So after failing 5 times the weekend prior to last to make a neck template using a follow collar on my dad's router we bought a router with a follow bearing. Perfect.
We also borrowed a 'bandsaw' from a friend that turned out to be a scroll saw that was useless. So we opted for extended jigsaw blades. Progress was much faster this weekend.
We clamped the neck and lined it up using a string and plumb bob.
And used straight edged MDF blocks with double sided sticky tape to make a template for our template.
A perfect fit first time
So we went onto the body
Lined up all the centre lined, checked, checked and triple checked and started routing.
We went to depth before following the edge so the new bit would only be used for cutting the final edge.
This is when i noticed mistake #3. The neck pocket was mis-aligned I had no idea how to fix it, but it didn't seem to affect the bridge placement too much, so we went ahead with cutting out the rough shape with the Jigsaw whilst still a little disheartened and confused by the mistake.
My theory is that the string was not the best method to line the neck to the template centreline due to parallax error. We also used a string with a diameter of about 3mm which gave us a +/1 1.5 mm error margin.
So anyway we clamped it and started cutting
IT turned out we hit the biscuit in cutaway of the lower horn, but hopefully after heavy chamfering it will disappear.
For the horns We decided to use the router and the MDF template.
If you look closely you can see the outline of the biscuit in the above photo, it should just disappear when I'm done shaping it.
Ploughing on, but feeling tired, we decided to add some wood instead of removing it and plugged the old neck holes with some dowels cut and whittled from some small maple blocks.
Here is a mockup of what we achieved. The wonk on the neck is really pronounced in this photo, i think the grain on the zebrano really exaggerates it.
I did another mock-up today, with the bridge and some cotton thread strung up. It looks like due to the angle of the neck pocket, the optimal bridge position is where it would be without any wonk or offset on the neck pocket. Which I guess is a plus.
However, I remembered I have some offcuts from the body blank, I was thinking of routing around the neck to create a template of the inside of the neck pocket, route a plug out of the offcut zebrano, re-align the neck and re-route the neck pocket.
What do you think? Is this a viable solution?