Attaching the Neck

August 3, 2001

Well, in the days since my last update, I worked on a lot of things:

(1) Having completed the soundbox, I then cut out a section in the bottom of the top plate in which to insert the saddle. I didn't shape this saddle; I just purchased it already shaped.

(2) I spent about six hours or so yesterday fitting the neck to the body!!!! As you can see below, I ended up having to glue a couple of pieces of paper into the bottom of the mortise to make the neck angle just right. I also had to glue in a couple of tiny slivers of spruce on the top sides of the mortise, since somehow I had ended up with that part of the mortise too wide, so there was a little gap. Unless you look closely, it won't be too noticeable (hopefully), especially with the varnish applied.

(3) This morning I bevelled and then rounded the edges of the top and bottom plates.

(4) I then shaped the neck and heel. What I found worked the best in carving the neck was my little mini-drawknife and my two micro-rasps (kind of like cheese graters!). I didn't find this neck difficult to shape, since I've done quite a few guitar necks by now, and a tiny violin neck seems like nothing compared to those! I forgot to take photos of carving the neck, though....sorry!!!! (You'll see it later.)

(5) FINALLY....yikes!!!!.....I glued the neck into the body!


Here's the masonite neck angle jig I used to assist me in fitting the neck. With the fingerboard just tack-glued to the neck, I place the jig on the centerline of the fingerboard (one section of the jig is resting on the fingerboard from the nut to the fingerboard end). The neck is at the proper angle if, at the location of the bridge, the lower left corner of the leg just touches the soundbox. The template is designed so that the fingerboard projection line is 27mm above the bridge location of the soundbox.


Here's the neck being glued into the mortise. For me, gluing the neck in is always both a scary process and a relief; it's so FINAL!


After the glue has dried, I will make the ebony nut and do whatever other odds-and-ends of tasks I need to do before beginning the varnishing process. (I haven't yet decided what to do about the varnishing.)



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