|Placing the box in the jig|
This week I made good progress in two areas. First, I routed the neck mortise (that's the slot where the neck is inserted). Like many things about building a guitar, it's a very complicated and difficult task made much, much easier by a jig, which you can see in the picture at left. It consists mainly of a slot on the top that guides the router bit as you cut a huge hole in your guitar. (You may remember me describing that feeling last week. It was just as cringe-inducing this time).
|The mortise after routing|
In creating a neck, the first step is to create a neck blank, which is essentially a block of wood in the rough shape of a neck. It has a big chunk at one end from which the neck tenon will be carved, a shaft that will be contoured to just the right shape for the fingerboard, and a flat part at the end where the headstock will go. But first the wood for the blank has to be prepared. We're using mahogany - Honduran mahogany, to be exact - which is typical for guitar necks. And although the slab of wood was big and thick enough to make a whole slew of blanks, it's not just a matter of cutting it to shape.
|Gluing the neck blank|
So we're moving right along now and I'm actually starting to try to estimate when I'll be able to finish. This is obviously a mistake, but it's hard to resist. And no doubt by talking about finishing, making lots of progress, and tangible results, I'm tempting fate in the worst way. But as strange as it sounds (especially for someone like me with a well-deserved reputation for impatience) I seem to be in less and less of a rush. Over the past month or two I've come to realize that I really enjoy what I'm doing. It's tedious sometimes and often frustrating, but all in all a very good way to spend a few hours every week.