Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tenor takes lead again!

The next step with Adrian’s pair is to fit the necks. The socket in the body’s end block is routed using a jig, but I always fit the neck by hand. This procedure involves some very accurate marking out and I thought that I’d show you this little collection of tools that I use.
You’ll notice that these look more like engineer’s tools and indeed they are; the close tolerances demanded in instrument making necessitate this type tool.
When you are fitting the neck on to the body you have to work from the centre lines of the neck and the body; there are no parallel edges or right angles in the world of luthiery. When checking alignment, I like to use a right-angle section of extruded aluminium as it’s self-supporting.
With a nice tight joint, no clamps are necessary, just glue- here you can see gravity doing the work!
And here we have a sneak preview of the tenor mandola with the fingerboard on and the pearl dots inlaid. I must admit from a purely aesthetic perspective, the longer scale and 14 fret neck work really well with my “standard" body shape. 
Frets next…………but before that, I’d better get the neck fitted to the octave mandolin!

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