The Beauty of a Simple Butt Joint

The strength of a butt joint is merely that of the glue employed...

Bernard Jones, The Complete Woodworker, 1980 edition

I made this guitar neck about five years ago, and for some reason, I never got around to building a guitar on it. It is made from a nice piece of Spanish cedar with a slice of East Indian rosewood on the headstock. Earlier this month, I decided to pair this neck with a redwood top and flamed black walnut back and sides, but there was one repair that needed to be done before putting the neck to use.

I accidentally left the rosewood veneer a little short, it was about an eighth of an inch shy of the where the headstock slope meets to horizontal surface of the neck. Usually, I run this veneer a little wild and trim it back after the fret board is glued on and I am ready to install the bone nut.

I was afraid that I wouldn't have any rosewood on hand to match the original, but I got lucky and found a scrap pieces that was a fairly close match.

The repair was pretty straight forward.

Some judicious sanding with a sanding block to make a straight joint and at a 90 degree angle to the face of the veneer...

shoot the edge of the scrap piece with a block plane...

apply some high tack fish glue and clamps.

Everything looks good! I carefully cut off the excess wood...

then gently planed and sanded!

I am very happy with the way this repair turned out, I am especially glad that I found a good matching piece of rosewood.


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