This turned into a busy week at home as well as at the office. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went without any time for this project. It was Thursday by the time I got back to the shed to work on This Old Guitar. It was good timing, as a package was waiting for me on the doorstep that evening.
The new rotary tool I bought online the previous week had arrived, and I already had the perfect task in mind to break it in.
After a dozen or so years of use, the rechargeable battery on my Dremel was close to the end of its life. The flexible shaft extension and variable speed control on this 120VAC Wen made easy work of trimming of the excess binding material with this hole-in-the-bowl repair.
I left touching up the exterior repair with some melted-down binding for another time. It was time to start level the neck block of This Old Guitar. After unclamping the caul, I taped off the surrounding area. Using a rasp and rough files, I got as far as removing just enough wood from the three recently scabbed-on pieces to make a matching surface before calling it a night.
It was Saturday afternoon when I got back to working on the neck block. Starting with an even surface, I used a chisel, followed by files and a sanding block, to get the block and neck surfaces in the pocket to match up
I removed enough material for the dovetail joint to go together again and provide approximately the right neck set angle. Then, being careful to provide the correct centerline alignment, I clamped the neck in place so I could locate and drill a set of pilot holes.
Drilling through the end of the neck and just barely into the neck block with a 1/16-inch bit provided an accurate way to transfer the marks I needed onto the flat surface of the neck block.
After drilling through the block with a 7/64-inch bit, I clamped the neck back into the body. This time, I drill through the neck block and just 1/8-inch into the end of the neck with a 3/32-inch bit. With all four holes drilled, I removed the clamps and installed the four screws with matching ferrules just far enough for the tips to show at the neck block side.
After double checking the screw hole alignment, I turned the crews in the rest of the way into the neck heel.
I decided some black paint on the hardware at final assembly was in order. Checking the neck angle was the important task at hand. I temporarily reattached the fretboard with some tape and a clamp and set up a straight edge across the frets to check the clearance at the saddle.
In the following picture, the straight edge is projecting the plane of the frets to a point slightly higher than the current bridge saddle height. As this saddle had been trimmed for a shallower neck set angle, this projection at the saddle is right where I wanted it to be for now. This alignment makes it possible to trim out the angle and saddle height after some final shimming of the dovetail joint.
Before final shimming of the dovetail joint, I still needed to shim out the width of the neck block pocket to match up with the end of the neck. It was already getting late, so I decided to leave that for next time. Before closing up shop for the night, I made one last piece of infill for the end of the neck and glued it in place.