In the third step of our conversion of a 1935 Gibson Roy Smeck Stage DeLuxe we will install the neck support.
The first step is carefully laying out where the 1/2" aluminum tube will go. As you can see in the above photo Tom has marked the neck with the location of the channel. The neck is firmly clamped in place and the truss rod routing jig is clamped down as well. The support runs from just shy of the nut right to the end of the dovetail. Tom prefers a laminate trimer with a 1/2" carbide router bit to cut the channel.
After routing the channel to just slightly deeper than 1/2" the end needs to be squared off to make a tight fit for the tube. This work is done with a sharp chisel.
To glue the supporting tube in place we use marine grade epoxy from West System. Notice the cork glued in the end of the tube. If the neck ever needs to be removed again with steam it will not be able to fill up the tube, instead it will go into the neck joint as intended. The neck is masked off to prevent epoxy from getting on surfaces that will be glued with hide glue later. Also visible here is the veneer of mahogany that will cover the aluminum.
The steel tube on the bench will act as a clamping caul. To ensure it does not bond to the neck it is waxed.