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Cut Neck before or after fretboard glue?

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Hi all,

I need to ask for your advice (again)! Sorry to be such a sponge, but I now have a neck blank that has been planed and routed for the truss rod and am trying to decide if I should cut the outline of the neck before or after I glue on the fretboard. I have a Stew Mac pre-slotted maple fretboard that obviously isn't shaped yet. I could "A" glue the board on and shape the ouline of both at the same time, or "B" shape each piece separately and then glue them together. What is the conventional wisdom on this one? As usual, thanks for your advice!

Best Regards,


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I do it the same way as Scott.

Me too. But in the future I will do as much work possible on the neck before cutting it to shape and shaping the back profile. A rectangular block is simply way easier to work with. The only thing you can only do after shaping is fretting and even for that I will not cut the back contour beforehand next time. Let's se how this turns out....

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This is my method, which has been refined slowly to be the most efficient way i cant do it, with the best results.

1. Surface plane and rout for truss rod. Cut headstock face angle or scarf joint.

2. profile fretboard to final tapered dimensions, and bind if applicable. Fretboard is inlayed, slotted, and radiused already.

3. Face fretboard face side down on my workbench, glue, and put neck black upside down onto it. Truss rod is installed. Wedge sides of fretboard so that there are three contact points (edges of fretboard = 2, centre line of f/board = 1) to support the fretboard.

4. Clamp down blank, onto fretboard, using the bench as a flat surface (clamp from under bench, to over blank).

5. When dry, mark out neck blank, and cut side profile, followed by face profile (of neck and headstock).

6. thickness headstock, add veneer, etc

7. carve volute and heel

8. shape neck shape with a spokeshave and files.

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  • 4 months later...

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