I like to seat the truss rod slightly deeper than the neck so I can glue a strip of wood on top of it. In theory it can reduce the likleyhood that you’ll get a buzz from the rod in the life of your guitar. A bigger reason I go with this method is it blocks glue from getting into the channel of the truss rod when you glue the fret board on.
First off, Sorry for the absence for the last few days. Don’t worry I’m not giving up or anything like that, just had some issues posting.
Continuing with the neck I put in the truss rod. It’s basically a turnbuckle that makes it so you can bow the neck in either direction to get the stings action correct… it’s also steel so it adds a good deal of strength. (For those who don’t know, action is just the distance the strings are from the frets). I started by using a file to clean up the welds on the rod because I want things to be really snug. I carefully routed a channel for the rod to go in, and used a chisel to cut the corners out at the bottom. I put the adjustment end of the rod at head-stock, because I think it’s more practical.
I feel an odd need to apologize for having cut the fret slots in the fingerboard for the Gibson long before starting this journal. Knowing that a handful of people are following my progress on both of my projects makes me feel like I have folks rooting for me. I went ahead and glued the fingerboard on to the neck. I used some pin nails to tack it in place, because glue, however sticky, also doubles as a lubricant when things are clamped up. I used the nail itself as a drill bit and went in through the fret slots.
Sometimes things just don’t go the way I want them to. I started working on my rosette the other day, hoping to make some real headway. A word to the wise, if you are in a situation where you notice yourself thinking “I should probably do something else until I can use the exact tool I want to”, go with that thought. The loss of the masur birch I was using isn’t as big of a deal to me as the time I spent doing a task I will have to do again.
To create the head-stock out of a straight length of mahogany I used a scarf joint. The wood is cut at an angle, then I cleaned everything up with a block plane. I glued the two pieces back together with one flipped to create the breakaway angle (mine is about 15 degrees). Scarf joints are a wood saving technique, some necks don’t use them and the angle instead is achieved with carving. Certainly a neck with a scarf joint is slightly more prone to breaking, and the joint is usually visible upon close inspection (there are ways to hide it a bit more). I however think it is worth the trade-off to save some wood and cost.
Starting work on the neck of the guitar, I need to build the heel. The heel is the portion of the neck that attaches to the body. Some guitars have heels made out of one large block, and some use a single piece of wood for the entire neck. I chose a third option, which is a stacked heel. This involves cutting off some short lengths from the full neck blank and gluing them together. It enables me to use smaller stock for the neck, which is a big price saver. The drawback is simply that one can see it was made out of multiple pieces of wood.
Say you glued the back of your guitar on and you noticed that a section of it didn’t glue together as well as you would like. One option is to curse the stars and pull the whole thing off and do it again. I don’t really like that idea though, so opted for sneaking a little bit of glue in the gap, clamping the section down and heating it up with a heat gun. Much less cursing involved.