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Route first or glue first?

Dugz Ink

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I think I am ready to move to the next stage, but I want some input before I do anything.

My initial idea was to make my first project out of a 1" face and a 1" back, so I could do some of the routing and cutting before I glue the pieces together... like cutting the face board and fitting the neck to it. The back board should bolt right onto the neck... if my measurements and estimates are correct.... eliminating the need to cut/route that piece of wood.

But I keep reading articles (including here) about people gluing everything together before they do any routing or fitting. After long consideration, that makes sense, too.

I don't have a router template for cutting out the wood where the neck will mount; I've always done inletting work (usually on gunstocks) by hand, doing the final fitting with very sharp chisels and scrapers... and I can get a really nice fit.

So, should I cut out the face board and fit the guitar neck by hand before gluing the body pieces? Or buy/make a router template, then fit the neck after everything is glued together? Or profess that I am not worthy of being a Luthier, then go to Guitar Sinner and buy whatever they have to offer?

If you can help, my wife would appreciate it; she's tired of me pacing around the woodshop.



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the fact that you are thinking it through this much tells me that you are capable of doing it either way you choose to go...and i think from your other posts that you have the patience and forethought necessary to make a great instrument

however...my suggestion is to glue the pieces together first...because then you have a larger more stable piece to rout on(rout first,cut body shape after),you don't have as much of a chance of tearout of the grain in the bottom of your neck pocket,and also you don't have that annoying glue to clean up in your neck pocket after you glue it together

i always glue everything together before routing...but if i understand what you are talking about properly(routing completely through your top piece)then that will work as well...

by the way i have cleaned up a neck pocket very well with chisels before...after routing without a template...after glue up

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