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Haha, Yup, the jig.  I did go back and check the jointer cause I had been getting a hair of snipe, and figured it would be a good opportunity to see if I have the adjustment to fix it.   I haven't done it yet, but it looks like some decent adjustment on this unit. :)  Thanks for the concern and advice anyway!

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It is official!  SHB Mk II is finished & plays well!  Thank you for the encouragement, advice, and help throughout this.  Could not have done this without you.    

Would this be the wrong time to mention that I hammer in my frets instead of pressing them? 

You absolute savage! 'Master luthiers' everywhere will be pulling their hair out!

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No worries, we all need to do the best with what we have and I reacted a little hastily simply because I skim read "jointer....pushing with force...." and the alarm bells took control over my fingers. <_<

 

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Alright, looking for some advice.  I started radiusing the fretboard, and it looks like my fret slots did not go deep enough.  I have a fretting saw but no mitre box.  Do I just be careful and manually deepen the slots, or do I try to re-attach to the table saw setup... i'm thinking manual is less risky. Thoughts?

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Do you have a depth stop on your fret saw? When I do slots on my mitre box (I know you don't have one) I always re-cut the slots after radiusing with a depth stop. That way the slots are radiused internally and at a consistent depth.

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Careful when deepening the slots at the end where the nut is. That wood is very unsupported and will chip out super easily. Nothing that can't be superglued back in, but best not having to hunt for the chips and refitting them....

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  • 3 months later...

Well, its been quite a while since I last posted.  I ended up not using the fretboard from before.  I still have it, but the overly wide fret slot, and some lack of even sanding I discovered made me decide to put it aside.  I'm not sure if I will spend the time to fix it, but I did create a second one.  And tonight I trimmed it up, and officially mounted it to the neck.

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I repurposed the 10" radius sanding beam I had made in my jig for clamping cauls since I purchased an aluminum sanding beam in this radius.  

Next up I think is, deepen the fret slots, mount the nut, shape the neck.  I'm debating whether I want to fret before shaping the back of the neck... I imagine using my drill press to seat frets would be far easier with a flat back.  Thoughts?

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I couldn't say either way. I sometimes fret when the neck is flat, and sometimes after carving since I have rounded neck support cauls. Either way works with a press, so it depends on whether you can support the back of the neck, or whether you need it to be flat to get it done.

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This seems to be a subject of contention, the whole "fretting off the neck" thing. Mostly because the flex in the board can cause it to backbow as the fret tangs don't fully bite into the endgrain in the slots. Just keep it nice and flat, and hold the fret when pressed for a second or two. Another one of those non-issues that people like to discuss endlessly ("to no useful end").

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Well.... I discovered a big screw up...

I rough dimensioned the lumber for my neck at 1" (too conservative...), and never took it down to .75"... Not that bad, except over the months of intermittently doing this, I forgot it should be at .75" before putting the fretboard on.... and ESPECIALLY important when cutting the headstock down to thickness... see image.  You can see where I went to trim the .25" off where it will bolt on.  The more I thought about it, I wanted to just go down the whole length, but that leaves almost no support at the headstock.  I am thinking my only recourse at this point would be to scarf joint a new headstock onto it.  Thoughts?

I'm actually leaning towards popping the fretboard off to recover the truss road, and just abandoning this one...

Quite an unfortunate learning point here...

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Edited by hittitewarrior
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Any reason you couldn't continue slicing the 1/4" off to just ahead of the nut and carry on building it with a purposely-exaggerated headstock back-step? You could even claim the increased nut break angle where the strings pass back to the tuners as being tone voodoo ;)

Or re-laminate a piece of contrasting timber onto the heel (make it a feature) and build the neck with a 1" nominal thickness prior to carving. The neck pocket might be a little deeper than a standard Tele, but the body should have more than enough meat to take it.

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9 hours ago, curtisa said:

Any reason you couldn't continue slicing the 1/4" off to just ahead of the nut and carry on building it with a purposely-exaggerated headstock back-step? You could even claim the increased nut break angle where the strings pass back to the tuners as being tone voodoo ;)

Or re-laminate a piece of contrasting timber onto the heel (make it a feature) and build the neck with a 1" nominal thickness prior to carving. The neck pocket might be a little deeper than a standard Tele, but the body should have more than enough meat to take it.

Haha, tone voodoo... I like that idea.   I'm mainly concerned that to get a nice carve (neck thickness/shape) behind the first fret, that it would weaken the headstock too much?   

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3 hours ago, Prostheta said:

As long as you don't have areas of short grain it should be fine.

It's a flatsawn maple neck.  If I take 1/4" off all the way up to the nut, and then taper back to the back of the headstock, you think what's remaining will be strong enough?  I looked up short grain, and I think this approach minimizes that.   I'll post another picture with the "plan" just to make sure I understand well enough.

Thanks for the advice guys!

 

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Edited by hittitewarrior
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I'd see that as a fairly large amount of short grain. A deeper volute profile will help provide strength. You could always reinforce the headstock with a headplate (see @Norris' ongoing build!) and then recess the tuners. This is a significant design change, but on with a practical end.

Least amount of disruption to the design would be the volute option. To my eye, it's getting somewhat borderline. Flatsawn means that the growth rings will be in a similar plane to the area needing strength, providing a potential weak cleavage line. How thick are you planning on making the back profile?

Another option would be to bring the fingerboard thickness down. If the board looks thin, you can bind it to give the illusion of thickness.

There are options, definitely. You're not in a corner, but you need to manoeuvre out of it carefully.

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I'm leaning towards the volute as well, although I'm not sure I've played a guitar with a significant volute before.

What about adding a couple of splines?  Would that take care of the short grain issue and let me carve as desired?

As far as thickness, I'd like to get to about 20mm at the 1st fret.  Favorite guitar I've owned was a Ibanez JS1000... sold it to support the hobby after I built my first one, but still think it is one of the nicest necks I've ever played.

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Splines would have short grain of their own, however they would disrupt the potential cleavage plane in the flatsawn Maple's growth rings. I think there are simpler solutions than ones that you'd use in repair or other panic situations such as splines though.

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  • 3 months later...

I've been saving the neck above, cause I have not decided what to do with it yet... In the absence of decision making on that, I decided to make another couple necks (I need the practice)... Which leads me to a question.

I have a fretboard blank that I knew was going to end up PRETTY thin once radiused, but I thought it was worth giving a shot.  It's pretty thin...  Too thin to use by itself? The caliper is right on the edge, so the middle is thicker, but I'm still wondering...

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Thanks!

It felt really good to get back to the shop...

 

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