Capping Off the Neck
With the truss rods in place, it's time to insert walnut caps in the slots and holes created for the them. Walnut is a great choice for many reasons, but mostly because it's easy to work and it's color nicely contrasts that of the maple.
I start by roughing out the transition from the fingerboard to the headstock - using a block of wood to hold it so it's square, it's back to the belt sander.
I stop just short of the goal, so I can install a short piece of walnut dowel into the holes left from the truss rod installs:
I picked up a 3/8" walnut dowel from the local Woodcraft - I was going to make one, but at only a few bucks and beings I was there anyway, the dowel makes life much easier - and cut off a few inches. After some hide glue is applied, the dowels go in the holes in the Tele necks...
From there it's back to the belt sander to finish off the job creating the transition from the fingerboard to the headstock.
Remember that the Tele's are getting a traditional or "vintage" truss rod, one that adjusts at the heel of the neck, so capping the hole at the headstock is appropriate. The Strat is getting a Fender Bullet Truss Rod Nut, that adjust through that hole at the top.
Leaving the raw hole wouldn't be pretty, however, so I modified the walnut plug so that it would work with the bullet rod nut by first anchoring an old 2x to the drill press table, drilling a 3/8" hole partially into it, swapped the bit out for a 1/4" one, then place the walnut plug into the previously drill hole, and there I got a perfectly centered, hollowed out walnut plug.
Then the same approach was taken as with the Tele necks finishing off the transition, taking care not to put too much glue on the plug as not to plug up the hex-head with it.
Just to be sure, I made sure that I could adjust the truss rod through the hole - success! Woohoo!
Next up is the skunk stripes. I thicknessed some strips of walnut until they fit snugly into the slot in the back of the necks.
Since the route for the truss rods (and hence the truss rods themselves) are curved, I used the side of the jig I made for routing the channel to mark out the bottom of the walnut inserts.
Then over to the bandsaw to cut the curved bottom.
And finally a little time fussing with some sandpaper and the belt sander to round off the end of the stripe to match the slot where the skunk stripes end.
Back to the hide glue bottle and a few clamps, and the strips are glued into place.
When dry, I run them first through the table saw to get them close to flush, then through the thickness sander to get them flush to the back.
The next fun-filled episode will have me cutting fret slots and installing the marker dots into the fingerboard...