1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Cutting out headstock shape and volute. help?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Yellow, Aug 27, 2007.


  1. Yellow

    Yellow

    Apr 20, 2006
    Sooke, BC, Canada
    How do you guys do it?

    I found myself in a bit of predicament. I have the neck roughly shaped, finger board glued, I added little extra wings to accommodate the headstock shape width, now I am not shure how to proceed.

    I have following questions:

    1. What should be the width of the headstock for standard tuners?

    2. how close to the neck and how far from the first tuner should the volute start?

    3. Do you use router with template guide or bandsaw to cut out headstock shape?

    Any other tips or suggestions please...and thank you.
     
  2. I used my belt sander (stationary) for the first time last week to rough out back of the neck and the volute. I must say it works great! I'll post a pic later tonight.

    1. do you mean 'thickness' instead of 'width'? If it's width I try to line up the tuners as close to the string line as possible without making the headstock look funny. It's a compromise most of the time. If it's thickness, about 5/8 to 9/16 in the middle tapering from thicker at the volute to thinner at the end (where the logo goes).

    2. I try to put the thickest part of the volute right below the nut line or the end of the fingerboard.

    3. I use the bandsaw to rough out the shape and take to the final line with the belt sander. Tidying with sanding blocks and files.

    As for final thoughts. This is one of the most fun parts of building. It's really a sculpting procedure and it's really a great feeling as it takes shape.
     
  3. Yellow

    Yellow

    Apr 20, 2006
    Sooke, BC, Canada
    Thanks Wilser, I am going to do that tonight. I did think of the sander too but I dont have one yet.

    I will try to rough cut on the bandsaw then finish by hand.

    I have been admiring some of your latest works, great stuff.
     
  4. Thank you!

    Here's what I was talking about. At that stage it was just the belt sander, nothing else.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    It looks pretty good!! How much time do you need to get there from the square neck?
     
  6. I guess about half an hour. I assume it would get shorter while I get the hang of it. It's pretty nerve wrecking having to go slow and not take too much off ...there's no going back, you know. Also, on this particular neck I didn't take the 45 deg cut on the bandsaw I usually do, which should save quite a bit of time. I have another neck that I need to shape this week that does have the 45 deg cut, so I'll time it and see how it goes.
     
  7. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I use a bandsaw (or in a pinch, a coping saw) to rough out the shape of the headstock, and I use an oscilating spindle sander to finalize the shape, thickness, and volute...
     
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I rough out the shape with a bandsaw, use templates to finalize shape, and thickness, along with the headstock to volute transition. I then shape the volute by hand, with sanding, and microplane mini round.
     
  9. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    Are microplanes better for this than rasps?
     
  10. Yellow

    Yellow

    Apr 20, 2006
    Sooke, BC, Canada
    Hey Wilser, how thick is your neck just passed the volute close to the nut.
     
  11. Yellow

    Yellow

    Apr 20, 2006
    Sooke, BC, Canada
    And another thing, should not the headstock area covering all tuners be flat and parallel to the top surface, if so do you start the volute right after the last tuner (closest to the nut)?
     
  12. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O

    I think so, they are less agressive, so you can do more detailed work without the fear of taking too much material, plus they make it easier to sand out.
     
  13. ahh, numbers. I don't know! I just do what feels right. I guess I do about than 9/16" at the nut when milling and goes a hair less while shaping.

    It should be flat to cover all tuners, yes. But the volute is pretty far away from the tuners. On that pic I posted the tuner area is flat.

    Not only that, but the biggest difference I have found is that they leave a smoother surface (a rasp can take big chunks of wood because it tears, not like microplanes which shave) and there is virtually no chatter (which all rasps I have used have problems with).
     
  14. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    just wish microplanes were a little stronger, I just bent my 8" round course yesterday, 2nd one this year. LMAO
     

  15. I 'flatten' my half rounds on the first use. They are not the strongest tool. But I can 're round' them by hand (with gloves) easily, so it's no biggie.
     
  16. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    yeah, they always flatten out, I seem to get a bit too agressive, and actually bend in the middle...LMAO Guess I am putting too much belley into it...LMAO
     
  17. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    My last two I did the rough shaping and volute with a sander bit on my drill press. Like below....Between that and a Safe-T-Plane, a drill press is an incredible tool!

    robosander.

    from stewmac's site
    07_neck1_lg.
     

Share This Page