Now back to the neck. Dan’s hands are not large (but they are very fine hands) so we need to shape the neck for comfort and maximum playability for him. We already have a shorter scale length so the distance between frets will be shorter than a larger scale instrument. I have elected to shape the neck similar to a James Goodall Grand Concert model. It is similar to a Taylor neck – I have used both templates and I really think Dan’s fingerstyle guitar suits the Goodall best.
My approach to carving the neck is using facets – carving to lines to eventually arrive at a “C” shaped neck. I first measure the neck blank width and depth and plot it on paper. I then use a compass to draw the “C” within the dimensions. I draw intersecting lines and measure from the center, ends, and top and then I transfer these dimensions to create facet lines on the neck.
This process is repeated until there is a rounding of the neck. This hand plane removes the most wood and it is only used to “hog off” the initial facet.
I then use my neck template to start comparing to the shape at the first and tenth frets.
The 80 grit paper and the back-and-forth sanding motion works the wood to the template shape.
When the initial shaping is accomplished, it is time to check the neck angle and orintation and to glue on the heel cap. First I need to finish the headstock. The bottoms of the slots in the headstock need to be angled toward the fretboard so the strings have a path to the tuners.
I wrap 100 grit sandpaper around a 3/8″ dowel and work the angle until completed. Pictures to follow in the next post.