On to the Neck!!!


Wednesday, July 11th, 2012:

It's now about 3:45 p.m., and I just got back from watching "To Rome With Love" with some friends. Now it's back to the uke!

The first thing I did was to drill the harpbox peghead tuner holes and the holes for the string nuts. I used a 9/32" drill bit for the tuner holes and a 13/64" bit for the string nut holes (drilled only about 1/4" down into the peghead). I will use white bone bridge pins, with a slot sawn on the top, for the string nuts.


Thursday, July 12th, 2012:

(1) The first thing I did today was to slightly redesign the peghead, so its lower left curved section coordinated better with the curve of the top of the harpbox peghead.

I also, as you can see here, cut the fingerboard taper (using this on my tablesaw) and rounded the end slightly.


(3) I then traced the fingerboard outline onto the top of the neck blank.



So that's it ---- the soundbox is complete!!!!

Now it's on to the neck. Below is the mahogany neck blank I will use for the neck. All I have to do is cut and carve away everything that is not a neck. . . .




(2) Next, I traced the neck shape on the side of the neck blank, bandsawed (just outside the line) the peghead face (15° angle), and then trued up the peghead face on my jointer.



(4) I also spent a lot of time today just doing a bunch of calculating --- figuring out exactly where to drill the 25/64" vertical hole for the barrel nut I will be using (for my bolt-on neck attachment). In the photo below, you can see that the barrel nut hole is not quite on the centerline --- that was intentional, as my neck block bolt hole didn't land exactly on the centerline of the soundbox. Thus, I needed to match up the bolt hole (and thus, also, the barrel nut hole) with the position of the neck block bolt hole.

This part took a lot of figuring, because I had to figure out exactly how far from the end of the neck I had to place the barrel nut, based on how far out of the soundbox the bolt would extend. I also had to figure out exactly how deep to drill the barrel nut hole, so it would sit at just the right position to meet the bolt.



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  1. Working on the Top and Back
  2. Finishing the Rosette, Harpbox Peghead Veneer
  3. Bracing
  4. Carving the Braces
  5. Bending the Sides
  6. Neck and Tail Blocks
  7. Pegheads & Top Kerfing
  8. Profiling the Sides for the Back
  9. Soundport and Side Reinforcements
  10. Gluing on the Top
  11. Gluing on the Back
  12. Trimming Overhang & Harpbox Peghead
  13. Routing for Binding
  14. End Wedge & Binding
  15. Scraping the Binding, Binding the Harpbox Peghead
  16. The Box is Done --- On to the Neck!!!
  17. Working on the Neck & Fingerboard
  18. The Neck is Finished!!! Now to the Bridge!!!
  19. Peghead Inlay, Final Sanding & Pore-Filling
  20. Shellac Seal Coats and Finishing!!!
  21. Finishing the Finish!!!
  22. The Final Steps
  23. It is Finished!!!



(5) Once that was done, I used this dowel jig to drill the hole for the 5/16" neck bolt hole (my neck bolt is 1/4", but I always leave a little extra room for some leeway). I love this dowel jig!!! It makes it so easy to line everything up perfectly --- all you do is line up your vertical line with the mark on the top, and the horizontal line with the ledge just underneath the selected size drill guide. Once you've done that, your hole will end up in exactly the right spot!


(6) After I drilled the bolt hole, I inserted the barrel nut and pushed it all the way down, and then screwed the neck bolt into the barrel nut. Success!!!





(7) Once that was done, I glued a 3/8" dowel with Titebond to fill up the space above the barrel nut.


(8) A final photo: Here are the fingerboard and peghead, placed upon the neck blank.

TOMORROW I will drill the slot for the 1/8" by 3/8" carbon fiber rod I will insert in the neck as reinforcement, epoxy that in, and then bandsaw out the rough neck shape.


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