Brian May Red Special Replica Build Part 40: Neck Assembly Preparation

I left the neck in the surrounding uncut stock after the CNC routing operation largely to protect it until I had time to assemble it. I learned from experience with the 3/4 scale Red Special build that the edge which meets the fretboard can easily splinter or get dented requiring a work around to hide it. A secondary benefit of doing this is that the frame can easily be tilted to the correct angle to allow the truss rod anchor bolt hole and tuning head mounting holes to be drilled by inserting a section of 5 mm steel rod into the registration dowel holes used in the two sided CNC rout. These operations are illustrated in the picture gallery below. To mark out the centre of the tuning head holes which are located 3”, 4 1/2” and 6” from the zero fret line and 1/2” inboard from the edge of the headstock, I simply printed out a 1:1 scale drawing onto paper, overlaid it on the headstock and spiked the centre point. I use a 1.5 mm diameter drill to locate the drill press bed at the spot then change it for a 3/8” diameter drill.

When I cut a redesigned Mk 2 neck in September 2021, I drilled the headstock tuning head holes and tenon screw holes before cutting the lower side. I made two long 4 degree and 2 degree angled wedges from B grade mahogany timber and an extended drill press bed from 19 mm plywood to facilitate the drilling operations. This revised method is illustrated in the “neck full CNC cut” video in Parts 17-22. To drill the hole from the underside of the tenon into the truss rod channel in the main section of the neck, I used a 5 mm diameter brad point wood auger. This process is illustrated in the brief video below.

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Part 41: Electronic Components Assembly
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Parts 37-39: Making the Truss Rod