The neck is almost ready for final carving. I have repeated all steps prior to busting the truss rod. That includes gluing on the head plate and fiddling with the dovetail joint. I previously thought it was correct but further inspection revealed that it needed more work. It was as if the whole thing changed while it was sitting in the shop. This is why we check not twice, but three or four times before assembling anything! As it stands I am ready to say that this time it is good to go. I hope these are not going to be famous last words.
Once I had the neck joint down I lined up the fingerboard and clamped it to the neck. Then I nailed it in place with small brads, and cut the heads off. Next step was to do a lot of heavy grinding on the belt sander. I sanded the headstock down close to final thickness, as well as tapering the neck and removing a lot of wood to form the rough shape. After this I will carve by hand from here on in.
Once I was certain that everything was finally aligned I prepared to glue the fingerboard. The objective was to make sure I could slide the truss rod assembly into the slot afterwards.
The truss rod slid in and out perfectly, with no slop or extra play in the slot. Time to glue the fingerboard.
A few hours later I removed the rubber band and slid the truss rod into the slot. It went in and came out without any problem. No testing to see if it bends yet, I’m going to let the glue dry for 24 hours at least before putting any stress on it. Carving is next.