Saturday, March 20, 2010


Mistake #872

I slept well last night, pleased with the progress I'd made in getting the fingerboard prepped and attached to the neck. I went up to the shop this morning to admire my handiwork, only to discover that the fingerboard had shifted slightly and was now slightly overhanging one side.This is a problem, because if I try to sand the fingerboard down to the neck, the maple fingerboard binding will look really uneven.

So I grabbed an old iron that I keep around for such occasions, and used it to heat up the fingerboard and loosen up the epoxy and separated the fingerboard from the neck. Here's the mess the epoxy leaves behind.

During the neck removal the edge of the neck got beat up a little bit, and so there were little chipped out areas underneath where the fingerboard will go. I could try filling that space with superglue and sawdust, but it would look real sloppy and it's in a real visible spot.

I had two options:
A.) Make a new, narrower fingerboard. This one already has a 1-7/8" nut width, which is pretty wide. I could make a new one with 1-3/4" width and that would give me enough clearance that the chipped area would get removed.
B.) Sand the side down flat and splice in a piece of mahogany. Luckily, I kept the neck cutoffs so I had the exact piece to match that side of the neck.

I chose option B. The thing is, if this fails, I can go back and do option A.

So, I planed down the side flat until the chipped out areas were gone.

And here it is with the splice clamped on. Hopefully this will make a nearly invisible glue joint.

Lessons learned in all this:
1. Don't trim the neck so close to final shape, leave a little extra for situations like this.
2. Apply clamp pressure more gradually and evenly across all the clamps, and check often to make sure everything's still aligned.
3. Find better alignment pins.
4. Don't get hasty when you're separating glue seams because you can damage the wood and make more repairs for yourself.

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great blog! thanks for sharing this! I made guitars too, a while ago. Thanks again!
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