Classical Guitars: Building the Neck (3 of 9)

Making the neck is one of the more demanding parts of work on the guitar before assembly. Once the blank of wood is trued up the pattern of the neck is drawn on the wood. The rough shape is cut out on a bandsaw. At that point I use the metal working machine shown here to create very straight and accurate flat surfaces. In this photo the back of the headstock is being machined flat and parallel.
Now the back of the neck is machined. The top surface was completed in the blank stage of the process. The neck is only cut close to the final thickness. The final thickness and shape is completed after the guitar is assembled and the fretboard is in place. All of that work is done completely by hand.

Once the key surfaces are flat and true the layout of the tapers and curves can take place. Here you can see the templet for the headstock and the graphite rod that will be inlayed into the neck. The rod provides strength and sonic qualities to the neck. The tap tone of the neck is increased by one full octave with the rod thus improving the treble response, sustain and the over all sound transmission of the neck. The rod is used in in guitar models.

The tool is changed to cut the slot for the graphite rod. The slot is cut down the center line of the neck and just deep enough for the rod to fit flush with the top surface of the neck. Any model of guitar can have an additional piece of rosewood inlayed to show on the back of the neck. This is a more traditional look but is mostly aesthetics with the carbon fiber rod providing the strength..

Back to the milling tool to cut the bevels on the heal that will end up inside the guitar body. You can see the slot cut for the graphite rod. The rest of the work on the heal is all done by hand.
Drilling the holes for the tuning machines is done with a very accurate fixture to ensure the proper fit and smooth function of the machines. In this photo you can see the outside shape of the headstock has been cut out and the marking for the string slots is on tape. The edges of the neck have also been completed on the milling machine. The fixture for boring the tuning machine holes is resting on the neck.
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