Cutting the heel tension notch
November 2 2012, 4:35 AM
This was complicated and more perilous than I expected, but it's done. First, it was all I could do to get the head back on without stripping all the hooks and nuts. It shrank enough in drying to cause trouble. After slight wetting and finding the longest hooks with the strongest end threads, it barely went on. The next step was to measure the required clearance and cut it. I tried a 4-flute end mill first, but that didn't work well (required .030" passes, and I need to cover 3/4"). So I went back to the sanding drum and after a while it was done. It came out with an extra 1/32" of clearance. I'm not sure if that will merit another heel cut later; it's mainly aesthetic. The second problem was the jig was more cumbersome to use than expected, so that required modifications on the fly. That will be improved next time.
The neck is assembled and ready for the nut and strings.