I am trying my first scarf joint headstock for a 3 string fretless. I'm using a 1x2 piece of maple for the neck. Does anyone cut the width of the headstock down to accommodate the tuners? The tuner install instructions recommend 5/8" as being ideal. Should I cut the top or bottom of the headstock or does it really matter? I used the scarf joint miter box from CB Gitty  to make the scarf joint cut. It seems to work just fine, by the way.

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You can thin the headstock to 5/8 from the top or bottom. I generally do mine by removing material from the top so I don't have to fiddle as much with the transition from the back side of the neck to the headstock but it's doable. Taking it off the top also gives you a bit more break angle for the strings.

That makes sense. I'll try it. Thanks for your reply.

Hi Lou, it depends really on how you execute the Scarfe joint and where the glue joint starts and ends.

But generally guitar builders use a joint like in the photos here, and this is what I always do. The piece of timber that is cut off the neck blank is flipped over and glued onto the back of the neck, forming the "kick back" for the peghead. 

You will see that the point at where the neck starts to angle back, on top of the neck, [in this case] is the position for the nut. Removing wood from the top of the peghead will shift this location and the nut will be in the wrong place.

Removing wood from the back also allows me to have more wood under the nut area adding strength, as I can graduate the thickness during the neck shaping process. I always position my saw cut so that it starts at the nut position, I then trim the blank neck shaft off at the body end to suit the scale length.

Hope that makes sense.

Taff

Thanks for your help. i'll give it a try. Sure wish I had a band saw!

Hi Lou, great machine to have. However I cut my scarf joint on a drop saw suitably jigged up.

The jig on the bandsaw is used for gluing the two bits together without slipping apart. Using nails and such does not gel with me.

Taff 

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