Bob Flesher Minstrel Banjo Kit

Glueing the Dowel

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I finally got some fresh glue. So now it is time to glue the dowel stick into the neck hole. This is kind of a critical point because I only get one chance to do this right. Once the dowel stick is glued into that hole, the neck angle and alignment are set for good. So I don't want to mess this up.

It does not take much glue to make a strong joint when using modern glues. Using too much glue will just make a mess and a weaker joint.

Since the dowel stick is a tight fit in the neck hole, I decided to make some air holes in the dowel to let the air and excess glue come out. This will actually make a better joint than just stuffing the dowel into the hole. To make the holes, I took another of my wood engraving burins and cut some slots down the dowel tenon where it will go into the hole. Here is a photo.


You do not need to use a burin to do this. You could cut the slots with a chisel or a pocket knife. I used the burin because it is just easier to use. Here is a photo of the resulting slots.


The slots will let the air out of the hole and avoid a buildup of pressure that will tend to push the joint apart.

I put some plastic wrap onto the dowel stick as suggested in the kit instructions. This is to avoid glueing the neck to the pot when they are put together. Here it is:

Plastic wrap

Then I put just a little bit of glue into the neck hole. I think I used about half a teaspoon at most. I smeared the glue around inside of the hole using my pinky finger.


I smeared a very light coat of glue onto the end of the dowel stick:

Glue too

Then I stuck it in the hole and aligned my mark with the mark on heel of the neck. You can see that there is a very small bead of glue that came out.


I slid the pot onto the dowel stick to confirm that the neck and the pot are still aligned.


I actually am not sure why the instructions say to put the pot and the neck back together while the glue dries. There was no force being exerted by the pot on the dowel stick or the neck, so basically the pot was not serving as any kind of clamping force at all. It was just sort of sitting there. Once the dowel stick was stuffed inside of the neck hole, it was not going to move side to side regardless of the presence of the pot around it.

I went ahead and put it together anyway since I had set up to do it that way, but other than allowing me to confirm that the neck was still aligned properly I cannot see that it served any purpose.

It took me about an hour to do this job.

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Last updated April 16, 2006