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|Much of the CNC work is done on wooden parts held by vacuum. Each of these vacuum chucks is custom made for just one purpose.
|Another index hole.
|Routing the channel for the truss rod.
|A neck blank showing the truss rod channels.
|The peghead veneer gluing station.
|All clamped up.
|The adjustable truss rod has a heavy slug at the end opposite the adjusting nut
|It's a fixed anchor mounted at the peghead end of the neck, near the nut.
|On top of the truss rod, a filler strip is glued to keep it in place near the back of the neck.
|Those other two channels get filled with epoxy.
|And into each channel are inserted strips of spring steel. Mounted on edge, these steel strips add a good deal of rigidity to the neck.
|The long brass adjusting nut sticks into the body for easy access through the soundhole.
|A rounded end mill carves the neck and heel profile.
|Leveling the back of the peghead and forming the "diamond."
|Automatically, changing heads, the machine trims the end of the peghead.
|Another tool change and tuner holes are drilled.
|Some finish cuts on a slotted peghead for a 12-fret model.
|The nut slot is cut with the same precision as the nut itself for a perfect fit.
|Look at the final product from the CNC.
|All this CNC machining does not save much time. In fact, I suspect it would be somewhat faster to make guitars without as much CNC tooling. Collings uses the tooling, not to increase speed, but to increase precision.
|The CNC is the perfect tool for making fingerboards. Fret slots are cut to precise tolerances
|The machine automatically changes tools and trims the ends of the boards.
|Changing to a straight cutter, the side profile is trimmed
|And again, routing the cavities for inlay position markers.
|A final leveling cut.
|Held up against this fence, the fingerboard holder indexes on the little rod at the bottom
|The fingerboard edge is drilled for the side position markers.
|Tape protects the fingerboard from excessive glue squeeze out.
|Fingerboards are glued on with epoxy to avoid having any distortion by water absorbed from glue.
|Fingerboards are clamped against a rigid and flat caul.
|Here's some real precision applied to the problem of complex plastic binding. Laminated ivoroid binding strips are bent and held in these phenolic holders, which are swished through a bath of hot sand, making the strips conform to the curved shapes.
|Once cool, the strips are taken from those heated holders and placed into CNC forms, where the ends are trimmed precisely.
|Then, both the peghead overlay (previously itself cut on CNC) and the binding are glued up in yet another CNC milled form
|Here, everything snaps precisely into place and is held as the glue dries, forming the neatest possible joints.
|The flat fingerboard gets its radius established on this special belt sander.
|There's a vacuum chuck to hold the overhanging end of the fingerboard.
|The nut slot fits precisely onto this end of the holder.
|At the back edge, there are a couple of adjustable supports to keep the shaft of the neck from deflecting during the sanding operation.
|Now, the entire business is pressed against the running sanding belt.