Thursday, July 5, 2018

A Couple of Roughnecks

Back in the shop after a week at Weiser, Idaho, the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest.  Breathing just a bit before heading off for a week at fiddle camp in Wallowa, Oregon, a really beautiful spot, a low-key workshop with lots of great folk in attendance.

Meanwhile, working on necks.  Getting down to nearly finished dimensions.  First step is to cut away some of the extra wood on the side, chip it out, then plane away the sides of the neck root.

You can see the saw-marks perpendicular to the ebony fingerboard.  Good to stop just a ways back, to avoid chip-out.  I also like to put a little water on the neck-root when I'm planing -- the close, far left bit of maple here -- also to avoid chip-out in this figured maple.  It likes to break out in inconvenient spots.

Next is to start working down the thickness of the neck itself, the portion the musician touches when playing. 

I use a combination of saw-cuts and rough-rasp work.  In the background is a "Dragon" rasp from Stewart-MacDonald.  It is aggressive, which is good at this point in the process.

To work out the neck root and chin area, the curved portions at either end of the neck, I like to use a small Mora Kniv.

Good to keep the pencil handy and restore the center line every so often.  Rotate the neck as you're working it down to keep it smooth and round.  Flat spots are noticeable to the musician, and not in a good way.

I try to get the neck fairly close, but when I come back the next day, I always see more I need to tend to.  Or maybe even taking photos for a blog post.  Either way, more to come off, not much, just pickier work, and smaller chunks.

Did the same for the Hardanger neck.

And one does not live by necks alone, so other things to be made today.

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