View Full Version : New Builder

08-03-2014, 04:54 PM
I am trying to decide which method to use for attaching the neck. The spanish heal looks interesting. Is it harder than the rest? Is one far better than the others? Just wondering


08-03-2014, 07:19 PM
i like to finish neck and body separate so like the bolt on neck or dovetail depending on what tools and machinery you have axcess too.

08-03-2014, 10:08 PM
I'm only a novice with 5 classical guitars and 5 tenor ukes built to date, all with tapered dovetailed neck joints. It seems to me that it's not about how to attach the neck, it's about the method used to build the whole instrument. This decision determines the mold/jigs you need to make. I've only built the one way because it looked easier to me to make the box in a mold and then add the neck: I am sure a tenon joint would be fine if you don't fancy the tapered dovetail. Maybe others will give a contrary opinion, but it also appears to me that routing/fitting purfling and binding must be easier using the box/separate neck method.

You can find so much info on youtube on guitar/uke making. Watch a few video clips on both methods of construction and you'll see what its all about.

08-04-2014, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the info. I have watched several videos. I have a pretty full compliment of tools . I just thought the Spanish heal method looked interesting. I should be starting my jig soon.


08-04-2014, 11:58 PM
There are two big pluses to the Spanish heel method:

1. Getting the neck alignment and angle is easy. You glue the soundboard to the neck (having chiselled a step in the end of the neck to accommodate it) and then clamp the lot face down to a board. Neck angle is adjusted by placing a shim under the nut/zero fret position. If you want a domed soundboard you dish your workboard or build up its edges.

2. You don't need a mould if you're not fussed about perfect symmetry in the body shape. I just glue blocks on the soundboard around the perimeter of the body, and then build up from there, using the blocks to ensure the sides are aligned with the body shape. As I rarely build two the same shape, this saves me a lot of effort.

For me there's a possible 3, as I get the neatest neck/body seam using the Spanish heel.

Finishing and binding are much harder though, and that's the downside.

I'd say Spanish heel is the easiest for a first build, but that's probably because it suits the way I work best. Second easiest is a bolt-on.

08-05-2014, 10:01 AM
I have built 5 with the Spanish heel and find it easy and strong.


08-05-2014, 10:37 AM
New builder also and I have done a couple with the Spanish heel and working on a 3rd. I will be switching to a bolt on soon, from what I have seen and read it is easier to add binding and I like that the neck is seperate and can be taken off in the future if repairs need to be done.

08-05-2014, 04:37 PM
Go with what you think looks best for your tools and skills. I'm a bolt on guy myself

08-15-2014, 02:49 AM
I have made about 8 using Spanish heel and one (my first attempt at binding) with a bolt on neck. I would say that as a beginner it is much easier to get a really professional looking, tight joint between neck and body with the Spanish heel method. I doubt you will want to try binding for a while (if at all) so maybe try the Spanish heel for your first go?

The important thing is to enjoy it.