Once the body is complete it can, at last, be united with its neck. Into the body I route a large socket to take the neck- as you’ve seen before I use a large tenon to join the neck to the body. This type of joint gives masses of surface area for the glue to bond.
The neck’s tenon is then roughly cut on the band-saw and then comes the fine work of fitting the neck. My rule is don’t touch the body- just work on the neck. The neck has to be aligned lengthways and tilt backwards at the correct angle and just to complicate things further; you want a clean line between the heel and the body.
Once that’s achieved- glue it on, no shims, no clamps! Gravity and friction!
Because the neck leans backwards a wedge has to go under the fingerboard. Wooden pins help with the alignment and I shape the underside of the wedge to make it look less bulky.
Once the wedge has been glued on and cleaned up the fingerboard goes on. At this stage I remembered that I didn’t take any pictures for you, of the fingerboard being prepared, doh!
Standard mandolin III is also coming along nicely. I’m really pleased with the three piece back and the way that it lines up with the neck.
Labels: Handmade mandolin, Luthier, Nava