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Cut Your Angled Headstock


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Hey, I was wondering if anyone's thought of doing their necks this way... so it's kinda like cutting it out of a 3"x3" slab... but you don't waste as much wood, and you don't have to mess with scarf jointing. Would this be strong enough?

newneck.jpg

This is just to give you an idea, you'd probably need to laminate more than one piece of wood at the headstock to get it... but this is just to show/get my idea across. Then ofcourse you'd put a veneer over the back and front or something :D

Comments? Ideas?

Chris

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Hey, I was wondering if anyone's thought of doing their necks this way... so it's kinda like cutting it out of a 3"x3" slab... but you don't waste as much wood, and you don't have to mess with scarf jointing.  Would this be strong enough?

newneck.jpg

This is just to give you an idea, you'd probably need to laminate more than one piece of wood at the headstock to get it... but this is just to show/get my idea across. Then ofcourse you'd put a veneer over the back and front or something :D

Comments? Ideas?

Chris

I build my neck thru blanks that way, usually i never have thick enought pieces of wood so i have to do it that way, there isn;t much waste of wood if done properly

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Don't forget that you can take a few 3/4" pieces of wood and turn them on their sides if thickness is an issue. The width becomes the thickness and you're flatsawn wood becomes quartered. It's not the best for conserving wood but I think it beats laminating that way. Then again, if it's what you like - don't change a thing :D.

For cutting down the thickness on the headstock, I use my bandsaw with a 1/2" blade. I clean it up with a sanding block or occasionally a block plane. There are lots of ways to do this but I don't think it needs to be too difficult.

I think it's fairly common for people who haven't tried scarf joints to want to find another way. Give it a try though - I think you'll find that with a couple of attempts, you'll build some confidence.

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I think we get this question about scarf joints about once a week, so I think it's time someone does a tutorial on them, and I'm starting this afternoon... lol

I can understand how it might be scary to do one, but it's really not that hard guys. Not bad enough to pay $35 dollars for one blank.. yikes.. Here is the basic steps.

1. Determine the headstock angle you want and draw it out on the edges.

2. Cut the angle with whatever method you prefer, bandsaw, tablesaw jig, etc.

3. Smooth the cut surfaces, using router smoothing jig, hand plane, etc.

4. Glue the scarf joint together.

Done..

I personally use the bandsaw for step 2. You must make sure your bandsaw is setup properly though for this method. Then I use the Router Smoothing Jig for step 3.

Which step is the hardest for you? Maybe one of us can help you solve your problems.

Good luck.

Matt Vinson

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I'm up for doing a 'all hand tools, all the time' photo tutorial next time I do a few necks, if people are interested.

Honestly, my impression is that it's people who aren't comfortable with handsaws or bandsaw, but more importantly either don't have a router jig, or are unfamiliar with how to sharpen, tune and use a plane that have problems prepping the surfaces.

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Yeah, it's all about the getting it flat! The cut isn't the annoying part, it's getting everything flush. And as for "after you do a couple you'll like it more" type attitude, I just did my second and still see $35 as a steal.

Chris

That's very true. Why don't you try building a router smoothing jig, it works great for me, if your still wanting to get better at it. If not, buy the neck from Warmoth, nothing wrong with that, but I'm just trying to encourage you to not give up on it. I will make a tutorial on this very subject and show every method I know about building a scarf joint neck.

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hahaha, i haven't given up on it... cause they don't offer pre-scarfed east indian rosewood blanks :D so na matter what i'm not DONE with scarfs.... HOWEVER if maple ever comes along, I think I'll go with them for simplicity. Plus all my wood-working is done by carrying my tools out to the front porch every time I want to use them. Being a college student I don't have much space for my tools, non-the-less jigs, etc. Now if I had a workshop that's a different story, I'd build jigs galor and have a planer and EVERYTHING... but it's not really an option :D

Chris

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when getting the headstock thickness, using a hand plane sounds good, but should i lay it fretboard first on the table and get the back of the headstock? or go on the top of the headstock?

I tend to plane the headstock bit almost down to final thickness (I pretty much always veneer the headstock, so leave that proud), then glue, then clean up the remaining mm or so on the face of the headstock. Removing thickness from the back is easyish and fine if you've got a drum sander/router/thickness sander to do it with, but a pain if with a handplane (neck shaft gets in the way.

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