To Cut A Scarf Joint Or Headstock Angle

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Ok, so you should now be able to work out the neck angle to the body, headstock angle (by using the same theory), etc etc, because of THIS THREAD

Scarf joint or single piece neck with headstock angle. Doesnt matter, just use this same technique for both types of necks.

Mark out the angle for the headstock/scarf joint, and cut it roughly to suit with a bandsaw or handsaw. KEEP THE OFFCUT!

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Using a simular idea as THIS THREAD (but a different method), ive made a block which fits over the end of my neck blanks. I cut my necks blanks to one of three different sizes (through, set or bolt-on), so i have one block for each. If you look carefully, each side of the block (either side of the rebated section) is a different length... one for a shallow headstock angle, one for a steeper headstock angle. The shallow angle is for non floyd style guitars, the steeper one suits a floyd rose locking nut angle. Angle is irrelevant for this thread, and something you have to work out for yourself.

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Run the blank over the cutter head, and it trims it perfectly. Careful it is cutting square to the face of the neck blank. A nice tight rebate block (which i screw to the end with two screws) helps with this. NOTE: ive pulled the safety guard back to allow you a little more clarity on what is happening. DONT exposure yourself to this much uncovered blade, its deadly

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Trim the blank down to the line (you drew this earlier before rough cutting to size remember) by running it over the cutter head on your jointer. You'll need to run it over the cutter a few times. I set my blades for a maximum cut of 0.5mm, often less.

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Thats all you need to know for standard one piece necks with a headstock angle...

... but if you are scarf jointing on a headstock....

... then drill a hole towards the end of the headstock piece (no pic sorry) and another in the angled section of the neck blank. Be sure to locate the hole exactly where the truss rod is located so it is routed away later. ALSO, make sure the hole is no deeper than the truss rod rout. If you have any tear out, or lifting of grain, just shave it down with a sharp chisel.

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Use a screw to screw the headstock on. Notice how ive used a centre line to aid in my location of the holes. It doesnt have to be in the centre, as this one isnt, but i do t so i have a near consistant overhang to one side of the headstock (eg: always the same amount of waste on the bass side).

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Note, we havent used any glue yet, and here is the joint from the back...

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The screw is not there to help join the two pieces. It is purely to assist in gluing up. With the headstock angle, the glue will allow the two pieces of timber to slide out of alignment when being clamped. So, to make it easier, the screw stops that sliding motion. Thats all it does. Quick and easy.

Glue the two surfaces...

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... making sure you rub the two pieces together to spread the glue, and remove any air from the joint. Your joints will be much stronger, and less noticible if you rub them together before clamping. Try it.... just try pulling the parts appart once they have been rubbed together...

Clamp the pieces together, using the off cut from when we cut the waste of the headstock angle off (so the clamps are perpendicular to the headstock face/join), and another flat scrap for the headstock face.

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Before you know it, you'll be gluing up 15 necks at a time. Anyone care for a flying v?? :D

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Clamp the pieces together, using the off cut from when we cut the waste of the headstock angle off (so the clamps are perpendicular to the headstock face/join), and another flat scrap for the headstock face.

17.jpg

Before you know it, you'll be gluing up 15 necks at a time. Anyone care for a flying v?? :D

18.jpg

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Lee Valley has a little doodad you can use, too:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...,51225&ap=1

Obviously you'll have to plan a bit so that you can use it in a way that you don't run the blade up against the metal tubing.

I have two of those. Just be careful it is solid (they arent) when in use. Id use it to build a real angle guide, not as a guide itself.

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Doble poste.

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Cheers for the advice. There's something about the one above (the Kathy Matsushita one) that's far more appealing anyhow. :D (by comparison to the Lee Valley one, I mean; not by comparison to yours)

One thing to keep in mind for the Lee Valley one that I didn't mention is that if you're using a neck blank that's the width of the headstock, you're going to be hard-pressed to find a table-saw with a tall enough blade. Pretty much an "add ears" kinda jig. Not that adequate table-saws don't exist, but even at my local highschool (which has industrial-level power tools) the blade couldn't be raised enough to go through the blank I was working with.

The solution was to use a jig in conjunction with a bandsaw instead of the table-saw. But the blade wasn't set-up optimally (and I don't know how to do that myself) so the cut wasn't perfect. Required some "planing" after all.

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Thats why i went away from the table saw idea (which i do still use for bolt-on necks with scarf joints). I have a decent sized table saw, but its not big enough for one piece necks, etc, without adding "wings" for extra width.

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I built this jig:

http://pweb.jps.net/~kmatsu/htmlpages/scarfjigplan.html

I found it on Kathy Matsushita's site. It works great every time. And as you stated "If you have the tools" namely a table saw.

That looks like a cool jig.It's similar to a jig I saw pictured in American Basses in the section that Micheal Tobias had an article reprinted.

I am lucky to have two table saws.Unfortunately the bandsaws I have are table top versions and not big or tough enough for most cutting of bodies.

Thanks for the advice and ideas!!!!I've been planning to build for a long time and have many templates(on cardboard) and full size plans drawn.

Pete

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