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Flatness For Back Of Headstock


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i'm having a heck of a time getting a nice flat surface on the back of the headstock.....

its at 15 degrees....the front was easy because i could use a plane to achieve the proper angle and flatness....

but the back is a different story....

the headstock thickness i'm shotting for is between 1/2" and 5/8"

you guys have any tricks???

thanks

madhattr88

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No, I don't. Nothing particularly fancy though; just the Safe-T-Planer chucked into the drill press, and some makeshift rails for the workpiece to slide under while holding it down to the drill press table.

i guess i could use this set-up to create the angle on the back of the neck (neck/body joint) i have it at 2°

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I do it with a stationnary 6X48 belt sander. I do the entire headstock with it, including the top surface after glueing the scarf joint. Takes about 30 minutes, no need for complex jigs to hold the neck. I start with 80 paper for fast wood removal, and finish by hand with 150.

Industrial belt sanders have large flat tables, on which you can sand flat surface like headstock. I use the rounded ends to carve the headstock. This is one of the most useful tools in my shop. Easy to use, no tearouts, fast work.

Edited by MescaBug
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I do it with a stationnary 6X48 belt sander. I do the entire headstock with it, including the top surface after glueing the scarf joint. Takes about 30 minutes, no need for complex jigs to hold the neck. I start with 80 paper for fast wood removal, and finish by hand with 150.

Industrial belt sanders have large flat tables, on which you can sand flat surface like headstock. I use the rounded ends to carve the headstock. This is one of the most useful tools in my shop. Easy to use, no tearouts, fast work.

would the ones they sell at home depot suffice for this???

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Depends on the model. The more power you have, the less time it takes. And smaller surface would make it less useful. I wouldn't recommend the small 4" benchtop models for heavy use.

But something like this should be perfect. Just make sure you can remove the guards if you want to do contour sanding:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores...ocStoreNum=8125

Edited by MescaBug
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+1 on the 6x48

spindle sander and disc sander works well if you dont have the combo;

i tried hand held sander, and i used 100 grit;

the problem is the holding part, its odd to give it enouhg downward pressure while keeping it flat and still paying attention ot whta your doing;

fo ra last attempt i would throw it upside down in a vise

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i'm having a heck of a time getting a nice flat surface on the back of the headstock.....

its at 15 degrees....the front was easy because i could use a plane to achieve the proper angle and flatness....

but the back is a different story....

the headstock thickness i'm shotting for is between 1/2" and 5/8"

you guys have any tricks???

thanks

madhattr88

This is how I do it. Using a few thicknesses of wood laid on top of each other with 2 sided tape. Dont for get the clamp on fence It stops the router from going to far in the transition. If you have more questions PM me.

MIke

OH BTW the PICS are VERY LARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

link

Edited by MiKro
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The way I would do it is to mark the high spots, flatten with a small bull-nose plane, and maybe use a thickness gauge to mark a line how think you want it, and work it down to that line with said plane, alot easier in my opinion than making jigs and what not if this is a single job.

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I use my Performax 16/32(open ended drum sander), in conjunction with my oscillating spindle sander(for the volute, 3" drum on the tuner side, 2" on the shaft side). Very easy and smooth method, but I am not sure if you have a drum sander available.

Peace,Rich

i wish i had an open end drum sander...but i don't.

i really like the way that wagner safe-t-planer looks.

i might break down and buy one...

for those of u who put an angle on the neck for the body joint...do u do the same thing???? drum sanders?

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for those of u who put an angle on the neck for the body joint...do u do the same thing???? drum sanders?

Not really(I generally cut, route, hand plane(sometimes jointer) for most angled surfaces), but I think I saw Erik had been using his for a pickup plane in his GOTM tutorial. Drum sanders (thickness sanders) have many more uses than people would think. The open end of the sander does allow for tasks and jigs that would not be possible in a closed end sander. It is possible to set the drum at a fixed angle (as long as it is not too steep), or you can use a jig to carry the part at a given angle and keep the drum flat (I keep my drum set pretty much flat, within a couple thousandths across 16").

Before I attach a scarfed headstock, I will thickness it to just where I need it to make my volute (which is only slightly thicker than my final thickness). The combination of accuracy(I make .010" fine binding with my drum sander, and you can generally control a drum sander at about .003/.005" per pass * which is perfect for adjusting soundboard thickness to get just what you want when you want to check it after each little bit is removed and stop when it is just right), leveling/thicknessing material, surfacing and prep. for joining wider surfaces make a drum sander very useful. If you think about how many parts on a guitar need to be flat surfaced or made to thickness, and how many parts are about 3" thick or less. You start to see why almost every blank or part gets to visit the sander at least one time. Being able to start with parts and blanks that are closer to tolerance and cleanly surfaced speeds up and improves accuracy at just about every step of the way. It also allows me to make jigs with very tight tolerances (for say routing) that are designed for blanks made to specific dimensions and thicknesses.

I am a huge fan of thickness sanders. I have found mine to be extreamly useful and one of my best investments.

Peace,Rich

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Lately i have been using my band saw in conjunction with my drum sander or oscillating spindle sander.

what about getting a sanding bit attachment for my drill press? kinda like the robo-sander, but without the guide bearing.

i guess i could make a fence for the piece to go against for accuracy.

thoughts?

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To make sure I am being clear, most of what I am talking about is a thickness sander (mine is a Performax 16/32). Spindle type drum sanders are pretty cool, but are best suited to different tasks. A drum with guides is nifty (like a robo sander), smaller belt sanders with jigs to thickness are cool also. I have used my drill press with a drum, the downsides to me were dust collection and that it didn't oscillate (wears out paper an awful lot faster and sands much hotter). At the time it was what I had to work with and I made the best of it (which was certainly better than not using it). Spindle type sanders are not capable of the tasks a wide drum thickness sander can pull off, but a good oscillating spindle sander is a nice addition to your available tools. A spindle sander is a great second tool to use after routing or using a bandsaw to clean edges, and is great for volutes. I don't use my spindle sander as a precision tool as much as a light surfacing and finess/shaping kinda tool (where visually nice is cool).

Peace,Rich

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If you have a good drill press the Wagner safety planer is an easy solution and probably the cheapest if you want to build a few guitars. If you want to do it by hand you need a marking gage which will allow you to mark the final thickness around the edge of the headstock so you know where you are going; finished thickness. The gage leaves a light line etched into the wood and all you have to do is remove wood till you hit the line.

All the tools and suggestion here are valid. I remember back when I did not have a shop full of tools I used a marking gage and a block plane to flatten the back and sanded out any marks left by the block plane using a sanding block. Plane in a 45 deg direction since this is not a final surface prep its just for removing wood and this angel will lessen any tear out. It also depends on what wood you are using. If it is maple then it will be much harder than a mahogany neck to level off.

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