|Fitting the fretboard to the neck|
So to recap the past month or so, most of my time has been spent fitting the neck to the box, a process that requires lots of small adjustments and, due to a minor problem in fabricating the neck blank, a few small repairs. Once that very important step was completed, we moved on to the neck.
There are many steps involved in building the neck, including fitting the carbon fiber rods and truss rod into the slots we cut earlier, roughing out the shape of the neck by cutting away most of the extra wood from the neck blank, gluing in the carbon rods, and gluing the binding and purfling to the fingerboard.
|Carving the neck|
For guitar players, it's not necessary to explain how important it is to have a comfortable neck. It is the most important factor in how it feels to play the instrument. Another way to put it is that the body is the most important component in how the guitar will sound, but the neck is the most important component in how it feels to play, and unlike many of the features of a guitar, it's a very personal thing. Some players like thick chunky necks, some like narrow ones, some are the same width and thickness throughout, and others' dimensions vary from one end of the neck to the other. There are also variations in the shape of the neck that are important to the way they feel and play.
I started the process of carving last night, and I'm very happy with my progress so far. I have very particular ideas about the shape and dimensions I'm after, but I haven't gotten to the point of having to worry about them yet. So far I've only been working on carving away as much excess wood as possible and getting it close to the final shape I'm after. You've probably heard the old saying about the master craftsman who builds duck decoys. When asked how he goes about his work, he says, "I just take a chunk of wood and carve away everything that doesn't look like a duck." This is a very similar process, I think. I'm taking a chunk of wood and carving away everything that doesn't feel like my guitar neck.
|Cutting out the bridge|