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Neck re-set jig

Posted by Mark Ralston on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This neck-reset jig sets the neck angle according to how high you want the bridge to be.  The jig is made of multiple laminations of wood with the laminations perpendicular to the fingerboard surface.  The jig is planed true, and the laminations should keep it true.  Here's my recipe:

1.  I remove the dowel, clean the dowel end & socket.  

2.  I clamp the neck to the jig with the nut just off the end of the jig.  This keeps all frets level with the jig surface.  I make sure that the nut and the heel end of the fingerboard are centered on the jig.

3.  I re-check the fit of the dowel into the socket and make sure that the wedge is going to fit properly (see #7 below), also check the fit of the heel to the pot.  Then I pour enough hot hide glue into the socket so that some will run out when the dowel is inserted.  

4.  I apply hot glue to the round end of the dowel.

5.  I insert the dowel into the socket and slide the pot onto the dowel.

6.  Leaving about 1/4" of the dowel showing outside the pot (so that I can make sure the end of the dowel is fully inserted into the socket), I loosely clamp the pot onto the jig, making sure the pot is centered on the jig.

7.  I loosen the clamp at the tailpiece end of the jig so that I can insert my calibrated wedge between the pot and the jig.  The wedge is calibrated in 1/8" increments.  The wedge determines the height of the bridge, thus determining the angle of the neck res-set.  This means that you don't have to try to set the neck at a specific angle.

8.  I hang the banjo & jig so that the neck points down.  This ensures that the glue will stay in the socket and not run out.  I let the glue set for a couple of days.

Better pictures posted here:

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