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Been watching you for a while & listening in, man you guys are inspirational !
Made a mean Diddley Bow (I'll vid you l8r). Built up my workshop from scratch, gotta bench, various tools.Now I'm about to go for my first build.
I've gathered plans from everywhere I can find on your site, but... to help me organise myself, would anyone please give me hints on the most obvious question? The only thing I don't feel I've got covered... How do I make a nice, comfortable smooth curved neck from a piece of square wood?
What tools do I need? Doing the right 'Prep' ? Pitfalls to avoid ... etc?
As much help as you can give me I'd really appreciate, just point me in the right direction if you're busy. I've actually downloaded so many plans it's already becoming a 'shock & awe' project.
Man this is humbling, real 'rights of passage' stuff' ;-[
Hello Righteous... There are alot of guys using a spoke shaver to form their necks, Some use a electric sander with some 60 or 80 grit paper. But myself I love to use a full sheet of 60 grit paper and roll around 1/2 inch wooden dowel and rough sand the shape i want then change grit to something lighter... I love hand sanding the whole thing. The trick is to start sanding with the grain as soon as you have it roughed in to take out all scratches.. make sure to clamp down the neck so you can use both hands... And I'm sure some others on here will add to their experience of shaping necks.. Also try not to knock the neck around to much unless to want the beat up look... Good luck and if your like most of us on here your gonna love building these gits...It gets into your blood...LOL
Spokeshave is the way to go - after hacking and sanding a few necks i was tempted by other builders to try one, and when i did i found it a very satisfying experience and had to stop as i was running out of wood...! (-;
...seriously, if you get used to using one you won't go back, though it will need final sanding for a fine finish, and always cut with, that is along the direction of the grain not against it.
Ok, for my first one I used what I had, a stanley tools sureform with a convex blade. It worked great I shaped a cherry neck from a block of 1 3/4" x 1 3/4". I have since added an antique stanley spoke shave (from when they were made well) and now I use both. After shaping lots of sanding with a block behind your paper will smooth it up in no time. Start with 100 grit then move on to 150 220 then finer if you want. 220 should be fine enough though. Now put on some shiny stuff and its good to go. Almost forgot, before any shaping I cut my neck profile on a band saw. I think from all the advise you have gotten you should be able to make something nice, good luck with it.
By the way nice old spokeshaves can be found on ebay for not to much money and can be better than the new stanley versions. Good new ones are pricey.