Resetting the neck on a Gibson EB0 (SG Bass)

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
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Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Resetting the neck on a Gibson EB0 (SG Bass)

Post by Mark Wybierala »

This bass had been put away for a few years. The client noticed that the neck joint was showing cracks at the joint lines and that the joint on the back was getting a bigger gap as he began tightening a set of new strings. He stopped tightening the strings and brought me the bass.

About 75% of the joint lines are fractured. I've scored the remaining lines. I did a very successful repair on a Les Paul a few years back with similar issues but I don't remember much of the details. It took just a little steam to make the body let go and it was a clean neck removal.

I came across a youtube video of someone removing a neck from an SG guitar and they removed the fretboard first. Is this actually necessary?

This is a 1968 model. In the picture it looks like there are dowels on either side of mortise and tenon -- I don't know what these circular things are. I remember that on the Les Paul I removed a fret and drilled a hole through the tenon and applied steam. I'm not entirely sure of the best way to apply steam to get the remaining glue to let go.

Suggestions???
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Michael Lewis
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA
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Re: Resetting the neck on a Gibson EB0 (SG Bass)

Post by Michael Lewis »

If you have an open crack or seam you can blow steam directly into that. I have the StewMac steam needle and it sure is a lot tougher and better than the little brass tubing I had been using.

Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: Resetting the neck on a Gibson EB0 (SG Bass)

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Michael, Thanks for the reply, I have the stewmac needle also. If you ever do any neck removal w/ steam, its a very good thing to have. I'm surprised that there wasn't more response to this post but I'll give an update and I'll post some pictures just for the archives.

I didn't really want to use steam because I thought that there would be a lot more deep glue contact area for this joint and the heat would need to get really much deeper into the joint than something like a dovetail. I ended up using a heat gun. But just when you think you've got a good idea of what to expect, something different happens. When I removed the strap button (it sits right behind the heel screwing into the joint from the back) everything got much more loose. The strap button was the main factor preventing the neck from departing the body. There was a small area of body that was still attached and it was this part of the body that was fractured. There were short dowels that had been added to the joint at an angle in a previous repair. Pictures will show better and I'll add them to this post later. This is not the joint shape that I expected.

I have a few questions about how to better repair this joint but again, pictures are going to tell the story.

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