A well-fit neck is essential to any stringed instrument. I’ve had decent success, but in order to execute this important joint it would help to have something that would make it easier to get consistent, accurate results. I recently discovered a wonderful device that makes it easy to route this neck/body mortise and tenon for either a guitar or (mostly) in my case, tenor ukuleles. I built it full-sized so that I could use it for both. The jig is now complete, including a set of templates for guitar. I am planning on making a set for tenor ‘ukulele as well.
The jig was originally designed and developed by Robert O’Brien and R. Padron. Then it was commercially produced by LMII. I decided to build my own using the plans I purchased from O’Brien guitars. I built mine out of baltic birch plywood, although you could build it out of many different things, like less-expensive plywood or MDF. But, I usually want even my jigs and shop furniture to be ‘almost’ as well-finished as anything I produce with them.
The image gallery below shows a few pictures with both a (tenor ‘ukulele) body clamped in place, as well as a neck blank.
The neck blank is not actually ready to rout until after it is trimmed and shaped. The neck is clamped in place, the pivots and the angle bar protruding above the jig is used to set the neck angle when routing the tenon.
The body only needs to have the routed area flattened before routing, an essential step. The plexiglass alignment bars helps to ensure that the body is straight in the jig.