Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Head-block and tail-block

One of the tail-block and head-block's main purposes is to provide a joining piece for the sides of the guitar. The head-block will also accept the tenon of the neck of the guitar. And the tail block will provide a strong bottom of the guitar along with a solid place for the guitar strap button. On both it's important to consider the grain of the wood – the grain should run parallel with the grain of the sides. Both I made from mahogany.

Cutting out pieces to glue up into blocks

Gluing the block.

The final and square head-block. Time to draw up all the marks and cut them out. Tail block inset gluing up in the background.

Gluing up the tail-block.Some luthiers will run the grain up and down on the tail-block to make that joint stronger (setting the guitar down on the button could crack through both sides and block). I decided not to do this but instead, to reinforce the tail-block with a chunk of maple inset with the grain running against the mahogany grain. Maybe I defeated the expanding abilities, but I will glue the sides to the other side of the tail-block. I figure the best of both worlds: strong and somewhat expandable.

Time to cut down to some final sizes and make room for the truss rod in the head-block

Bottom side of the head-block is cut at a slight angle.

Both are complete. The mortise I left rough and will do some final filing and sanding to make a tight solid fit once I get closer to joining the neck to the body. I really like the look of the tail-block... to bad no-one will see it once in the guitar. The head-block is also rounded over (but not in this photo), you will be able to see it through the sound hole.


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