Advanced Neck Construction: The Bird's Beak

In this course, Luthier Ramon Tristani of Tristani Guitars, shows how to expertly execute the incredibly beautiful and structurally sound peghead to neck joint known as the Bird’s Beak.

Buy Now $184.80 77 Lessons 11:30:13

About This Course

Do you want to learn how to do one of the most common peghead to neck joints ever used in the history of lutherie? The Bird’s Beak has been used for centuries and is most commonly associated with Martin Guitar necks. Ramon Tristani has been doing this joint on his guitars for years and has come up with a very straightforward step by step method to make this joint. This course includes so much more information than just how to make the Bird’s beak joint. It is a complete neck construction course that uses the Bird’s Beak as its foundation and the entire neck construction process is built around this goal. The course also includes plans for several simple jigs used to make the Bird’s Beak joint.

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Please read the FAQ page before beginning. To begin just register/login and purchase the video lessons. Due to the large files sizes, this is a stream only course. After purchasing you may view the video lessons as many times as you like.

I've been working on my Bird's Beak necks following Ray's course (thank you Ray!). Over the last week I've made two different headstocks to fit a neck blank as practice. Last weekend I did one after the classic Fleta shape. Eric
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I learned so much about jig and fixture design and construction from it. In addition to the birds beak joint and neck construction methods. Larry
I just completed my first birds beak joint using the course from Ramon Tristani and Robbie. This post is to thank Ramon for all the help he gave me. I would not have had this turn out near as well without his advice, Any time I had an issue he was right there to help. I still have some clean up and fitting issues but nothing major. Ramon is a great guy, and again I can't thank him enough. I look forward to any future courses he may be involved with. Ray
The Bird’s Beak course is excellent, just like all the other courses I have purchased from your site. Russ
I've been working on my Bird's Beak necks following Ray's course (thank you Ray!). Over the last week I've made two different headstocks to fit a neck blank as practice. Last weekend I did one after the classic Fleta shape. Eric
I watched most of the course over the Thanksgiving break. Fantastic material, and great presentation. Lots of good practical pointers / reminders in there on fine control of chisels and the logical sequence to cut a fine joint like this. Eric
I just finished watching the entire thing. Excellent course; very well thought out and presented. I recommend anyone considering to make this joint to get the course. Taylor
I am excited about this course. I have tinkered with making this joint several times from the Greven info, but never been satisfied. Elaine
I have been going through the bird peak parts of the course and really like it. In the past I have read articles and looked at web sites with descriptions of the joint. I understand how it goes together but I never tried as I am not really knowledgeable with complex visible joinery. I always looked at the precision of some of the cuts and never convinced myself that I could do it. Ramon describes the technique to make the precise square surfaces required. He clearly laid out where precision was required. His instruction was detailed enough to show the directions needed to make the fine cuts chisel cuts without blow out. I have a 0 parlor coming up after I finished my current project and plan to follow the instructions. It is a perfect neck for that guitar. John
Chapter 1 • Headstock Routing Jig
About this course 4:25
Lesson 1: Intro 0:52
Lesson 2: Tools and Materials 5:52
Lesson 3: Drilling the jig walls 6:27
Lesson 4: The inner ramps 3:02
Lesson 5: The clamping wedges 3:19
Lesson 6: Routing box assembly 18:50
Lesson 7: Making the template 12:48
Lesson 8: Calibrating the router box 13:00
Chapter 2 • The Ramp
Lesson 1: Tools and Materials 3:29
Lesson 2: Tips and things 2:49
Lesson 3: Ramp top preparation 4:17
Lesson 4: Ramp wall preparation 2:48
Lesson 5: Ramp jig assembly 9:42
Chapter 3 • Stock Preparation
Lesson 1: Introduction 3:26
Lesson 2: Making bindings 5:25
Lesson 3: The headstock veneer 6:28
Lesson 4: The fingerboard 3:48
Lesson 5: The neck components 22:08
Chapter 4 • Initial Layouts
Lesson 1: Intro 1:51
Lesson 2: Tools and Supplies 2:50
Lesson 3: Centerline Layouts 6:29
Lesson 4: Scale layouts 4:03
Lesson 5: Heel Layouts 4:02
Lesson 6: Birds Beak layouts 7:32
Lesson 7: Fingerboard Layouts 2:10
Lesson 8: Headstock Layouts 3:57
Chapter 5 • The Heel Block
Lesson 1: Intro 1:10
Lesson 2: Preparation 5:04
Lesson 3: Dry Clamping Explanation 5:35
Lesson 4: Assembly 7:19
Lesson 5: Heel Block Location 15:12
Chapter 6 • The Bird’s Beak Joint
Lesson 1: Intro 2:49
Lesson 2: Adding neck thickness 11:27
Lesson 3: Setting the headstock angle 3:12
Lesson 4: Routing the mortise 14:32
Lesson 5: Cutting the beak 24:31
Lesson 6: Trimming the beak 34:31
Lesson 7: Fitting the tenon 7:49
Lesson 8: Planing the neck 11:34
Lesson 9: Final fitting 12:08
Chapter 7 • Headstock Construction
Lesson 1: Headstock veneer installation 10:29
Lesson 2: Shaping the Headstock 6:05
Lesson 3: Tuner holes 3:29
Lesson 4: Headstock Bindings Overview 4:01
Lesson 5: Binding channels 3:16
Lesson 6: Binding Installation 17:06
Lesson 7: Cleaning the Bindings 8:49
Chapter 8 • Neck Reinforcement
Lesson 1: Intro 3:14
Lesson 2: Router table setup 4:15
Chapter 9 • Shaping the Neck
Lesson 1: Intro 2:52
Lesson 2: Router jig walkthrough 7:47
Lesson 3: Jig Setup 11:46
Lesson 4: Routing the neck profile 7:56
Chapter 10 • Heel Block Completion
Lesson 1: Installing Heel Block 4:35
Lesson 2: Setting the neck angle 7:51
Lesson 3: Cutting the tenon 16:29
Lesson 4: Drilling for hardware 7:42
Lesson 5: Installing the hardware 8:42
Chapter 11 • Neck Reinforcement
Lesson 1: Installation 11:09
Lesson 2: Neck relief 6:36
Chapter 12 • The Fingerboard
Lesson 1: Intro 1:18
Lesson 2: Layout 12:41
Lesson 3: Fret slots 11:34
Lesson 4: The nut slot 1:12
Lesson 5: Tapering 5:34
Lesson 6: Binding Channels 2:35
Lesson 7: Installing bindings 19:36
Lesson 8: Cleanup and thicknessing 7:13
Lesson 9: Installing the fingerboard 11:04
Chapter 13 • Shaping
Lesson 1: Intro 1:01
Lesson 2: Shaping the heel 32:32
Lesson 3: Shaping the beak 33:59
Lesson 4: Beak to neck transition 25:37
Lesson 5: Headstock Transition 15:17
Chapter 14 • Completion
Lesson 1: Installing the heastock 8:27
Lesson 2: Final sanding 20:58
Lesson 3: Retrospective and final thoughts 2:44