This is the 5 Best Tips for Joining the Guitar Neck and Body. In this post, you’ll learn how to join the two largest components of your acoustic guitar the right way, and have a perfectly straight neck.
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Joining the Neck and Body of the Guitar
Of all the different joints on your acoustic guitar, arguably the one that makes the biggest difference is the joint between the neck and the body. After all, this is a small joint that has a lot of responsibility.
The whole purpose of an acoustic guitar is to control vibrational energy and prevent it from being lost before it can be turned into sound. The weaker your build, the faster the vibration is absorbed and lost, and the weaker your sound.
It makes sense then that your neck to body joint is a strong joint, that is well-made, and focused on preventing as much energy loss as possible. I’ll show you everything you need to know coming up in the post, and you’ll be able to make a strong, sturdy joint.
Decide on a Joint Style
The very first thing that you need to do is decide on the style of joint between your two pieces. There are a lot of different methods when it comes to joining the neck and the body, and all of them have their virtues.
Don’t worry about which one you pick, just pick one that you know you can execute really well. It’s more important to execute the joint in a high-level manner than it is to build some joint because you think that’s the way it supposed to be done.
Some guitar makers can be a little on the snobby side, and they’ll say silly things like if you’re not using a classic dovetail joint that you’re doing it wrong. That’s not the case at all. If you create a well-made joint, it doesn’t matter how you do it.
See Also: 5 Best Tips for Making a Guitar Neck
Work the Joint Until Perfect
After you’ve selected which joint you plan on using, do you research and study that joint and figure out the absolute best way to make it. You need to make this joint carefully, and have patience throughout the process.
You definitely don’t need to stress out about not being able to do this well, you just need to agree right now that you’re going to slow down, and take the time to get it right. That’s really the big difference, just a little bit more time and patience.
If you give yourself that time, you’ll notice different things than if you are rushed or nervous, and you’ll be able to address them. You’ll be able to make the best joint you possibly can, and you’ll create a solid union between the neck and the body.
Use String to Align the Neck
A little trick that’s helpful when aligning your two pieces and fitting them together is to use string to help you straighten out the neck. There are a lot of different ways to do this, but the process is pretty easy.
Simply tape down a piece of string either in the center of the neck, or two pieces of string for where the high and the low E strings would eventually be. Run these down to the center of the body where the bridge would be, and tape them down in their corresponding locations.
Adjust the tilt of the neck left or right until the strings are straight, and that’s how you know that your neck is sticking out straight as well. Make sure you have strings with tension on them, so that way they stay as straight as possible.
Do a Dry Run Without Glue
Of all the different tips that you see here, this one is probably the most important. Thankfully, it’s also really quick because there’s not a lot going on in this one joint and it doesn’t require 50 clamps to get in place.
Before you add any glue to this joint, do a dry run where you do the steps exactly the same way that you would once you apply your glue, just without the glue. Use the same clamps, the same process, and the same everything that you would do if this was live.
After that, bring your string back out or any other alignment method that you use and check to make sure that the neck is really in the position that you want it to be. If it’s not, make your adjustments now, and be happy that you figured this out before you glued the pieces together.
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Glue the Pieces Together the Same Way
Once you’ve addressed everything from the dry run, and that means everything down to the tiniest little detail, you’re ready for glue. At this point, it’s just a matter of repeating what you did before.
Do not make any deviation from your original process. Glue the neck and the body together in the exact same way and in the exact same order that you did on your dry run. This will help ensure that you don’t run out of any tools or clamps, and that you get it in the same spot.
If you follow through with this, you should have zero interruptions, and the two pieces should go together just the same as they did without glue.
Once the neck and the body are joined together, wipe away any excess glue that may have squeezed out of the joint, and you can do this with a wet rag. Wipe away everything you can at this point, because it will be a pain to chisel off later.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know these five best tips for creating a very strong neck to body joint on your acoustic guitar, it’s time to get out into your shop and take action. Have you been wanting to make a guitar? How long has it been?
Making guitar is no different than making anything else, and if you have some previous woodworking skills, you can definitely make an instrument that you’ll be proud of. The time is now, get that build started, and you’ll be super happy that you did.
If you have any questions on joining the body and the neck of the guitar, please post a question and I’ll be happy to answer them. Happy building.
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