Saturday, November 5, 2011

the two become as one

 There are lots of ways to attach a neck on a steel stringed guitar. Perhaps the most in keeping with modern usage and repair techniques is the double bolted flush fit with the capacity for adding shims for adjustment. Bolt heads are accessed from the soundhole and it all works very well with machine-made components. Some manufacturers use a pinned mortise and tenon and some still use the tapered single dovetail, as I have done here.

I think if I were to make a few guitars, I'd probably consider the bolt-on method, unless someone was wanting to pay for the premium sort of artefact. I chose the dovetail here because it is part of my 'story', and it befits the attempts I am making to have as many metaphors and minor symbols of historical importance to me incorporated into its fabric and shapes.

 The bottom of the heel, or button as it is sometimes called is often covered with a contrasting layer, and if I were to do that with this instrument it would be ebony, to harmonise with the blackish trim elsewhere, but I'm thinking of leaving it natural- in Julia's terms; 'less is more with THAT back'.
The neck is still 'in the rough' until the fingerboard is fixed on.


  1. She looks absolutely GORGEOUS and I can't wait to meet her! It is so wonderful to track her progress on here...thanks for sharing it all!

  2. I think the button is appropriate, even significant.
    My reasoning is exactly the same as Julia's.

  3. Very quick replies to my post! The ink is barely dry on my computer....
    Thank you both.
    (and the fact that there are some very dark grain lines on the heel, even ebony-like, makes me feel the same)

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  5. Also, being a contrarian by nature, I would venture an ebony button might draw even less attention to itself than the grain.

  6. Nice to hear from you Barry, and your comment represents the reasoning behind my mentioning this choice....In a perfect scenario for me, I'd do two instruments, identical except for the button, as a challenge to make both work well visually by different means. But life is too short so I just make the call.