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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    If you are still trying to figure out the neck joint, here is a video of someone doing it with hand tools. I’ve done it similarly, but I use the LMII jig now. Watching this guy makes me doubt the power tool way is really all that better. Of course, his tools are really SHARP and he’s obviously done this a lot.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman View Post
    With the mandolin family, the fingerboard extension is usually added after the neck is attached. In the video it looks as if he is going to skip the extension on his mandocello as he does not mention it. With a mandolin, setting the neck height and angle is a different process than it is on a guitar. It is a very informative video nonetheless. But I thought I should point out that guitars and mandolins are usually a bit different when it comes to the fingerboard extension.
    I do feel like I’ve been in a rut with the neck joint.

    Thanks, Rhett. I’ve found Tomy Hovington’s stuff in my internet research, and have seen that video. As Matt mentioned, he had a flat area for attachment on the top plate and it didn’t appear to involve a neck extension, and I sort of abandoned that method as I didn’t have a solid resource for instruction.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    Obviously, there are lots of variables and ways to skin the cat.. tapered, straight, etc.

    I decided to make a neck dovetail tenon jig a la Cushman. I started with a piece of 3/4” plywood, and traced the outline of the dovetail template and drilled 2 pilot holes:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c1fb3d78-8fce-40b8-bbc2-3a98f1c68401-jpg

    I then jigsaw’d out the central portion:
    First-timer Archtop Build-4f6c078d-2d51-437c-a6b2-6c6264a3f068-jpg

    Next, I used the plunge router with a 1/2” straight bit set to the depth of the template (1/4”) and removed the inlay for the template itself:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f160ff72-8f82-4e37-b1c5-4b2eec2f248a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-9be230f3-c016-4b3f-b6b7-75fd29f980c6-jpg

    I used a longer piece of 3/4” plywood and routed a 3/4” channel using on the table router with a straight bit to meet the top piece at 90°:
    First-timer Archtop Build-91695696-8c86-47f0-93ec-17de23cfb53e-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-781bc824-e3b6-427a-a545-7e35ae22137c-jpg

    End of Pt1

  4. #153

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    I then took a square board and cut 2 right-angle pieces on the compound miter saw. I nailed them with a pneumatic nailer and placed 2 screws from the top:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d4e146d7-056e-4c2e-9665-b958d08ee915-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-c307e52c-6578-4ff1-b7f5-3f3e248afd60-jpg

    Again, disregard the fact I’ve placed the in template upside down.

    I realized my heel was very oversized, so I measured out the distance from the top plate to ~1/4” from the inside of the back plates. I decided to leave an extra 1/2” beyond and decided to leave an extra 1/8” or so (second line) to be safe, which I can shape later. I then cut off the heel excess on the table saw:First-timer Archtop Build-2c42cd7a-8261-49ef-897b-91271a7f8f45-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-2d865ad7-dfa3-452e-ad33-d11493625249-jpg

    I then held my neck blank up to the jig and realized it was was too far back to get the bottom of the dovetail to be at my mark:
    First-timer Archtop Build-7dd5af3e-9a1b-4c45-8088-90765093debd-jpg

    So, I realIzed I’d have to extend back my template cavity with the router and jigsaw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-305c633a-9ea6-42af-84df-e7c1b203e927-jpg

    PS - to make the cavity, I knife marked out the template and routed up to near the line. I then mallet/chiseled the edges clean to get a snug fit.

    This is where it stands currently- noticed I had the template orientation right this time!
    First-timer Archtop Build-41e41ea9-f99a-47b1-81d9-44872a575b32-jpg

    I still need to make a pretty fat 4degree wedge to get the jig to appropriately get the dovetail where I need it.

  5. #154

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    I see you are well on your way with the router jig. But the hand cut dovetail mortise and tenon is done exactly the same whether you are adding a 1/2” fingerboard extension or leaving a raised area on the top itself. Those are really independent considerations.

    Also, Robbie O’Brien (O’Brien Guitars) sells plans for a jig that holds the body of the guitar and neck for using routing templates. It is a good jig, works with the LMI templates, and worth buying his plans. No reason to try to reinvent the wheel.


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  6. #155

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    Just to clarify. I was trying to point out the difference between the use of a V shaped mortise in mandolin neck attachment as compared to straight walled mortice in archtop guitar neck attachment. Not how they are cut. The v shaped mortise works well for the mandolin as the fingerboard extension is added after the neck is glued in place. Whereas with the guitar neck the fingerboard extension is in place when you glue the neck to the body. This does make setting the neck height a bit different. I also have a router jig for my mandolins that cuts a V shaped mortise.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but Chapter 14 of Benedetto's book "fitting the neck to the body" shows the method used for a straight sided mortise and tenon dovetail joint. A V shaped mortise will have an added element of difficulty when it comes time to fit the neck.
    Last edited by Matt Cushman; 10-16-2019 at 09:12 AM.

  7. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    I see you are well on your way with the router jig. But the hand cut dovetail mortise and tenon is done exactly the same whether you are adding a 1/2” fingerboard extension or leaving a raised area on the top itself. Those are really independent considerations.

    Also, Robbie O’Brien (O’Brien Guitars) sells plans for a jig that holds the body of the guitar and neck for using routing templates. It is a good jig, works with the LMI templates, and worth buying his plans. No reason to try to reinvent the wheel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman View Post
    Just to clarify. I was trying to point out the difference between the use of a V shaped mortise in mandolin neck attachment as compared to straight walled mortice in archtop guitar neck attachment. Not how they are cut. The v shaped mortise works well for the mandolin as the fingerboard extension is added after the neck is glued in place. Whereas with the guitar neck the fingerboard extension is in place when you glue the neck to the body. This does make setting the neck height a bit different. I also have a router jig for my mandolins that cuts a V shaped mortise.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but Chapter 14 of Benedetto's book "fitting the neck to the body" shows the method used for a straight sided mortise and tenon dovetail joint. A V shaped mortise will have an added element of difficulty when it comes time to fit the neck.
    I'm gonna go with your experience here and stay with the straight mortise and tenon to avoid another potential fit problem. I'll snag the O'Brien plans and re-start the jig. Do you recommend I go with the smaller 3/4" dovetail bit, bits associated with the template?

  8. #157

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    With the straight sided mortise and tenon I think the fitting of the neck will be much as is shown in Bob's book. The size of the mortise and tenon is what will be affected by the size of the template and bit size and guide ring relationship. Not having worked with the LMII templates, it is difficult for me to speculate on what size bit and guide ring will be required to cut the proper size mortise and tenon. When I say proper size, I am referring to the dimensions that Bob shows in his plan.

  9. #158

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    Did that horse show signs of life? Here, let me give it a whack! ;-)

    I actually use a “V” dovetail, which used to be common on Martin/Gibson flat top guitars as well. The argument was that it cinched up on itself. You could clamp down on the neck to the body to pull it tight. A straight sliding dovetail had to be perfect everywhere to pull tight.

    But just to be contrarian, I have also used a butt joint and inserts. I used a long threaded rod with a coupler and Allen key at the end to fasten the bolt. I used the endpin hole for access.

    Also, I fit the joint without the fingerboard extension or fingerboard. Once properly fit to the body I use the body to tell me where to cut the rabbet.

    Many ways to skin the cat.

    I’ve made several jigs over the years, and Robbie’s is the one I use most. I think you’ll like it. He has a video on using it that is very helpful. Dovetail bits are relatively cheap, so you might as well use the one LMI calls out. One less place to make a mistake.


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  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    Did that horse show signs of life? Here, let me give it a whack! ;-)

    I actually use a “V” dovetail, which used to be common on Martin/Gibson flat top guitars as well. The argument was that it cinched up on itself. You could clamp down on the neck to the body to pull it tight. A straight sliding dovetail had to be perfect everywhere to pull tight.

    But just to be contrarian, I have also used a butt joint and inserts. I used a long threaded rod with a coupler and Allen key at the end to fasten the bolt. I used the endpin hole for access.

    Also, I fit the joint without the fingerboard extension or fingerboard. Once properly fit to the body I use the body to tell me where to cut the rabbet.

    Many ways to skin the cat.

    I’ve made several jigs over the years, and Robbie’s is the one I use most. I think you’ll like it. He has a video on using it that is very helpful. Dovetail bits are relatively cheap, so you might as well use the one LMI calls out. One less place to make a mistake.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I agree there often many ways of completing a task. I often depends on the tools you have or those that you are familiar with. The important thing is making sure you have taken the time of thinking everything through carefully before you proceed with something that is non reversible. Obviously the v shaped joint works well for you. And it sounds as if you are using the same method that I use on a mandolin. I have grown accustomed to my own method for guitar so when offering advice I naturally gravitate towards what I use myself.

    As a side note, I like to join the extender to the neck with a dovetail joint for a bit of added strength and to simplify the clamping of the extender to the neck while gluing it to the neck. I borrowed this idea from D'AquistoFirst-timer Archtop Build-p1010002-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-p1010003-jpg
    Last edited by Matt Cushman; 10-16-2019 at 01:58 PM.

  11. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman View Post
    I agree there often many ways of completing a task. I often depends on the tools you have or those that you are familiar with. The important thing is making sure you have taken the time of thinking everything through carefully before you proceed with something that is non reversible. Obviously the v shaped joint works well for you. And it sounds as if you are using the same method that I use on a mandolin. I have grown accustom to my own method for guitar so when offering advice I naturally gravitate towards what I use myself.

    As a side note, I like to join the extender to the neck with a dovetail joint for a bit of added strength and to simplify the clamping of the extender to the neck while gluing it to the neck. I borrowed this idea from D'AquistoFirst-timer Archtop Build-p1010002-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-p1010003-jpg
    That's slick!!