Today I finished the transition between the headstock and the neck. I have removed much more wood, because the area was still too thick to allow a comfortable playing. I removed a bit more wood on the upper side, where the thump is resting, if I play in the first position and use the blues-grip with the thump on the side of the neck. If I use the classical hand-position it’s also feeling comfortable now.
I went on with the transition between the neck and the neck-joint. First I marked the transition-area and sculpted it with a Dremel, which I had not used for the build until now. The Dremel is capable of reaching smaller areas and I wonder, why I have not used this tool much earlier, because it’s a pure joy to work with it and also very effective and time-saving. After the Dremel I had to sand of course to achieve a smooth surface.
Certainly you remember, that I wanted to flatten the neck-joint area, which should be exactly 25mm deep, but when I measured several points on the neck-joint I could luckily state, that the area was already okay. Therefore I could skip this task and go on with the next one.
Now I worked a bit on two problematic areas on the sides below the zero-fret. I worked on it until it looked a bit better than on the following picture.
Next I wanted to drill the holes for the Hipshot tuning machines. To find the right positions for the tuners I drew lines for the high and low E-string and a third line for the tuner-row. After some more drawings and head-scratching I had to accept, that my fault from the headstock-cut took revenge. I could not place the tuners without hitting the area with the missing wood on the backside. So one tuner would not get a stable basis. Further head-scratching led me to the decision to fill the gap with wood-filler and to drop the idea of the “special design” on the backside and frontside. I could keep one of my triangles, but not both.
But first I cared for the nut-slot. To use the router seemed too risky to me. How easily I could break the two little remaining stripes of wood there. Therefore I used my japanese saw with the selfmade depth-stop and sawed four or five times until I got a slot wide enough to hold the nut. Additional sanding was needed until the nut could drop in. We will see how deep I have to go, because the sense of a Zero-fret is to have the string-pressure on the zero-fret and not on the nut. It will depend on the angle to the tuning machines, so best to decide it, when I have already installed the tuners.
As planned I filled at last the crack in the headstock with wood-filler. A friend on Facebook had suggested to use saw-dust with wood-glue, but I used a standard filler, because I plan to paint the headstock, so the look is not crucial.
Outlook: Maybe I have to apply wood-filler twice, because I expect, that the filler will sink after drying. Tomorrow I can hopefully drill the holes for the tuners. I could still not glue in the frets, because I had forgotten to buy super-glue.. But I could already paint the headstock tomorrow, when the shops are closed and start with the body (!).
I wish all readers a Happy New Year 2018!