Monday, July 05, 2021

Archtop #5: Neck Joint


With the mortice section of the neck joint already routed in the body, the next step is to carefully mark-out and cut the tenon on the neck itself. My rule is always to do any adjustment on the neck and leave the mortice well alone as it’s been routed accurately.

After a bit of fettling, the neck is glued in to place and left overnight; gravity does the clamping!
The protruding part of the tenon is then cut-off. It would, of course, be easier to cut it off before the neck is glued on, but that protruding part helps support a straight-edge whilst checking alignment.

After the bindings had been glued on and the body of the mandolin cleaned-up, it was looking quite pretty! However, with my method of building it will now under-go, what I call, an ugly duckling stage. You’ll see what I mean! The beautiful swan shan’t emerge until the neck has been shaped in a few stages time. 
You can also see one of the reasons why I like to leave the neck square and unshaped: it’s far easier to hold the mandolin firmly in a vice whilst doing this work.
Four 6mm dowels then go in to the neck joint to double lock it in place.
The first part of the fretboard support is fitted. As it’s wedged between the top plate and the neck, any possibility of future movement should be eliminated.



Blogger Ralph Boumenot said...

I'm not sure how the dowels are locking the neck in the mortise. It seems to me that they should go in from the sides to lock it.

12:03 pm  
Blogger Gary Nava, Luthier said...

Hello Ralph,
I drill the hole for the dowel on the join line, so that half the hole is in the neck block and half in the mortice. The holes are only about 12mm deep so the end on the dowel sits on top of a portion of neck, hence locking it down. Hope that makes sense!
Cheers Gary

3:48 pm  

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