Over the last week I started carving the heel. So far it has been a pretty straight forward process. Cumpiano's method is to break this down into simple steps, so this is what I did.
First I pared the sides down to a straight line between top and bottom. Then, I flipped the chisel over and pared my way further down to produce the curvy slope of the sides, using my template as a guide.
Cumpiano's suggestion here is to leave top of the neck about 1/8" wider than the final width on each side as well as leave the last 1/16" of the top uncarved until the fingerboard is installed, and the whole neck is carved to finished dimension.
I can certainly see some merits in this, though it also made me shiver to think of having to do this final step once the sides are seated in their slots. So, I ended up paring the neck down to almost final width and leaving an 1/8" of the top uncarved. However, I don't know if I will regret this later when it comes to do the final carving. I have had my second thoughts!
On a side note: I don't know what it is about chisels but the more I use them the more I love them. I have never really done any fine chiseling work like this before but it is absolutely fantastic now that I'm getting a little hang of it. First it was planes, then my saws and now chisels with the cabinet scraper thrown in there too. Before I would normally have done these jobs with rasps, files and sandpaper, but so far I have barely used sandpaper at all and the times I have started a process with a file I have more often than not ended up finishing the job with a chisel and a scraper instead. The smoothness of the cuts and the absence of dust makes it an exhilarating experience. Maybe sharpening has something to do with it!