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I timed myself the other day on how long it takes me to shape a neck with a rasp and wind up with a 220 grit finish and it takes me right at an hour. I have been pretty happy with my rasp but this time seems excessive. I am not working in a frenzy, but I am not taking a break in there either. I'm just patiently working it down into a neck I can be happy with and have the neck flow into the peghead.
I'm probably going to spring for the large dragon rasps in fine and coarse to see if it won't speed things up somewhat but wanted to know if anyone here is using them.
I did two necks last night and used a spoke shave followed by a rasp and both necks were maple. One was laminated with a cherry strip down the center and the other was slab cut. I feel I saved some time by the rapid wood removal allowed by the spoke shave and I have to say that I feel pretty happy with my coarse rasp. It is very controllable with the amount of pressure I use, aggressive when I want it to be, sharp enough to be hard on the hands needing gloves, doesn't clog, I'm not unhappy with my rasp so I'm probably just going to add the spoke shave to my tool box.
There is a learning curve with the spoke shave that I'm going to have to journey through. I know I could have done more wood removal with it before going to the rasp, but I figure I have plenty of time to get accustomed to using it. If I can trim 20 minutes off my neck time I'll be happy. I realized last night how much of my time is actually spent detailing contours and how much is wood removal.
Just a fyi, I'm getting my necks down to .59 in the first fret and trying for more of an oval than round.
Nice, keep working the spoke shave, and don't let anyone tell you not to push it, you can go both ways, depends on the grain. I'm not great with it but it gets better each time I use mine. As with any tool a sharp blade helps.
Great topic and discussion as you have already said Charlotte. The transition is the art part isn't it? I'd love to say that it's always a piece of cake. But then there are those days when it's just tougher then others. I have to tell you though the making the necks is my favorite part of the build. So for me the time is not the issue it's all about the end result.
Michael the shave pony was something I liked from the get-go I clamp it a number of different ways in my shop and really enjoy using it. I don't think it took anytime to make really but I love it. Yes, Yes Yes for sharp tools...Thats the trick with the spokeshave especially....
Jim, my mom makes shaker box's and she uses a mini shave pony, thats when I got the idea of a big one for the necks, nice and simple. Oh and the necks seem to take the longest for me, It really is the main part of the guitar, the box is just hanging on for the ride, the neck is what we play.
Guys, I carved a neck tonight in 35 minutes. I did a bit more with the spokeshave and I'll tell y'all that even though I'm completely sold on the draw knife now, this has made me appreciate my rasp even more. It does the work without me having to exert any force and it sounds pretty amazing as it is removing wood.
So, I started this because I was thinking about getting another rasp and wound up with a spokeshave. Now I also want to make a shaving horse or pony. Thanks for all the tips!!
Half an hour is great, I am thinking about purchasing a decent, big rasp now...
Jan, I can never go back to just working with a rasp now after having my eyes opened to the spoke shave. It really lets the rasp do what it is best at and I didn't realize that until the last couple of days and I now appreciate my rasp a little more. BTW, I read that you made some bows. I made one last year, a 40 lb oak longbow. Actually it's a paddle bow with maple veneer backing. I'm terrible with it, but I made my own flemish twist string and served it. Very, very fun thing to do.