Saturday, January 21, 2012

One-Piece Neck Progress

Fret Slots
Today's progress: cutting fret slots and gluing the truss-rod in place. First I very slowly and carefully cut 22 fret slots on the face of the neck. Remember there is no fretboard here. Since the truss-rod is sitting about 6mm behind the face of the neck, I had to be careful not to cut the slots too deep. I marked both sides of the neck at approximately 3.5mm. And as I cut the slots I checked both sides trying to insure that I did not cut too deep. I also used two clamps and a block of wood along with my fret miter box to keep the angle of my cuts straight.

Before I seat the frets I will radius the neck to 16 inches using sand paper and a radius block.

Skunk Stripe
After I slotted the frets, I ran a thin line of regular household caulk down the truss-rod channel, before setting it in place. The truss-rod that I am using on this neck is a double action rod that I purchased from LMI.

I then prepped my skunk stripe - a 1/4 inch strip of maple 17 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch deep. I rounded the edges using my table router. I roughed  up the sides with 120 grit sand paper, and then covered it with Titebond wood glue.

I then very slowly pushed it into the truss-rod channel. Covering it with wax paper before applying the clamps. I let this sit for about 30 minutes.

After the glue dried, I used the scraper to take off the excess glue and wood. The final shaping of the neck will smooth the back out further. I'll get to that in a couple of weeks.

Next up, I will drill the holes for the face position markers and side dots. I'm also eyeing another piece of maple as another potential one-piece neck. This was a very satisfying process for me - very little frustration on this neck.

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