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markishandsome
Oct-10-2005, 10:17pm
I'm a little stuck on how to attatch the slotted peghead on the 4-string I'm building. I think the easiest way would be to angle the end of the neck and butt the bottom of the peghead (which would be perpendicular to the top and bottom faces of the peghead) onto the end. Is this the best/easiest/strongest way? Would it be better to cut the angle into the bottom of the head, or do a dovetail? How would I clamp it?

Luthier
Oct-11-2005, 5:22am
I am not getting a clear picture in my head of what it is you are trying to do. Is the peghead separate from the neck now? What instrument is it you are building with four strings?

Don

markishandsome
Oct-11-2005, 2:00pm
I drew a (crude) picture that will (if it posts) hopefully clarify my question. I havn't made the peghead yet but it will have to be a separate piece that is somehow attatched to the end of the neck. It's for a single-course mandolin, like the Jazz-bo.

Frank Ford
Oct-11-2005, 2:23pm
Both of those illustrations are basically butt joints, which simply do not hold without extra reinforcement, such as tenons, dowels, or the like. #You might want to consider a longer scarf joint, as is commonly employed in classical guitar construction:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Features/CFox/CFoxViews/cfox024.jpg

Antlurz
Oct-11-2005, 2:38pm
A thick overlay on the peghead will also add a lot of strength to this kind of joint.

Ron

Luthier
Oct-11-2005, 4:13pm
You may also want to consider gluing ears on the sides of the peghead after the scarf joint is done. This will give it extra strength.

Don

Eric Foulke
Oct-11-2005, 6:42pm
For what you are doing the scarf joint is your best bet.
It is interesting to note that on the original Selmer guitars the headstock was fabricated as a separate piece with a rounded tenon "tongue" which was then glued into a matching mortise cut into the neck shaft. Odd but it seems to work.

markishandsome
Oct-11-2005, 8:39pm
Frank- In your picture am I right to think that the piece in the left part of the picture with the slots in it is the neck and the part on the right is the head? Thanks.

Paul Hostetter
Oct-12-2005, 12:58am
The headstock is to the left in Frank's photo. This is a very normal headstock joint. The one referred to by Ron Antlers is extremely uncommon. In fact I have never seen one like this in 40-some years in the biz. It doesn't strike me as particularly durable. Gluing ears on it wouldn't help, as the ears wouldn't be left after the headstock is cut to shape.

The Selmer headstock joint wasn't foolproof, believe me! It also required some very specialized tooling that is not easily available to the average maker. Frank's plan is a very reliable way to go.

Graham McDonald
Oct-12-2005, 2:01am
I think you might find the head is the section on the right in Frank's pic and the diagram antlurz posted is the usual way of doing it. It is the way most of the books have it

cheers

graham

Antlurz
Oct-12-2005, 2:40am
That had me confused as well. I maybe should have labeled the parts, but assumed the horizontal one would be taken as the neck. I admit that the drawing I made is not the norm as to the way the veneer would be shaped at it's juncture with the nut, however.

Ron

Antlurz
Oct-12-2005, 2:54am
Maybe I should have done it this way:

Luthier
Oct-12-2005, 7:39am
Anlurz diagram just above is the way it is shown in books and the way I have done it for years. This Method does allow ears to be glued on and it does give added strength. #It also saves on material.

Don

markishandsome
Oct-12-2005, 11:26am
Well now I'm totally confused. It seems like having a thick fingerboard covering the joint would provide more support than a thin peghead veneer. Is there a site with pictures and diagrams of classical scarf joint construction? Thanks for all the replies.

Luthier
Oct-12-2005, 11:41am
see if this helps a little more:

Don

Luthier
Oct-12-2005, 11:46am
here is another shot:

Paul Hostetter
Oct-12-2005, 12:44pm
Well, my breakfast of crow tastes very, um, OK this morning...but I still believe this method:

http://www.warmoth.com/guitar/images/necks/angled_1.jpg

...is more common and strikes me as simply stronger, with the fingerboard locking the headstock to the neck as it does. I see Don's and Frank's joint in side-view technical drawings, but the actual joint, in a Torres for example, is a V-joint, not a simple scarf joint.

Eric Foulke
Oct-13-2005, 1:01am
Paul,
To your knowledge has anyone else even attempted the Selmer head/neck joint? I always thought it was an odd way to do it.:O

Paul Hostetter
Oct-13-2005, 1:47am
Luigi Mozzani was Mario Maccaferri's maestro. That's Mario second from left, Mozzani is the elder seated one:

http://www.lutherie.net/mario_mozzani.JPG

I just combed my Mozzani book to see if he'd done it first, and while he probably did, I can't actually see any working drawings or photos of partly-finished necks to corroborate that. The seam connecting headstock to neck is identical, many of the Mozzani headstocks are just like Mario's designs for the Selmer. His mandolins had one-piece necks, but the larger mandolins, harp guitars and all manner of other guitars all have a grafted headstock of some sort. But I can't be sure of what that joint really was.

Other than that, I know of no one who did them quite that way. Not the Selmer copyists, for sure. The latter-day Selmers with the Rio rosewood necks had a stacked heel, but the headstocks were integral to the barrel of the neck.

The only other similar neck graft is the little fingerjoint method Taylor uses on its budget guitars, the one that's more often seen on paint-grade door trim at the lumber yard. I have seen a couple of those fail, but for good reason; most seem to be holding up pretty well. As with the Selmers, the joint relies on very specific tooling to fashion the parts so it's a practical production step.

I have watched a couple of folks who do the traditional Spanish v-joint, and it was a real eye-opener. They freehanded them and did them in a matter of a few minutes from raw chunks to perfect vacuum-fit joints. The only tool used was a 1" flat chisel. Practice makes perfect, I guess!

sunburst
Oct-13-2005, 2:04am
I have watched a couple of folks who do the traditional Spanish v-joint, and it was a real eye-opener. They freehanded them and did them in a matter of a few minutes from raw chunks to perfect vacuum-fit joints. The only tool used was a 1" flat chisel. Practice makes perfect, I guess!
I guess...

I tried it once. Well, actually twice. It took two tries to get it. I mighta used more tools than a 1" chisel, and it took a lot longer than a few minutes. Nice joint, but ya gotta get good at it if yer gonna use it.

Luthier
Oct-13-2005, 5:23am
OK, Crow is on the menu this morning for me as well. When you are talking v-joint am I correct in assuming it is like a finger joint but with just one finger?? Help me understand this.

Don

sunburst
Oct-13-2005, 11:32am
Yep, one "finger".
See the inverted V where the D-28 Martin volute would be? The edges of that are the glue joint. (I rounded the surface of the volute over, rather than having it pointed like a Martin.)
The rest of the joint, to each side of the V, is a butt joint, so the one V-shaped finger is doing all the work of holding the peghead on.

Luthier
Oct-13-2005, 1:31pm
Crow is tasting better all the time.
http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/I-5200.html
Don

Frank Ford
Oct-13-2005, 6:03pm
When scarf joints fail, and they do sometimes, it's the back side that opens up as the neck flexes. #If #you use Titebond, for example, you risk glue failure at the high (over 150 F) temperature generated in a closed car parked in the sun.

The classic Martin reinforced neck joint is an interesting one, called a modified bridle joint, and it's a tricky bit of woodwork:


http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Structural/1887Restore/1887Views/188710.jpg

While you keep hearing glue manufacturers talk about glue joints being stronger than the wood itself, you can count on that for only one kind of test - the one that worked. #A glue joint is not the SAME as the wood itself, and it will always react differently under certain circumstances. #Personally, I'm most fond of the single piece neck. #No, it may not take "whiplash" as well as some jointed peghead styles, but it won't fail in the heat or with age alone. #A one piece neck never has the look of "using small pieces for economy."

Luthier
Oct-14-2005, 10:26am
That joint above, Frank, looks a whole lot more time consuming to make than it would be worth to just use a one piece neck. #How long was this employed by Martin?

Don

markishandsome
Oct-14-2005, 4:20pm
So I tired the scarf joint Paul's way, with the fingerboard over the joint. Took it out of the clamp, gave it a tug, and the doggone thing snapped in half! I knew having the grain pointed the way I had it was weak, but it looked so pretty, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. I guess it's back to the woodpile to find a new headstock!

The glue held BTW, it was the wood that broke. Man I thought the neck would be the easy part!