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Thread: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

  1. #26
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    For goodness sakes-- go to your local Woodcraft store and buy a piece of mahogany that you can thin to make shims. Or bum some scrap from a friendly builder or repairman.

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    I"m not arguing, but what's wrong with oak, or the ebony and maple I already have from violin parts? Or with the veneer from the door? I honestly don't know. Nor do I know anybody that has good wood. I can spend a chunk for a bit online, but the door was there, and that's why I was asking. Thanks for all the ideas and advice, I'm listening so I can do this as right as I can without outfitting a luthier's shop worth of stuff.

  4. #28
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    Oak, ebony and maple are very hard woods and that means they are difficult to cut. I have no idea what the door veneer is so I don't know how it would work out.
    Mahogany is generally consistent in it grain and easy to cut with tools, unless it has interlocking grain like Adrian mentioned. It's a minor point for this situation, but mahogany glues very well; generally better than maple or oak and certainty better than ebony.

  5. #29
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    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    Mahogany and similar woods are friendly to work thin without breaking up. Maple can work, but it's slower to sand or chisel and more difficult to work with. Ebony is too brittle to work very thin, tends to break up, and can be somewhat glue resistant.

    One way to make shims is to glue some coarse sandpaper to a small block of wood to create a miniature sanding block. Cut your shims oversize to start with so that you can hold an end down while you're sanding it.

    If you have to take a lot of wood off the shim to get it thin enough, you can cut a shallow groove in the center of the shim with a chisel or other tool of choice [watch your fingers!!!], then work the whole thing down with the sanding block. Repeat if necessary. It goes faster because you have less to sand. I wouldn't use this technique with ebony or maple-- the chisel is liable to slip and remove a fingertip instead of cutting the wood.

    If you have a local Woodcraft store, you can find a piece of thin mahogany, cherry, or other wood of reasonably similar character big enough to keep you in shims and grafts for a dozen jobs for just a few dollars. They always have some sort of 1/8" thick "soft" hardwood in stock at a reasonable price. Or, do you have a local cabinet maker who will give you some scrap??
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-19-2022 at 1:18am.

  6. #30

    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    Just to add a woody detail: hollow core doors from the ‘50s at least are veneered with Lauan, genus Shorea, often called Philippine mahogany, in advertising. From door repairs, I have the impression that the species used is low density and somewhat splintery. Can be good for gluing, but a salvaged piece, finished and glued might be kinda impermeable.
    Somebody else can do a scientific comparison to US Standard Popsicle Stick for this application

  7. #31

    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by richard500 View Post
    somebody else can do a scientific comparison to us standard popsicle stick for this application

    hahahahahaha!!!

  8. #32

    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    Wow, great information everybody! I know why ebony and maple are good for violins, but now I know why they aren't good for making these shims.
    I found some knife blanks (for making knife handles) on Ebay for about $6, they're mahogany and the grain looks even. That would work?

    Also I forgot: I have pieces of 1/4" walnut for the back of a dulcimer I made from a kit decades ago. I painted the "fiddle room" where everything is and found it in a random drawer.

  9. #33
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    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    I'd wait for the mahogany.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  10. #34

    Default Re: Got the neck off, now how do I put it back?

    Found a pen blank of straight mahogany for wood-turning, it's on the way! I REALLY APPRECIATE all the help and advice for someone new to this kind of work.

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