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Hand versus Power

Posted by Jonnycake White on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Last Saturday I did some roughing out of my next banjo's neck, including profiling the headstock.  I installed a 1/8" blade on my bandsaw and cut the heel profile, the handstop profile where the underside of the headstock meets the neck, and then started on the headstock profile itself.  For each cut I felt I couldn't make the turns tight enough - part of the problem was that I was sawing through much more wood than the blade is designed for.  The blade is a little dull as well - not horrible, but not new either.  After a couple of nearly-botched cuts on the peghead profile, I switched over to a good old coping saw.  I found that I could control this better, and make more exact cuts, and do it quicker than with the bandsaw.  I'm not a complete Neanderthal - although I have done a fair amount of strictly hand-tooled woodworking including much of my two minstrel banjos.  But sometimes the old ways are still the best ways.  On the other hand, I switched over to a sanding drum in my drill press to finish up the headstock profile - and wished it was an oscilating spindle sander instead.

2 comments on “Hand versus Power”

banjotef Says:
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @4:16:08 PM

Hey,  whatever works best.   I was shaping my mahogany neck with a good, sharp spokeshave,  and almost took too much off,  it was cutting so nicely!    Building IS fun,  ain't it?

pete hobbie Says:
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @5:18:05 PM

I like to mix it up myself, sometime I'll completely carve a neck" by hand" and others I'll use any power tool I can imagine.It keeps things interesting. pete

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