Critical steps here! The neck finish looks really good; the Tru-Oil sits differently on the surface of a harder wood like maple. I easily got a higher gloss with the steel wool but still have that nice unsticky feeling of almost no finish.
The bridge screwed right into the body and lined up just right. No worries there. It’s a Joe Barden; I like their compensated saddles, which save me from having to take pliers or a hammer to them to get them to intonate correctly. Been there already.
The tuner holes were pre-drilled in two different diameters, really the right way to do it (thanks, Allparts!). This provides more support for the tuner shaft. No holes drilled for the screws, though; that’s part of my job. I pressed the grommets in with big pliers and some strips of wood for padding. This is actually a job I’ve done several times, so I know the trick of pushing the tuners into line with a straightedge laid alongside. I marked the locations of the end holes, drilled them out and ran in the screws. Small errors pile up quickly so I kept checking. Came out very nicely; it’s more about patience than skill.
Mounting the neck involves a padded clamp holding the neck in place on the body while running the E strings to the bridge to check the alignment. No adjustment needed, thanks to the high quality of these parts. Drilling the screw holes into the neck is a matter of measuring the depth of the hole needed and using the body holes as guides. Again, more a matter of patience than anything else.
You can see from the photos how well these steps turned out. It’s starting to look more like a guitar than a pile of parts!