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Thread: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

  1. #1
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    For those of you who place an overlay on the back of the headstock as well as the front, how do you handle the transition from neck to headstock? I normally like to leave a little extra meat in that area, but that now has me scratching my head on how to fit the overlay!

    Thanks in advance, John.

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    Registered User Jim Adwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    This is the back of the neck of a small guitar I made a while back. The veneer is standard 1/42" thick bloodwood veneer. It was flexible enough to bend without heat or moisture. I believe I made a clamping caul to fit the curve. I could probably have used thicker veneer and bent it on my hot pipe bender.

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    Here's another peg head with veneered sides as well. It's gotten a little beat up, unfortunately.

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    Registered Mando Hack dunwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    I have been doing this for the typical F5 with the pointy part going into the neck. I don't do the voult (sp?) thing although that looks very nice, just not my preference. I leave the neck just a bit thick where the point is to go and then inlet the point into the neck. That allows me to then shave the neck/point part with a scraper w/o losing the nice sharp point.

    Alan D.

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    ...
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    Registered User Mandoborg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    For no apparent reason. I've always gone for a more rounded look as opposed to the sharper point. TheClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	125457y both look fine, just personal preference I suppose.

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    The point just happens when shaping the neck. It's the natural shape of the overlay when it extends into the neck shaft and the neck is shapes with a parabolic profile. The point is not a conscious design decision, it is the result of the shape of the neck.

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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    John, that remark makes it sound so easy, "it just happens". . . . . Maybe it's that easy for you but for me it takes some thought and planning, and I inlet the point to keep it sharp and not become misshapen in the final sanding process. Maybe I'm working at it too hard.

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  9. #8
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    Thanks for the photos guys - those all look great to me - so that leaves me with a few options. Definitely one where a picture is worth a thousand words

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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    I like the inletting idea Michael. Thanks!
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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    Similar to mandoborg's, I have a whole separate process just for the backstrap- a separate bending form and heat blanket system, and a couple of other jigs. It adds about 4 hours extra bench time, and makes a lot more work come finish time, but I'm pretty into it. After you repair about 50 broken vintage headstocks, you start thinkin', "...maybee we could use a bit more wood back there!" I usually try to bring it all the way to the first fret or farther, but most of the work gets sanded away. It is usually about double the thickness of the headplate when I start out. I had a few tests done in an engineering lab and you would be amazed how much the structural load and breaking strength increases. It feels naked without one now.


    j.
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    Last edited by j. condino; Oct-27-2014 at 5:07pm.

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    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    I inlet the point to keep it sharp and not become misshapen in the final sanding process. Maybe I'm working at it too hard.
    I don't think so. Not only are your instruments lovely, but this is a terrifically hard detail to keep looking clean. Inletting is a great idea for accomplishing that.
    Bill
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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    Y'all are getting me scared now! Now I'm afraid the next one will not go well! I've never had a problem with the back strap not looking fine so I never though to inlet it or anything other that what I've always done.

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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    Looking at some of the old Gibsons you can see they have the veneer on the back of the headstock sometimes slightly raised above the surface of the back of the neck, like they were done like John mentioned. "Just get it done and don't look back. . . "

    John, your method and results speaks well of your skill. Carry on.

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    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    I do it the way you do, John-- the transition just seems to be a result of the intersection of the surfaces, assuming you thin the overlay down to "nothingness" at the point.
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    Mandogenerator Mike Black's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    The only issue I've ever had with the overlay on the back is trying to make the curves coming to the point even. That's why I made this simple template. I simply draw a center line and flip the template over.

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    Whatever works.
    Personally, I don't do well with templates of that sort. It's as Andrew says, the intersecting surfaces form the curves that terminate in the point. If the curves aren't aesthetically pleasing at the edge of the back peghead overlay, that says to me that the curves of the neck still need work or that I otherwise need to look for excess wood and remove it. I feel like, if we cut off a piece of the mandolin anywhere, the edge of that cut line should be an aesthetic curve. Lines are everywhere, and they all should be good lines. Turn the mandolin and watch the edges of the silhouette as they move. What to the lines of the silhouette look like? I feel that it should look like a nice aesthetic curve wherever you stop turning and trace the outline with the eye. When that is accomplished, the "point" of the peghead back overlay takes care of itself.
    I also think that applies to designs in general. Cars are a common example, lots of curves and intersecting surfaces. I see a common trend in the designs that I find the most pleasing, and that trend is good lines from every viewing angle. Nature exhibits it too, trees, hillsides, weathered rocks, eventually, given time nature "tries" for good, smooth lines that intersect pleasingly.

    So anyway, there's "too much information" about my design philosophy and why it results in the shape that it does at the end of the peghead overlay.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    John, I don't think you are "over informing" at all, just being thorough.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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    Registered User artdeco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    I like to get a little cross grain veneer in there as well.Click image for larger version. 

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    MLAtkinson
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  22. #19
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    If fun is directly proportional to the number of clamps required, this should be great:

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    Half-cleaned up top:

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    Still all to do on the back, but I've tried to follow Dave's undercut approach:

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    Probably no more progress for a while... need to go off and build something to attach the neck to... apparently it helps with the sound or something...

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    Registered User Mandoborg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    Tavy, that's going to finish out nice !! But I must ask, why did you taper the top ?? Usually you leave it the full thickness then bring the the nut up to it. Just curious.


    Jim

  24. #21
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overlay on back of headstock and transition to neck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoborg View Post
    Tavy, that's going to finish out nice !! But I must ask, why did you taper the top ?? Usually you leave it the full thickness then bring the the nut up to it. Just curious.
    Good point, it just seemed like the easiest way to go

    I don't normally make a slot for the nut BTW, just lightly glue the nut onto the end of the fretboard, which in this case will extend over the overlay slightly anyway.

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