measure twice, cut a few times, see what you get; don't paint yourself into a corner.
I thought I'd offer a little proof of the effort I've been putting forth on the luthier front. Effort? Heck yeah. Success? To be determined. Learning curve? Steep. Mistakes? Oh yeah. Victories small and large? Absolutely. Under and over estimation? Verily.
I've been using (I almost typed 'leveraging,' but that's such a business term, I just can't bring myself to use it here) the tools at the local high school shop- most notably the jointers, planers and band saw to transform my big pieces of hardwood into smaller, more accurately sized and shaped pieces of hardwood.
For the 'V,' I made a mistake on the width of the neck- shaved it too close for the purposes of getting it square. For 'Jr,' I had some huge chunks pulled out when routing the body to shape. I don't know how I'll recover (or cover) those. Damn.
On the other hand, the fret-board tapering worked out really well. I did a lot of work with rulers and straight edges to get a centered, squared taper stenciled on the back of the fretboard and then used my big plane to whittle it all down. Smooth, easy, sharp. Whew! I was worried about that.
The routing of the neck for truss rods turned out okay. And now I'm not afraid. Shaping the necks will be another learning experience. I have a spoke shave, some shure-forms, and a contour gauge to check my progress. Are there mistakes in the waiting? Assuredly. But I'm holding my nose and diving in.
The next two guitars will be much better. That's okay. I'm learning. Hamer, here I come.
Pics below are of my one-winged flying V, for Henry, as I glued a wing on.