Well anyway, now I have a neck with a heel and a tenon. Inside the tenon are two barrel nuts that will receive two barrel bolts threaded through the guitar's headblock and into the tenon. This is how the neck will be joined to the guitar. Over the next few months I'll be bolting and unbolting the neck from the guitar several times to adjust the flushness of the fit and the alignment of the neck.
So now, with roughed out versions of a neck at each end, I begin to round the block that comprises the neck shaft using a spokeshave (it's an old tool originally used to make spokes for wagon wheels).
Here's a close up of the roughed out heel:
Again, here's the idea:
I've got a Martin D-28 (love it!) that I'm taking neck curvature measurements against to at least get my final neck shape in the ballpark, then I'll finesse it further until it feels right to me:
Here's the first time I got to bolt the rough neck onto my guitar and actually pick it up! It was actually pretty exciting, since I've been working on this guitar for 7 months; now it's starting to feel like an instrument. Oh yeah, I'm checking the straightness too, whatever. Yes the stove is off (I actually removed the knobs when I left that afternoon - just in case the cat had any stupid ideas...)
Since I've been steadily approaching drawn outlines of the fingerboard while carving the neck radius, I thought now would be a good time to actually make the fingerboard and glue it down so I don't over zealously carve away too much material. Here's the set up I made for gluing maple binding strips to the edge of the fingerboard while maintaining a flush bottom:
Full Disclosure Note about the fingerboard: I chose to buy a "pre-slotted" ebony fingerboard instead of buying a slab of ebony and truing then slotting myself. While I'm confident that I could have done the procedures and measure accurately, it was waaaaaay easier and better for me to spend the extra $10 and essentially buy back a weekend. I still had to taper, bind, inlay, trim, etc. everything, but at least I won't have to spend all weekend trying to make a perfectly flat piece of ebony with limit tools, buy a $75 ruler to measure for the frets, and then make perfect little cuts with a tiny saw. Plus, when this thing is finally strung up and I'm troubleshoots the fine adjustments to mitigate intonation problems, at least I'll know it wasn't because my frets are improperly spaced. I'd HIGHLY recommend buying a pre-slotted fingerboard blank to anyone just beginning their first guitar. It's not cheating (seriously, it's not...no really...it's not...)
Anyway, binding the fingerboard with maple:
Here's a shot after I've refined the neck heel and the headstock joint a little further. After taking some thickness dimensions and comparing them to my favorite Martin D-28, I found that I needed to reduce the neck thickness another 1/16" or so.