Bourbon Update – The power of two (necks).

As I mentioned previously, the neck on the Bourbon is a new design requiring new tools and fixtures to build.  On a new design, I typically spend more time building fixtures than I do on the actual guitar and this one is no exception.  This is the power of two necks.  No, I’m not building a double-neck (yet), but rather than proceeding blindly with the intended neck, I built another neck to test the process.

Brantley Guitars - Bourbon Neck and Test Neck

Bourbon Neck and Test Neck prior to gluing the fretboard.


If I mess anything up, I mess up the test neck and not the good neck.  If I don’t mess anything up, I have another neck ready for another project.  In the first picture, I show the two necks together, but the test neck doesn’t have it’s fretboard yet.  I’m also taking the opportunity to show how the fretboard is glued to the neck.

Brantley Guitars - Gluing the test neck.

A strip of tape over the truss rod protects it from the glue.


I put a strip of tape over the truss rod so I don’t glue it in place, negating it’s purpose to float and flex in the cavity.  I then realized that I was working with glue and the neck was still posing on the body, so I quickly put the body in a safe place. :)

Brantley Guitars - Glue spread on the test neck.

After removing the tape, there space to allow the glue to spread without gluing the truss rod.

After removing the tape, I have a good coat of glue with enough room for the glue to spread without reaching the truss rod cavity.

Brantley Guitars - Clamping the fretboard.

A caul and plenty of clamps ensure that the fretboard is firmly bonded to the neck.

The fretboard is then aligned on the neck, clamped and allowed to cure overnight before trimming to match the neck.  Once it’s trimmed and identical to the maple/wenge neck, I’ll start carving!

Check back later this week for another update.