I'm new to CBN and on my first cbg build. I'm trying to build a 3 string cbg using a scarf joint with poplar 1x2 stock.  I originally was going to have a longer headstock but do to trial and error with scarfing, I'm down to about 2 7/8" left of headstock. Ooops! The scarf angle is not much I think about 12 degrees.  I am not sure how to thin the headstock down to fit the tuners.  Should this be a tapered cut? Should the cut come off the back or the front? Where does the cut stop relative to the neck? How much distance needs to be between the first tuner and the nut? Here's a pic of what I'm working with.  Any help and suggestions is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Dee Ann, cut your headstock to depth. Then make yourself a sanding board. Glue sandpaper on a small piece of plywood or chipboard. Smooth the cut on the sanding board and apply the veneer. Even a thin veneer is strengthening.
Next time you do a scarf, try flipping it over so the cutoff piece is above, rather than beneath, the scarf. When you install a fretboard, you can overlay it across the joint, further strengthening it. Or scarf not at all, and do a cut-down flat Fender style headstock.

Another thing to do would be cutting your scarf a lot further along the neck, so that you end up with a longer headstock. Remember, you can almost always start over.

Thanks Ron.  I actually started with 6" of extra headstock.  A couple of scarf joints later....I was down to 2 7/8" for the head.  Great learning curve! :) I'm skeptical of the scarf joint holding up to string pressure when the piece is on top.  I'm using Elmer's Wood Glue...sandable and stainable. It's not the Titebond I was going to get.  I hope this stuff holds. Thanks for your reply.

If you have clamps, and you should have clamps, use carpenter's glue. Well smoothed and clamped, the wood will break before the joint.

If you have garage sals in your area, that is where you look for cheap small clamps. I use about 10 clamps when I glue up a headstock.
The joint will hold, especially if you overlay a fingerboard. A large number of commercial gits are done exactly this way.

More than one way to skin a cat - another option would be to  cut a slot through the center of your headstockand mount your tuners on the side. The advantage is you do not have to remove any thickness to your headstock!

Very nice!! Love that tin and the slotted headstock.  Yes, I see one in my future. Thanks for sharing.


I have access to an electric planer and plane a long piece of 3/4"x1.5" head material to 5/8" thick.  This could be done with a table saw and fence or a band saw and fence.  A 6' piece will produce a lot of head pieces.

I get neck material length long enough for two necks and cut the neck/head angle in the middle.  This gives me two necks with one head angle cut.  Then I cut two heads from the planed piece in a similar fashion.  I align the head and neck joint for gluing so the overlapping material is the same 5/8" thick as the head.  I end up with two neck/heads for the cutting of one and very little hand work.

If I'm careful laying out the tuners, the top joint between the neck and head can be mostly hidden by the tuner[s].

Safe working.


Thankk you, Fred.


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