Home Mandolin Neck Construction
Neck 1: The neck is made from one piece of mahogany or sycamore, and fitted with a truss rod. It is fitted to the body using slots either side of the heel, which produces a strong join. Heads are laminated before fitting with tuners.
|The neck is perhaps the most difficult part to make. Here checking it is perfectly level to receive the fingerboard.||The shape of the neck is scribed on the side before cutting out.||The truss-rod is fitted before side profiles are cut and the neck becomes too difficult to hold.||Here the shape of the head is being formed, more complex because it is a single piece with the neck.|
|With the side profiles done, the rough shape is now cut and ready for filing and sanding to shape.||Head veneer in rosewood is cut and glued.||Neck slots are cut at a strategic angle to house the instruments ribs.||The finish head.|
2: this is the more traditional, and economical,
in terms of wood wasted, method of constructing a neck head and heel
assembly. I have started with a piece of an old mahogany front door,
recuperated for luthiery, rather than with a pre-cut section from a
luthier supplier, but essentially the process is the same after step 2.
Click on each picture to see a larger version...
|...this is the section of mahogany, it is about 45mm thick, 70mm wide and 750mm long... being part of a door it has some inserts in the wood too...||here I have cut the piece longways, to split it into 2 sections approximately 20 x 70 x 750mm. This is the form in which neck blocks often are sold.... so i now have two!!||I choose a good section of the wood for the neck, a little longer than needed...||next I choose a decent piece for the head section, and mark on where the angle changes, usually 16*. Here they can be seen in place....|
|in order to get the same angle on both pieces of wood, turn the neck section over completely, by moving the heel end from right to left..||Here they have been clamped together to be sawn on the bandsaw... keep the off cuts.||when you flip the neck section over again, you can see how they join to form the correct head angle....||the spare section can be sawn in to suitable sized pieces to form the heel.... here I use the template to select the lenght for each piece...|
|these are the pieces almost ready for gluing up.....||before I glue up, I usually trim down the head to thickness, as its easier without the neck attached...||...and gluing up.....||once glued up, I usually install dowel rods vertically down the heel to ensure it is well solid.... (two here covered by the top..)|