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Thread: V joint question

  1. #1
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    Default V joint question

    The Siminoff book describes the method for this V joint and dowels to attach the neck. He puts the neck angle in the body half (mortise?) by tilting the body 6degrees when he cuts the V on the bandsaw. I wonder why he doesn't incorporate the angle in the end of the neck heel,as it would seem easier to cut in my opinion. I noticed on one of the Rosa String works videos that Gerry Rosa appears to have the angle on the neck heel, although he doesn't show the cutting of it or mention it.
    What do those of you who use this joint do?
    Thanks Mike.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: V joint question

    I can only say it's worth the time to learn to do a dovetail. If you can cut a V you can cut a dovetail.

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    Default Re: V joint question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    I can only say it's worth the time to learn to do a dovetail. If you can cut a V you can cut a dovetail.
    Thanks Jim, I can cut a dovetail but as this is my first attempt at building mandolins, I can see the V joint giving me more scope for adjustment and tweaking of the fit.
    Mike.

  4. #4
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: V joint question

    I use the siminoff joint and cut the 6 degrees on the end of the neck block. Straight through 90 degrees on the body cutout. Works just fine.
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    Default Re: V joint question

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Hughes View Post
    I use the siminoff joint and cut the 6 degrees on the end of the neck block. Straight through 90 degrees on the body cutout. Works just fine.
    Hi Vernon, forgive me if I'm wrong but I understand a neck block to be the part of the body that receives the neck, is this what you mean? Or do you mean the heel end of the neck? thanks Mike.

  6. #6
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: V joint question

    I meant the heel end of the neck.. I usually cut the 6 degree on the end while it's still in billet form, hence my term neck block.Just wasn't thinking.
    Hughes F-5 #1
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    Default Re: V joint question

    If I remember correctly, I think the idea of cutting the 6 degrees into the neck block was to allow further in-set of the bottom of the neck heel providing a bit more meat for dowel inserts.

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    Default Re: V joint question

    While I know your mind is made up I would just like to point out one more thing. If you were to do a straight dovetail like Lynn D. does instead of a tapered one you would have far more adjustability since you could slide the neck up or down till the correct bridge height was achieved. You do have to cut the curved mating surfaces which is a bit more difficult but still worth it.

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    Default Re: V joint question

    Well thanks for the clarification both Vernon and Clinton, appreciated. And Jim, my mind is still open about this. You've made me consider the dovetail, in fact I cut a practise joint this afternoon to see how it would turn out. It turned out surprisingly well apart from one side of curved mating surfaces, which wasn't quite as tight fitting as I would have liked. I suspect it was because I didn't cut the curve enough on the bandsaw, as I was using a wide blade. I may change the blade to a 1/4inch and exaggerate the curve slightly.
    Cheers Mike.

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    Default Re: V joint question

    I cut a straight tapered mortice in the heel stock with my router and jig. I then use a thin board to make a "neck" and tweak the angle till I get its extension to be a desired height above the top at the point of where the bridge is going to be located. Then, without adjusting my saw, I use this angle to to cut the end of the neck blank. It may be more or less than 6 degrees. I don't actually know what the angular measurement is, but it works to get a the string height right for a standard bridge .
    -Newtonamic

  11. #11
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: V joint question

    A well made dovetail is the goal, time tested and proven for over 100 years, not some modified half a$$ attempt that is then backed up with dowels because you don't have any confidence in the joint as it.

    Practice a few more dovetails with the 1/4" blade and you'll get it and be glad you put in the extra effort.

    If the tapered dovetail is the main challenge, try the Condino straight dovetail method:

    https://vimeo.com/149088032?utm_camp...0302f20a24060f
    Spruce dork

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    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: V joint question

    I agree Jim. I did my first one and was very impressed. Took quite a a bit of time to do though to get it right. Loved the process though right to the end.
    Nic Gellie

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    Default Re: V joint question

    Quote Originally Posted by grandcanyonminstrel View Post
    A well made dovetail is the goal, time tested and proven for over 100 years, not some modified half a$$ attempt that is then backed up with dowels because you don't have any confidence in the joint as it.

    Practice a few more dovetails with the 1/4" blade and you'll get it and be glad you put in the extra effort.

    If the tapered dovetail is the main challenge, try the Condino straight dovetail method:

    https://vimeo.com/149088032?utm_camp...0302f20a24060f
    Well, this started out as a question about the V joint, but I'm leaning more towards a dovetail now. I'll practice a bit more like you suggest.
    many thanks everyone.

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    Default Re: V joint question

    I agree, a well fitted dovetail joint is the best but a poorly fitted one is perhaps the worst. I have been following this issue for years and the number of reported failures of dovetail neck joints seem to greatly exceed the number of reported failures of the Siminoff joints. My testing of an unpinned mortise tenon joint, such as on a violin, suggests that a well fitted and glued button is sufficient to keep the neck stable, as is clearly true on a violin.
    -Newtonamic

  15. #15
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    Default Re: V joint question

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Simonson View Post
    I agree, a well fitted dovetail joint is the best but a poorly fitted one is perhaps the worst. . .
    My testing of an unpinned mortise tenon joint, such as on a violin, suggests that a well fitted and glued button is sufficient to keep the neck stable, as is clearly true on a violin.
    We must keep in mind that the string tension on a mandolin is much greater than that on a violin.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: V joint question

    I did have that in mind.
    -Newtonamic

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    Default Re: V joint question

    Larry, that's the reason to make a well fitting joint.

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    Default Re: V joint question

    A violin, while it doesn't look like it is still a dovetail joint. It is smaller, and the button helps support it, but it is tapered the same as a dovetail.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Default Re: V joint question

    Never mind.
    Last edited by Dale Ludewig; Apr-04-2020 at 7:25pm. Reason: change of mind

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  21. #20
    Registered User Mandoborg's Avatar
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    Default Re: V joint question

    Yet to hear of any Ellis neck joint failures. I used dovetails on my first 6 or so, then built jigs to do V-joints, Then went a step further a few years ago and had CNC templates made like Tom's with curved sides. Yet to have a failure and no need for dowels. I always say use what works for YOU and what YOU feel confident in. Lots of different ways to achieve the same end result. Just make it work. I'll still cut a dovetail if somebody insists, but I'm going to charge you more !!!

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  23. #21
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: V joint question

    That joint has big advantage that you can machine it precisely and consistently, but the strength fully relies on the glue only. The tapered dovetail (when correctly fitted) is self tightening and majority of its strength comes from direct wood to wood contact (like in japanese joinery) and glue acts more as a locking mechanism.
    This difference will show whne the joints under stress are subject to heat... the dovetail will hold (unless there are gaps inside to start with), but tenon style will most likely move.
    Adrian

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  25. #22
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    Default Re: V joint question

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Simonson View Post
    I agree, a well fitted dovetail joint is the best but a poorly fitted one is perhaps the worst. I have been following this issue for years and the number of reported failures of dovetail neck joints seem to greatly exceed the number of reported failures of the Siminoff joints. My testing of an unpinned mortise tenon joint, such as on a violin, suggests that a well fitted and glued button is sufficient to keep the neck stable, as is clearly true on a violin.
    I suspect the reason there are a lot more reported dovetail failures is because there are a lot more dovetail joints and they have been used for longer.

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