Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

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TyDonald
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 7:21 am

Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by TyDonald »

I'm about to build my first acoustic guitar. I've been shopping for a dovetail or straight (bolt on neck) template set so I can rout the neck joint but they are crazy expensive!
Now I know that everything in the luthier world is crazy expensive but matched template sets for neck joints seem exponentially higher than other template sets.
Does anyone have any leads on lower cost sets they'd like to share with a frustrated brother?

Bob Hammond
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by Bob Hammond »

For the first time, I'd go with the bolt-on neck, using 1/4-20 steel cross-dowels (not inserts!) and furniture bolts. By doing it this way, there's room for tolerance/adjustment in the fitting of the neck, while still getting a tight fastening.

Craig Bumgarner
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:03 pm
Location: Drayden, Maryland

Re: Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

Bob Hammond wrote:For the first time, I'd go with the bolt-on neck......
... and the 2nd, 3rd and so on. I love bolt on necks for acoustic guitars.

The Cumpiano Joint is very good and strong, I've used it, works great.

http://www.cumpiano.com/Home/Articles/S ... block.html

Now, however, I use threaded inserts set in CA glue or epoxy (I've used both, CA is easier, faster). Very strong, lighter. Don't skip the glue though, I did the first time and had one pull out when I torqued it. Mr. Mottola gives good instructions here:

http://liutaiomottola.com/construction/Bolton.htm

I find the drill press method hard to set up and have since made a drilling jig that I can clamp in place to guide the drill for a perpendicular hole for the insert. A brad point drill helps keep it accurate. I have not had trouble running the insert in true without the drill press. I run it in with medium CA on both the sides of the hole and on the treads, then add a little thin CA around the edge of the set insert just in case. They take all the torque I give them, which isn't really very much actually. For what it is worth, I glue the fingerboard to the top with just a 1" dab of HHG so it is easy to remove if I need to the get neck off.

If you want to go the dove tail & template route, it is not out of the question to make your own. Drawing them in CAD is a real help, print, glue to your template material with spray contact adhesive and then cut & sand to the line. I make a lot of templates that way, some of which are pretty critical. You can also make dovetail joints without a router and templates, just takes longer.

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by Barry Daniels »

I made my own dovetail template using 1/4" thick acrylic. Pretty easy construction, if you can build a guitar.
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TyDonald
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by TyDonald »

Thanks for the advise. I like the idea of a bolt on too.

Michael Lewis
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Location: Northern California USA
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Re: Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by Michael Lewis »

I'm with Barry on this, make your own. It isn't rocket science or higher math.

Test your 'new' templates on scrap lumber and adjust one or the other to make them match.

For a dovetail set you want to leave the tenon slightly large because you have to hand fit it anyway.

Darrel Friesen
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by Darrel Friesen »

Made my own as well but now use hanger bolts exclusively a la Mario. Real easy and really strong.

Ron Belanger
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Location: Orillia, Ontario, Canada
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Re: Affordable (cheap) dovetail template?

Post by Ron Belanger »

+1 for hanger bolts

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