Thread: Neck Joints
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:24 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,634

I started out using the Spanish heel on everything, but realized that, although the heel is certainly stable, the box isn't, and that will make a reset necessary eventually. Classical guitars are often made with very thick fingerboards, which allow for one or maybe even two go-rounds of removing the upper frets and planing the fingerboard down to get the action back. Since the deformation tends to be less with the lower tension that might be all you'll need to do in a lifetime of playing a Classical. I doubt it would work on a steel string, and that's not even taking into account the fretboard inlays.

A couple of years ago I figured out how to make a dovetail neck on a guitar built on a solera, in the traditional Spanish way. In that method everything is built around the neck. Start by joining a block to the neck with whatever style of tenon, dovetail or not, you choose. The only trick is to fit it up with 2mm plastic spacers in place, so that when you glue the neck into the mortise you've got the slot for the sides. Naturally you have to pay attention to the neck angle, but you knew that. Once you've got the block and neck together you just treat it as if it were a normal Classical neck. One nice thing about this method is that you can get the surfaces of the slot a lot smoother than you can do with a saw cut, and you can even size them with hide glue before you assemble it. The one other thing to think about is to notch out the top where the neck will unplug so it can be gotten off when the time comes.
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