Acoustic Guitar Construction in the small shop -- Kenneth Michael Guitars LLC

Information, ideas and help for those constructing scratch built acoustic guitars or acoustic guitar kits - © 2017
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 Post subject: heel reinforcement dowel
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Location: Granby, CT
I have it in mind that it would be a good idea to run a dowel the length of the heel so's the heel won't crack along the grain. Picked up the suggestion, somewhere, to use a 3/8" fluted dowel. I'm getting no joy finding a source for these dowels online.

If anybody knows where I can look to purchase these dowels, I'd be delighted. I can get lots of them in short lengths, it's the four-inch variety that seem to be scarce.

Is there a reason why fluted dowels are good choices? I suspect the reason is so that some glue will travel with the dowel down the drilled hole, but I'm guessing. If there's no advantage to the fluted dowels over plain dowels, then almost any hardware store or lumberyard can sell me unfluted dowels. I also suspect a fluted dowel won't try to split the heel apart as it's being inserted.

Thanks very much.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Why are your necks weaker than all others which work fine without dowelling?

Use a chisel or what ever and grove a plain dowel to your hearts content.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:41 pm 
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I have experience with but two necks so far. I developed the notion that doweling the heel was a positive act given the opportunity. Sorta' like making the heel block from birch ply and avoiding a split if the instrument ever landed accidentally hard on the endpin.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:58 pm 
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In my experiance I'd conclude this is a solution looking for a problem. A stacked heel or block heel its a good pratice since there are glue joints. For the prior try and snap off the heel of a neck made from a 1/4 sawn blank.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:41 pm 
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Peter some guys will put a dowel in there when doing a tenon with threaded inserts....something for the threads to bite into. Is this what you are thinking about?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Kevin, yup. That was the idea.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:19 pm 
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Your post was about preventing cracks along the grain -- right? Just the same I doubt reinforcing a 3/4 " tenon with a 3/8 dowel is less destuctive or more effective than a good soaking of CA which is what most makers do. But knock yourself out, not sure how you could determine its worth the effort? Theres a post in this topic section that shows how to properly install inserts as well as the correct type to use. Keep in mind that the tenon is trapped in the mortise - there is no room for movement to even allow cracks. $.02

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:02 am 
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Thanks, Ken. I had no idea that flooding the tenon end grain with CA was a technique. I was aware that threaded inserts got dosed with CA after insertion, but no other uses of the stuff.

As for inserts, I was aware that certain ones were preferred. Bought those.

Much obliged.

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