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Just finished my 1st scarfed headstock. Don't know the angle, I just eyeballed it from my acoustic & LP (wannabe) electric , but the cut is 2 1/2" through a 3/4" board. I am quite pleased with it. You are corect - it is a lot of fun for an old guy!!
I found an excellent resource here on The CBN in Josh Gayou's book, A Guide to Advanced Cigar Box Guitar Making. You can download the book free here:
The link is just below the Smokehouse Guitars logo, about 1/4 of the way down the page.
Instructions on how he lays out and makes his scarf joints start on page 32 of that book. That's the method I use to make my necks, and it works great. The angle ends up being right at 11°, but that may not be exact, depending on how you clean up the cut. I clean up the cut on the neck and the headstock on my jointer, which doesn't change the angle much at all - if any.
I did my first 2 scarf joints as shown in the e-book and they are working fine but if you flip the cut-off piece over you will be gluing true long grain to long grain where as the book's method is sort of end grain to long grain which is not as strong.
Hang on a mo, aren't you always gonna have a end grain to long grain with a scarf joint no matter which way round you attach it? One way it's on the neck and the other on the head stock, either way you will have the exact same gluing area.................................. Me thinks??????????
Not if you glue to the bottom of the headstock instead of the top. When you cut the joint, you have one side with end grain and one with long grain; same on the neck piece, just match them up. I did this on my current because I didn't want to glue ears on the headstock and wanted to hide the side joint best I could. I'll try to remember to take my camera to the shop tonight and snap a pic... worth a thousand words they say :) Guitar headstocks have been made long to end grain for over a hundred years and it works fine, I'm not advocating one over the other just mentioning the differences. As someone pointed out, if you glue to the bottom of the headstock you'll probably want to hide the joint on top with veneer.
So are you making sort of a butt joint, but making the cut approx 85 degrees , then flipping the headstock to get the 10 degrees or so head angle??
I see, so you're not flipping it over but simply taking it off the top and glueing it to the bottom on it's straight grain yes?
But does that not defeat the purpose of a scarf joint strengthening the head stock?
And you're left with end grains on both top and bottom of the head stock that will need to be veneered to dress it up
The whole idea is to change the direction of the grain so that the head stock wont snap under string tension if it's knocked or dropped, not just to save on timber.
All food for thought LOL
Well I guess I does leave the bottom, back corner more prone to splitting off, if you dropped it just right. I've only seen a few broken ones and they were all broken near the nut where the neck is thinnest.
Then end grain actually doesn't look bad since it's cut at an angle but I planned on using veneer on the headstock anyway.
One way to make a scarf joint.