Preparing the wood
  1. Choose a piece of maple, that matches in flame your back. The medullary rays should be at right angles to the top plane (maybe slanting back a little, as with the ribs), the growth lines parallel with the top plane /fingerboard gluing surface/. If you need to reorient the wood grain along the longest axis, you can use a simple template 55 x 42 mm in size, made of plastic, as in Fig. 1.
  2. True the block of wood to the minimal measurements of 250 x 42 x 55 mm. Check the maximum width of the scroll you are copying, from eye to eye (40mm on Messiah), and make sure it fits comfortably into the width of the block. Make sure the width of the block is constant throughout the length (42mm) as it serves to create the centerline of the neck.

Neck construction

In Fig. 2 you can see the general side and top overview of the finished neck and scroll. Note the length of the fingerboard gluing area, which is 136 mm and the angle of the neck root at 85 degrees.

Neck template

For the neck template, you can use the same material as for the body template.
  1. Print out the template in Fig. 3 or use your own. The template here is again a slightly corrected version of the Messiah neck and scroll.
  2. Glue on and cut out in the same manner as the body template.
  3. Drill the small holes using a 1 mm drill bit. They will allow you to mark the scroll, peg holes and the end position of the fingerboard.

Marking the block

Use the neck template to transfer the neck outline on both sides of the block. Make sure the top of the block is straight and without flaws as it will, with no alterations, serve as the gluing surface for the fingerboard. For correct placement of the template see Fig. 4.
  1. Clamp down the template in the correct position.
  2. Using a pencil, mark the template outline as well as all the holes denoting the scroll, peg holes and fingerboard end.
  3. Repeat on the other side of the block. Make sure the template is in perfect alignment with its previous position on the other side.
  4. Draw a line "c" square to the top of the block, at the fingerboard's end position. See Fig. 2. Check that it is 136 mm from the wall "B".
  5. If you have a drill press, you can now drill the four pegbox holes using a 6 mm drill bit. Try this first on a block of scrap wood to see if you can drill precisely at right angle to the top and bottom surface. Again a block precisely trued is necessary for this.

    If you don't have access to a precise drill press or you for some reason must work with a block of wood that is not perfectly square, you can drill the peg holes later by hand.

Cutting the outline
  1. Use a coping saw or a belt saw to cut out the rough form of the neck. Avoid undercutting constantly checking both outlines.
  2. Remove excessive material with a knife close to the outlines on both sides. Then, remove the wood inbetween using a gouge or a rasp or a file.
  3. Using a sharp flat block plane and/or a file, make the back wall "b", Fig. 2, of the neck root flat. At the same time make sure the resulting fingerboard gluing area is precisely 136 mm and the neck root is at right angles to both sides of the block.
  4. Size the neck root with thin hide glue.

See Fig. 5 for the resulting neck block at this stage. The red line is the template, the black is the actual cut out block.

Category: Neck and scroll
Comment by
2016-09-05 02:56:04
Sorry. I can't seem to find the specific length of the template in fig 3. Everytime I print it out or open it in Illustrator, it is huge!
Comment by
2016-09-05 03:03:25
Comment by Vojtech Blahout
2016-09-05 12:53:52
Hello, for best results you need to open the svg files in Inkscape. There, when you click on the object, the real world size in mm will show up in the upper toolbar, in this case it is 241 mm. VB
Comment by
2016-09-05 20:47:20
Fantastic. THANK YOU!