I'm making my very first attempt at scarf joints for twin CBG's at the same time. Do I cut down the head thickness before or after I make the angle cut?

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I prefer after, using an old hand plane which belonged to my father.

I always do it after, has worked well for over 10 builds

Should the extra material from the top or bottom of the headstock? Any pics please.

If you plan to remove the extra thickness of the head-stock after gluing it to the neck, then the only practical approach it to remove it from the top surface. If you have a table saw you can press the top of the head stock against the fence and cut the excess.

On the other hand, I've built about 45~50 CBGs over the past four years and always cut the excess thickness from the head stock "before" gluing it to the neck. My logic is that I can handle the small straight piece of head stock better than a glued up neck head stock. Besides, If I screw up the head stock before gluing, I can build another. If I screw up the cut after gluing, then I have to build both a new neck and head stock.

Obviously, you can do the cut before or after glue up, it's just a matter of preferences.

  1. I plan on removing before glue up using a router. I only have a chopsaw and router. I have a jig to place headstock in and the router acts like a power planer. Should I just remove 3" or the whole length of the head?

Hi Will, as they say there are many ways to skin a cat. When I do a scarf joint I cut it so that the sliced piece left on the neck shaft is the top face of the peghead. Where it's angle changes at the neck that is my nut position. 

I then flip the short piece over and glue it on the other side to complete the peghead. I measure from the nut position, say 3 or4 inches and trim off the the end to get peghead length.

i then measure from my nut position to the end of the neck shaft and cut that to suit the scale length and mounting to box method.

Then I remove wood from the back of the peghead only. Removing it from the front would move my nut position. If you had not allowed for that......trouble.......your neck could be too short.

if I have not explained this too well, sorry about that. Quite a few methods to thin the peg head using a jigsaw, bandsaw, tablesaw, router or sander/drumsander.

I thin from the end of the peghead to close to the nut position, leaving some material under the nut for strength.


understood perfectly. I stay away from sawing, belt Sanders, hand planes and wood rasp when I'm trying to get something on the level. I could screw up a bowling ball with a wet news paper before I got something cut a smoothed out.  Thanks for the heads up on jacking with the topside. I was just planing on doing that very thing on my one piece neck and pegboard cut from one solid piece of wood. That advice came just in time thanks.

Glad to help. 

I prefer to thin out the headstock piece before I cut the angle/degree piece. Gives me more material to clamp in a vise or jig.


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