Monday, March 11, 2013

Jay Turser JTA-Flag300 - Wild Horses

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same

The neck joint to this Old Guitar has suffered some serious damage.  My repairs to this damaged Jay Turser have caused me some pain, due to sloppy technique with some very sharp hand tools.  Scarred but not beaten, I remain resolved to see this project through to the end.  To paraphrase Jagger and Richards, not even wild horses can keep me from finishing this one.

After the glue dried, I started in on a series steps to reshape the heel of the neck over the course of a the past few evenings with the usual group of tools: a rasp, a flat file, a rotary tool with sanding drum and some 60-grit paper on a sanding block.

Using some tape to protect the rest of the heel, I matched the angle of the exposed part of the heel and checked the depth fit.

After a few rounds of sanding and fittings, the angles and depth lined up nicely.

With the depth fitting behind me, I moved my focus to the width of the dovetail.  A quick check with some scraps of wood on the workbench showed it would take a series of shims, between 1/16-inch and 1/8-inch, on each side of the heel.  I made some 1/8-inch thick shims, 1-1/2-inch long by 5/8-inch wide, with a coping saw.

After taking some measurements, I made a pair of cuts into the heel to receive a pair of smaller shims that I cut from one of the 1-1/2-inch long by 5/8-inch wide pieces.  With some carpenters glue, a a spring clamp and a pair of clamping cauls made from popsicle sticks, the first pair of shims went on at the narrowest part of the heel.  These were to be mostly sanded away, serving to level out these two surfaces for the next set of shims.

After the glue had dried, I removed the clamp and started cleaning remnants of the Jay Turser factory glue and epoxy from the flat side of the neck.  I had to be careful to keep from removing that piece of blue tape, my indicator of where the fretboard and nut meet when they are reattached to the neck.

Moving back to the heel, I shaped the small shims using a chisel, a flat file and the sanding block.

A quick fitting revealed that the neck was now sitting proud of the body by a 1/16th-inch.  That was some welcome good news, as it's usually easier to take away wood than it is to add it back.  Next was a set of thick shims on both sides of the heel running the entire depth.  After cutting pieces to length and fitting them up, I was ready for the next round of gluing and clamping.

The compound angles made clamping this one challenging.  To keep from gluing the neck to the work surface, I used a small board with a layer of painters tape.  After clamping the neck down to the base with a pair of bar clamps, I covered some short pieces of firring strip with tape to use as clamping cauls.  Using three more bar clamps, I applied pressure to the shims, and left the assembly overnight while the glue dried.

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