Headblock and Tailblock

Once I had braced the two plates and bent the sides, I began focusing attention on assembling the body. The first steps were to construct from solid mahogany the headblock and tailblock (pictured clamped below).

The tailblock is less complicated than the headblock, so I went ahead and got it out of the way first. I chose to bevel the sides at a 45-degree angle to help reduce the overall mass, and I slightly beveled the top edge to minimize the block's contact with the soundboard (I figure less blocks of wood glued to the soundboard will yield a more freely vibrating plate).

Here's the soundboard with both blocks glued in place:

Here's a close-up of the headblock:

The headblock actually requires a little more attention than you might think, since it's construction and orientation will be essential to the playability of the instrument when the neck is attached later. I laminated the blank for this block from 4 pieces of mahogany, and then squared it into a solid block. The two holes will later receive barrel bolts (to attach the neck), which will be joined to the body with a mortise and tenon joint (dovetails are evil I'm told).