Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

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Cbstark46143
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Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by Cbstark46143 »

I’ve recently considered moving closer to building from scratch and carving my own necks from mahogany blanks. As I looked back over my library of guitar construction books, I found something new (to me) in my copy of Build Your Own Acoustic Guitar by Jonathan Kinkead.
In his discussion of making a neck blank, he uses a stacked heel with not a scarf joint for the headstock, but rather a stacked one. When the heel and headstock are cut out from this arrangement, the grain pattern is the same as that of a one piece neck.
A headstock made in this way seems to greatly simplify the scarf joint method while providing a stronger glue joint (no end grain).

Anyone have experience with this stacked headstock method?
Any thoughts pro or con?
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Skarsaune
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by Skarsaune »

Doesn't seem like a good idea to me, because the grain orientation is the same as a one piece, with the same end grain weakness issue.

I don't see how one scarf cut & glue is harder than gluing two pieces up like that and then making two angled cuts, one of which has to stop before you hit the back of the neck. I need to look at my copy of that book and see his process. Maybe I'm missing something.

I've used the scarf joint with success and have a handful of other necks blanked up that way for future builds.
Talladam
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by Talladam »

I thought about this for my build and decided I wasn't confident enough that I could make the perfect cuts for this method. If your cuts are a little off perpendicular it would be difficult to fix I think. If you have a bomber bandsaw it might be fine. At least if you screw up the cut on a scarf you can handplane to correct it.
carld05
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by carld05 »

John has described a method (not sure where I saw it) using a table saw were the blade was raised into the neck stock, which was clamped into a jig holding the square and angle. I've done it using a R**ler angle jig and HF clamps. Took a little blade angle tweaking, but once set, worked great....no other planeing/dressing needed.
Stray Feathers
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by Stray Feathers »

I have followed Kinkead fairly closely in my first two builds, but went with a scarf joint instead of Kinkead's stacked headstock. Like Talladam, I was not confident I could get straight, level, square and smooth cuts doing it like Kinkead. I made a scarf cutting jig following plans from Peter Lucis:

http://theamateurluthier.com/amateurlut ... gplan.html

I ended up buying a full 10-inch blade, as some blades are a tad short at 250 mm on my saw for a 3 inch wide headstock. In the photo I am cutting a ukulele neck, and the scarf cut is not where you would expect to see it, because I was cutting heel stack pieces from the headstock end to exclude some tiny knots. Bruce W.
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tippie53
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by tippie53 »

that is a good jig for headstock
thanks for posting
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
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ruby@magpage.com
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by ruby@magpage.com »

CB

What Skarsaune said. No saving in time or effort, and a bit more material. Plus you can thin the head piece before you glue it on, making both surfaces really nice. If you do thin it first, the only downside is that you have to glue on a piece if you want a diamond volute.

It is very easy to cut the limited numbers of necks we do by hand, so no need for a table saw that gives a 3-1/2" cut. Just run a mark all the way around and have at. Clamping the two pieces together and planing them flat is very satisfying because it is the ideal direction for planing. Especially nice in a wood like Alaskan Yellow Cedar that screams PLANE ME.

Ed
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Ed M
banjopicks
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by banjopicks »

I love seeing things done with handplanes and hand saws.
BEJ
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Re: Neck blank with a stacked headstock?

Post by BEJ »

I've used the Kincade method on all my necks(maybe because I didn't know any way starting out), what has been said was true for me. Had some trouble keeping the headstock vs neck angle in the same plane, made a holder jig to use with my 12" chop saw. This made making the cuts a lot easier and more accurate.
The biggest draw back to using this method to make the 2 cuts is it makes the transition from headstock to neck about as simple as possible and is hard to do a different style with this cutting method. I might have to find a different way to make this part of the neck, it somewhat of a rut now. a few pics...
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