Paulownia Guitar ~ Neck

The traditional timbers for guitar necks are probably Honduras Mahogany & Spanish Cedar. For this guitar I'm using Paulownia.

Paulownia neck blank
The selected Paulownia neck blank for this guitar.

Neck angled sawn with backsaw
The neck blank, sawn at an angle with a backsaw.

Scarf join mating surfaces smoothed
The angled faces is smoothed out with a #4 plane to provide a good mating surface for gluing. But the knife edges of the sawn part chips off too easily when planed.

Scarf join glued
See the result when they are glued, by turning one over another and glued (scarf joint) to form the head and neck. It does looked crude at this point!

Heel block glued
The heelblock of Paulownia is then glued on the other end. I use Aliphatic Resin glue.

Neck/head blanks glued
This is the result thus far.

Sawing slots for the sides
The neck assembly is then vise clamped and slots for the sides are sawn with a smaller backsaw on either side.

Heelblock trimming
Next, with the neck assembly vertically clamped, the headblock is trimmed to width.

Heelblock finish
See the chipped edge? Paulownia is again, really quite brittle on the edges.

My workbench after the neck work
Some of life's most pleasurable messing around.

#4 hand plane
Here's the economy #4 plane I am using. Bought from a local retired woodworker. Works for me.

Headplate sandwich
You are looking at the headstock sanwich of Indonesian rosewood headplate (top) with maple and walnut veneers (bottom).

Glueing the head sandwich
Oops...can you see the clamping caul is longer? I over-planed the blanks during the scarf join surface preparation! Urrgh...wait...there's more...

I have also over-enjoyed my planing of the neck that the headstock is now tapered too narrow for the original headtsock design!

Heel sawing
Licking those unexpected wounds, I find solace with more sawing on the heel...

Heel carving
...some chisel carving work on the heel...

Heel carving
...more carving and light sanding...

Heel carving

Heel carved

New headstock design
...say hi to my new head design!

Tuner holes
Felt like I went for broke with this weird headstock. Anyway, must believe by faith, that all things work for good! More work done...tuner holes drilled.

End holes for slots
Drilled end holes for the slots.

Sawing slots
Sawing the slots with coping saw...

More sawing slots
...more sawing...

Neck & bench
Neck work and bench cleaning done for the day.

Completed neck
This completes the neck work.


  1. wow!!! That must take ages to do it... Cool guitar mate!!

  2. yeah Christian, too long. I needed 300 hours over 18 months!


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