Now to transform this plank of wood into a guitar neck…
While all is flat and square the router is used to channel out space for the truss rod (a metal rod which can be adjusted to counter-act the pull of the strings and keep the neck straight while playing). Two carbon fibre strips are added for extra strength, remember this guitar will have 18 strings if all goes to plan!
The half moon ends must be filled to stop any movement. The carbon fibre is epoxied in, the trust rod is held with a little mastic at either end so it can bend.
Now the head stock angle is cut with a band saw. This is where the machine heads for tuning the guitar are mounted.
Its leveled out with a plane and sanding board. Veneers of maple and rosewood are chosen and glued on top:
They’re held in place with two nails and clamped down:
Looking good. Then the taper of the neck is cut on a band saw.
Head stock design is marked out, cut on the band saw, and finished with a bobbin sander.
Now it’s looking like we might have a guitar some day!
The back and braces are roughly shaped. Vveerry satisfiying work shaping the curves with a freshly sharpened chisel. The piece now had a nice tone when it is taped. Sign of good resonance and good music to come!
After thinning the sides to 2mm they are steam bent with a wet rag and this rusty old bending iron. There are shiny new ones but they don’t work as well!
Clamping the sides to the mould while they “settle” allows the wood to accept it’s new form. Change can be difficult to accept…
The neck block and tail block are glued in with trusty Titebond glue and now we have a guitar shape!
The depth of the body is tapered, being about an inch thinner where the neck joins. So the excess must be planned off the sides to get a smooth slope to meet the back of the guitar. Slightly complicated by the concave and convex curves of the body, at least there is no cutaway to deal with!