Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fitting The Neck To The Banjo Rim

To drill the two holes for the lag bolts, I made a jig for the drill press that holds the neck perpendicular side to side, with a wedge that holds it at a 1.5 degree angle front to back. The neck angle is critical for the strings and bridge to be at the correct height when it is strung up.

The lag bolts are in place and should line up with the existing holes on the old rim.

It just fits.

The long rod attaches to the lag bolt and also bolts to the other side of the wood rim.

The heel of the neck has been shaped by hand to fit the 11 inch curve of the rim.

The heel should make solid contact with the wood rim for optimum tone quality.

The small nut goes on the top, just like the original.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Making The Neck

I cut the neck from a nice piece of maple. This piece doesn't have as much figure as I typically like to use. I wanted this one to be fairly true to the original and it was fairly plain. I have fretted and bound the fingerboard.
I installed a two-way truss rod before I glued on the peghead overlay and the fretboard.

I used a router bit with a flush trim guide and used the profile of the fretboard to shape the neck to the exact outer shape.

I cut and shaped the peghead profile and then carved and sanded the back of the neck.

I also added an ebony cap to the bottom of the neck heel for esthetics. It was not like that on the original, but it's a nice finishing touch. Now that it is sanded, I will fit it to the banjo rim and probably string it up to see how it feels and plays. I can always make it thinner if I need to.