Long neck mandolin project part 6

Shaping the neck

At this point it was time to shape the neck and add the last piece of binding and trim across the heel.
Here the mandolin is strapped to the neck shaping arm, held in place by a strap round the body and a clamp over the head.


Working to the guide lines drawn on the neck, I start by tapering the sides of the neck with a draw-knife. This Cuban mahogany is a pleasure to work, with the wood peeling away from the knife smoothly. Other woods can have interlinked grain so that whichever way you work, the knife digs in and the wood wants to splinter. Wengé in particular is not nice to work with knives and chisels so has to be rasped and sanded.
The neck has now been rasped into five flats, ready to be smoothed into the final shape.
It’s hard to see in this photograph, but it has also been tapered so as to be a little shallower at the head end.


Here the neck has been rounded with a fine rasp and sanded through the grades. I’ve also fitted the binding and trim over the heel.

Next the fingerboard will be leveled and cambered, dots inlaid as required, and then the fingerboard can be fretted.

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