Page 4 of 5

 The centerline is an important thing to keep in mind as you're working with an asymmetrical body like the F-5

The cantilever support is glued to the neck block before the body dovetail is cut.

 Held in a special router fixture, the body gets cut for the dovetail joint. I wasn't able to photograph absolutely every stage of construction, so some of the pictures may seem a bit confusing or out of order. The dovetail joint is actually cut before the back is glued in place.

 Here's the result, with the back held in place.

 And, here's how the F-5 body looks just before the neck is attached. Notice that the back binding is not fully complete. That's because of the little section that must be fitted around the base of the neck. It's more accurate to do that piece after the neck is attached.

Starting to look like the real thing!

 Neck billets are cut out, and matching "ears" are glued to the peghead area.

 After a trip downtown to the CNC machine, neck blanks are ready for hand shaping, assembly and fitting up.

 Here's the blank as it arrives at Opry Mills.

 Lots of hand work left to do here! I was surprised to see how little actual CNC machining is utilized.

 Truss rods are fitted, and the adjusting nut pocket relieved for wrench clearance.

 Peghead binding is a real trial. Here, strips of binding are heated above an electric hotplate element.

 The heated binding is quickly formed around the peghead overlay piece.

 Sometimes, a mold is used as a form for bending binding.

 Good old cyanoacrylate. It's the right stuff to stick on ivoroid binding!

 A blast from a hot air gun helps cure the glue and relax the curved binding pieces.

 Miters are hand fitted, too.

 After the binding is completed, the entire overlay takes a trip over to the big belt sander, and is leveled and smoothed before gluing up to the peghead.

 Pegheads get a black veneer on the back, too.

 Here, the pehgead has been cut to shape, and the face veneer is being glued on.

OK, time to fit up a neck. That's one of the most nasty neck joints in the musical instrument business. Compound curves and angles run every whichaway.

This is an interesting fixture. It's a device that holds the neck as the dovetail is cut by hand on the bandsaw.

The neck is held in place on a kind of rocker table, which tilts from side to side.

Tilting the neck to the one side, the precise dovetail angle is cut on that side.

Then, clicking the holder to the other side, the opposite angle is established. Pretty slick stuff, but that still leaves a lot of hand fitting to do.

Each dovetail joint is hand carved to fit tightly.

Most of the work is done with chisels and gouges.

It takes a lot of trial fitting, whittling, filing and trying again. All the time, the proper alignment must be maintained

A special neck angle gauge simulates the height of the fingerboard, and guides the vertical alignment.

Most any day, you can walk right up to the window, and see a neck being hand fitted to a body.

After a couple hours' work, the neck fits just right. He's just holding a fingerboard in place so we get a better idea of the finished product.

Ready to glue up.

OK, no turning back now. This baby's set and glued.

An "A" style gets a bit of a peghead trim.



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