I could do some sanding on the christmas-days, but today was the first complete building-day after the break and I worked one hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. But I have still not reached the point, when I can start to install the frets. By the way I have luckily recognized, that I had miscalculated the position of one fret. Do you remember the photo, on which you can see the lines for the first four frets? You can easily observe, that the space between fret two and fret three is too small. I am so happy, that I have recognized the mistake before I have installed the frets.
Today and yesterday I invested a lot of hard work into the sides of the fretboard. You know I had decided to remove wood with the router close to the border-line. I also used the router again from the backside on the neck. Next I cut the remaining stripe of wood with the japanese saw. Then I sanded the sides first with the file, then with the aluminium-bar equipped with sanding paper until I achieved a straight and smooth neck-side. Because of the hardness of the maple I felt like attending a gymnastic-course. But at last my effort payed back. My way is for sure not the most effective way to build a neck …
The next step today was to reduce the thickness of the neck from 36mm to 20mm except for the neck-joint, where I would go for a thickness of 25mm. So first I marked the neck-joint area and the area, where I will sculpt the transition to the headstock. I have learned from my headstock-experiences and left more wood to achieve a smooth transition later. Now I had to face the question how to remove this big amount of wood. The area was too delicate to use the circular-saw and I could also not use the padsaw through a 60mm block. I first thought about to saw it with the japanese saw, but I was afraid, that it would be very time-consuming. At last I decided to use the router again, to leave 1mm additional space and to reduce the height very carefully along the neck. The only downside of the router was, that I could not save the router with guiding wood-bars on the sides of the neck. Therefore I had to rely on the neck-wood as a depth-control for the router. I solved this problem, as I left small stripes of wood to hold the router in the right position – for sure an unusual and unprofessional method – but it worked.
After I had finished the work with router I sawed the remaining stripes with the japanese saw. At last I sanded the surface first with the file and then with sanding paper until I was satisfied.
Outlook: Because I have still two areas with the same height on the back of the neck I will go on with the frets before I lower the height of the neck-joint and work further on the neck-profile. Regarding the frets I am a bit torn, if I need a fret-job for new frets. I could not find a concrete answer for this question. Yesterday I found an article, in which the author told, that he just controls, if all frets are leveled the same. He is only going for a complete fret-job (including filing, recrowning etc.), if he can not achieve a good result with hammering single frets a bit more than others. I think I will first check the fretboard, if it’s really flat and after installing the frets I would control the overall leveling and additionally try to find bad frets within three of them using a straight piece of metal. If I can avoid a fretjob it would shorten the building-time. However if necessary I have already purchased a fret-file. Next I want to lower the height of the neck-joint from 36mm to 25mm. If possible I will use the router, if I can find a way to support it, because I need an exact surface on the neck-joint.
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