I'm curious to know if anybody uses a router table for making a neck. The rounding off of the backside is easy, but how do i carve away the wood on top for creating a headstock? I used to do that with hammer and chisel, but now that i've got a router table, i want to use it!
So are you carving the neck/headstock out of one big chunk of wood rather than gluing it up? Either way, seems like it would be easier to saw the shape rather than router it.
I've used my Dremel with the hand router attachment to rough out the recessed headstock and it worked pretty good for a quick job. I strongly recommend sticking the neck in a vice, clamp, or jig to keep things steady. Afterwards, sand or file all the rough bits out. Practice on some scrap first until you get the steady hand. But, if you're using a table router, that should make things easier. Just grip it and rip it!
Patterns and a pattern bit for profiles and tapers. Usually scarfed headstocks. Hand shaped and rounded backs.
Its generally only worth the trouble to set up a router table to me if I am building several similar necks at a time. But then I have a few basic patterns and a small router table set up just for this kind of thing all the time.
The router can also be used to cut the slot (or slots) of a single (or double) slotted headstock. Begin by using a drill press to drill holes at either end of the slot(s) and then when using the router table, cut it out using multiple passes of the router, cutting out maybe 1/4" worth of material at a time. Between passes, power down the router, adjust the router bit up another 1/4" and do the next pass. Also, when starting and stopping a pass, you have to be really careful about placing your workpiece over the bit or it might tear out a cut where you didn't want it. It's best to turn off the router and let it quit spinning the bit before lifting the work piece off the router bit. Takes longer, but it keeps you from messing up your work piece. It's also best to set up a guide ("fence"?) with a stop positioned so that you can't push the work piece beyond the point where your cut should end. The guide (fence) should be positioned at right angles to the router table so when you feed the work piece to the router, it will cut a straight slot.
(Now a summer-time machine automated wood worker)
Here is how I do it,
Start with 32'' x 1.5''x 3'' oak from Home Depot.
with a 1/2 round I remove 5'' of material to create the headstock. I remove 3/8~1/4'' each pass until the headstock is the right width. Use double sided tape (not the foam kind) to attach the neck to a larger block of wood or a jig for stability.
Cut out the profile on the bandsaw, change router bits, round the corners, sand and done!