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Attaching the necks

A productive time in the shop this weekend. The primary goal was to get the the necks attached on these two guitars, and to get them ready for frets.

Clearing the lacquer from under the fretboard extension can be a scary task. Especially when using a hot pallet knife. I start by masking off the area just outside the fretboard. I like to have the edge of the fb to extend just a little ways over the edge of the lacquer, so I use a sharp #11 scalpel blade to score through the lacquer about 1mm inside of the tape. Next is the scary part. I heat a painter's pallet knife that I've shortened up a little bit using a propane torch and carefully lay it on the lacquer that should be removed. If you do it right, the lacquer will bubble up and release from the underlying wood.

The finish can then be removed with a sharp chisel right up to the cut line.

It takes a little practice to get the heat just right, but it beats the heck out of scraping or routing off the finish. You can also get a good sense of how thick your finish is. For both of these guitars, I hit my target thickness of around 0.005".

I use Old Brown Glue (essentially hot hide glue with urea added to extend the working time) to glue down the fingerboard extension. This is easily released with heat if you need to reset the neck at some point in the future.

Ready for leveling the fingerboard and adding frets.

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