Walnut Bass - Work Begins on The Neck

For the Walnut bass neck I've chosen to use Black Walnut with a centre strip of Maple. Like the body blank, the wood for the neck has been cut and glued up previously, so the first job was to use a hand plane to flatten a face and then run the blank through the drum sander to get it to the correct thickness.

I'll be using a plough plane to cut the truss rod slot, so I need to ensure that the edge of the neck which the fence will run against is perfectly straight. I use my jointer plane followed by an edge jointing plane, making sure the edge stays parallel to the centre line of the neck.

After marking out the angle, I cut the scarf joint using a hand saw and then reduce the thickness of the headstock piece in the drum sander.

I then use a stationary belt sander to clean up the saw marks. The belt sander does a very quick job but it does leave some coarse sanding scratches, so I follow up with a hand sanding block to  produce a smooth and flat surface for gluing.

Before applying any glue, I do a test fit and make sure that the laminates line up on both the front and back. Once I'm happy with the alignment, I apply some binding tape to the front of the headstock, this will prevent the joint slipping when the glue is applied (more details can be found on Ant Setchell's blog, who originally came up with this method). 

The finished scarf joint.. ready for the headstock laminates to be applied, which I'll cover in the next blog post.