I like to make a jig for cutting scarf neck joints using my band saw to get decent cuts every time too cut down on the endless sanding to make it fit cutting them by hand !!!  so any tips or ideas would be great ....

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if you've got a cheap band saw it will be hard to do even with a jig set  up.

What John said... 

Does your band saw have a miter slot?  (A groove cut in the table)

If it doesn't, the jig will be harder to make or use.   With a Miter slot, you would take a piece of pressboard (3/8" or so) and screw down a 1x2 on edge.  That 1x2 would run diagonally across your board at about 15 degrees.

If you have a miter slot, you would take a strip of hardwood, lexan, or ??? and screw it down to the jig to make it a sled.


If you don't have a miter slot, you will need to clamp a guide to one side of your table.    I use a couple of small C clamps to hold the neck to the jig while I cut it on my table saw...

Hope this helps.


 Thanks John was I have a mitre slot  and I've made a jig and i'll post photo's when I've tested it ? ....

1 way around this C Kid,will cost you a little more wood,is to make a square cut 1st,then clamp the off cut to the back of the neck,then cut through both at 11 degrees or whatever,as long as your cut is vertically square,you should be right

I do mine with a hand saw (Japanese dozuki but any accurate saw with a spine along the top would work). I clamp a block to the line I want to cut and take it slow and accurate. It usually only needs a little neatening up with a block plane. On that note a properly set up block plane would work better for making a flat surface than sanding by hand.

I use a hand saw and a super simple jig which is a 2by4 with a saw cut at 15 degrees. By clamping my 2 by 1 to the 2 by 4 and using the previous cut as a guide I get the satisfaction of a consistent approved headstock scarf angle time after time after time.

Richey & Titch,

Thanks. Your suggestions for implementing hand saws both sound good. Gotta' go try 'em...

Capo Kid,

Heed John Mackay's warning. If you've got $3000 worth of German-made precision, you should be alright. Otherwise...

I love my cheap band saw and use it for roughing out shapes and notching stuff, but there's not enough tension on the band to keep it from drifting when you're trying to make a long, straight cut. Instead of banging your wood up against a jig which is up against your rip fence, you may want to try free handing (very slowly) or else put a pivot point up against the rip fence so you can rock the piece to compensate for blade drift.

Either way, you'll still have some nasty tool marks to plane out. That's why I'm interested in the hand saw approach. If I can control the angle all the way through the plank, the results should be superior.

I keep it super simple, and easy. Draw an approx 15 degree angle on the neck, use a small hand saw to make the cut, clean it up with a 12" disk sander, then place the headstock piece on the neck for a continuous slope, and finish by sanding both components at once. It takes about 5-10 minutes for the entire operation for a perfect scarf joint. I used to use a band saw and jig, but this method is foolproof for me now. 

I've been using my  sliding compound mitre saw for scarf joints with aj little jig and it seems to work pretty well with minimal clean up to the surfaces needed.


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