The top of the sound board aligns with the top of the joint. This is one reason that I mentioned keeping the components square in the earlier picture - it makes cuttingthe tenon vertically to the top surface much easier!. Make sure that the weight of the guitar rests on your right thigh. Home  |  About  |  Instruments  |  Musicians’s Gallery  |  Instrument’s Gallery  |  Resources  |  In Store  |  Privacy Policy  |  Disclaimer  |  Workshop Videos  |  Contact This is why, in the 1980s, double-action truss rods began to be used widely. © 2010 | All Rights Reserved | Chris Larkin Custom, Seany's Longscale ASAPJ for DADGAD tuning, Donal's ASAP in Irish fiddleback sycamore. You can probably make out two vaguely neck shaped bits with a large slab between. The right hand is holding a guitar pick. I relied very heavily on J. Sevy’s Dove Tail Joint section of his website to guide me through the process. I learned that quarter sawn wood was most stable but there isn’t much of it about because of the way commercial lumber is sawn so I realised that laminating flat sawn (most common wood in timber yard) would make it quartersawn. And carefully it out with a dovetail saw. Building the neck wasn’t the first thing that I did, I actually cut out a full sized paper template of the body and then built a guitar work board as recommended by Natelson and Cumpiano, but I decided to group that stuff in with the next section so I’ll talk about building the neck first. The most common scenario is that the strings get higher as the neck upbows from the string pull. Or you can try playing closer to the neck or back closer to the bridge of the guitar. This is the Perspex router jig I made for cutting the This will allow you to experiment and get to know the sound you can create in different parts of your guitar. As a general rule,tightening the nut moves the neck away from the string pull and removes upbow; loosening the nut allows the neck to relax into an upbow again (especially when helped by the strings’ pull). instead. The two parts are aligned so that the laminations on the headstock and the shaft are together front and back. When playing upwards, play only the first three or four strings, avoiding the upper strings. By Dan Erlewine. Making acoustic guitars, however, takes a real artist. I prefer a 15 degree angle so this is marked (right arrow) on the neck shaft which is where the scarf joint will be made. I use a router with suitable cutter and a guide to follow the jig cutting with many small passes. Here is how I do it. For thirty years I made my own trussrods from 5mm mild steel which I cut, threaded and fitted an anchor, washer and adjusting nut which was fitted in a  curved channel routed in the necks. Some builders even add a small amount of fallaway in this location to help ensure it doesn’t raise with weather or settling and cause a fret buz. And you can strum the pick on the strings of the guitar with mastery and accuracy. You must place the guitar on your right thigh so that it is properly balanced. You all know how to plane and thickness boards so why am I showing you this? But a change in string gauges, climate (especially a change in humidity), or simply the player’s taste may require an adjustment, even on a new guitar. Following on from the archtop semis I made my first acoustic guitar which was an archtop jazz guitar – not the usual route! Because it is essential for this method to work that the wood is square. Building the Neck Blank for the Steel String Acoustic Guitar Critical Measurements. Commercial Necks. The headstock face at the joint end is also cut at the same angle. If you’ve decided to start playing acoustic guitar, there’s something very important to learn. Hi Doug, I like your enthusiasm, I work with a few 60 somethings where I work and they’re also very active, but no I’m no where near the point of taking apprentices. The truth is, you’ll be doing most of the work with your wrist. Guitar Wall Mounts, Floor Stands, & More—How to Keep Your Instrument Safe at Home, Acoustic Guitar Review: Gretsch G9520E Gin Rickey Is a Secret Tone Weapon, 5 Ways to Play C Augmented | Chord by Chord, How to Play E Diminished Voicings | Chord by Chord. Beautiful work! I make some of the nicest looking numbers when I mistakenly write down a number other than the one I was supposed to write down. This the jig I made for cutting the scarf angle. Normally headstocks are wider than neck shafts so, to save wood, I glue ‘ears’ onto the headstock blank to make up the difference All the holes are drilled with spur bits that are easy to centre on a mark and cut cleanly. I have these made for me and, after shipping, they cost around €15 each. I supply a short hex key with each guitar that would be difficult to overtighten. You can just see the point marks and, from these, I have drawn squared lines across and down the tenon faces. He has almost 30 years of experience playing electric and acoustic guitar. Sign up free! These distances are on the diagrams that are at the end of this document. This is a version of a talk that I gave to the 2017 Cordefactum event in Belgium on May15th 2017. The squared line at the angle of the joint is to help Thankfully I was able to glue in some strips of wood and re-chisel out the joint to the proper width. Try to play every chord with all the strings that each one requires. So here is a cut mortice. The good news is it shouldn’t be to hard to pitch the neck back and swap out the bridge. And its here that I really goofed up big time. Here are some basic tips on how to have a correct body, arm, hand, wrist, and finger posture. But before I begin describing my experience I want to talk briefly about the neck joint in general, because it was probably the biggest source of confusion I had throughout the construction of the guitar. You can try to play without a pick by hitting the strings directly with your fingers.