Not gone, just really slow

Starting a tenor, Spanish cedar neck. The plan is to use the Hana Lima ‘Ia plans (since they worked well last time) with a Spanish heel. I have some Engelman spruce for the soundboard, and East Indian rosewood for everything else. But for now, I just have a mess of glue.

Scarf joint ready for smoothing
Heel stack glueup

I thought I had a photo of the scarf joint glueup, but I can’t seem to find it now. It wasn’t important anyway. Scarf joint was cut on the table saw using an angle jig, and smoothed with a block plane. It still needs to be thinned down a little bit.


Nothing inside

Hand resawing. Possible but not recommended.

body split

That took what seemed like forever.


Not the greatest job; here’s where I had some blade wandering. This may need the Saf-T-Planer to clean it up.tearout


And here’s the piece that was cut off. I’ll use it to make a control cavity cover. At least that’s the plan.thin part split

Bass neck started

I thought I had a taper cutting jig somewhere around here. (Blade guard removed for photo.)

Bass neck taper jig

The jig flexes a bit, so I didn’t get the greatest cut.

Bass neck scarf joint

I think I can make it work anyhow. Needs cleanup with a plane. (Hand planing maple. Ugh.)Bass neck scarf joint 2

That truss rod in the back will be included later.

Calling it Done

Well, I need to adjust the action at the nut a bit, but otherwise I’m calling this one complete.

T2 in case

Ignore the foot.

Yeah, it has some flaws. But you can’t really see them in these photos.

T2 vertical

T2 bridge

The saddle is compensated. It’s supposed to look like that.

First sound sample is available here. Pay no attention to the crummy playing; I was tired. Recorded straight into the computer via dynamic microphone; no filtering, reverb, or anything.

Enough with the shellac, already

I am not 100% happy with this (I never am) but I’m not going to do more on it.

The back isn’t too bad, for the most part. There are a couple of dull patches and lumpy areas, but if I mess with it more, it’ll just get worse.

Back finishing done

I finally got the spot on this side to take shellac. I ended up just wiping it on with a very small bit of cloth, instead of the traditional muneca, which was taking off as much as it was laying down. Need more practice, obviously.

Bass side polished

I removed the tape from the fretboard and as expected, there is residue all over it. I’ve cleaned the first three frets here, but not the rest.

Fretboard needs cleaning

The top has one area I’m not at all happy with, but I can’t fix it without sanding everything down to bare wood and starting over. And I’m not about to do that. I don’t much like working with spruce tops, so it may be a while before I use the rest of the ones I already have.

Front finishing done



I thought I’d have to make some kind of a jig to cut the bridge slots, but turns out I can do it with some MDF and the Dremel router base with edge guide that I already have.

Bridge Slotting

Ad-hoc bridge slotting jig

Turned out pretty good, although it would have been slightly easier with a small handheld router. But that would mean additional bits, edge guide, and other stuff that I don’t really need.

slotted bridge

Bridge, slotted and polished but not quite complete

Next step is to drill the string holes.

Glue it together

I’ve actually done some work, but hadn’t had much to show for it. So here it is.

Neck gluing

Neck gluing

Here’s another view. It’s just a strap to hold the neck to the body, and a clamp to keep the fretboard down.

Neck glue 2

Neck end view of glue-up

The fretboard was already glued to the neck. You can’t see it very well but there is a shim to keep the strap taut. (It’s a contour sanding block; it was handy and works well.)

fret ends

Fret ends

Here’s a view of the fret ends. Not beautiful but not terrible either. And they don’t catch your fingers.