Neck Reset

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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Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Neck Reset

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Here is a couple pics of a neck reset I am in the middle of.
The neck has been removed, and the angle reset, but the body needs a bit of repair.
As you can see, the body top "wood" has delaminated a bit.
I wouldn't normally do a neck reset on a guitar with a laminated top like this, but it has a lot of sentimental value to the owner.
You can also see the pickup. it is attached to the bracing with screws inside. Very difficult to remove.

I will have to glue in some new wood, and re-level the top under the fret board extension to make this repair work.
Neck in Vice 1.jpg
Body no neck.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Paul Breen
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:39 am

Re: Neck Reset

Post by Paul Breen »

I like doing plywood repairs like this using West System epoxy. Glue the obvious loose stuff first, sand and add a veneer to bring you to the level of the surrounding top surface. Doesn't have to be pretty because you will cover it with the finger board extension. You don't need 100% non-glue, clean wood surface to adequately glue the finger board extension down. It will be fine if some of the final leveled surface shows a percentage of exposed epoxy. The thinking here is that the epoxy repair would remain intact if the neck and or finger board ever came off again, provided of course the neck is re-assembled with Hide glue or Original Titebond.

Looks like you are going to need to add some wood to the sides of the dove tail too. I would advocate West System epoxy for that as well, for the same reasons.

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Reset

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Thanks for the advice Paul. :)
My plan is to use epoxy glue to stick the remaining plies together, and then sand.
After that I will add a veneer patch to help level it off.
The dovetail will need some shims, and I will use veneer for that too.
I have some veneer that is a about .010 thick.

I'm going to use hot hide glue for the neck, when it goes back on.

I think this guitar may have been glued with epoxy originally. It was a tough one to take off.
I used a LMII fret board extension heat blanket, with a steel caul on top to hold it down. It took quite a lot of heat, and a fair bit of time.
I then used the copper heat stick from stewmac to soften the dovetail joint.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Paul Breen
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:39 am

Re: Neck Reset

Post by Paul Breen »

Yes, the dovetail will need shims to achieve a proper fit with the new neck angle, I would attach them with hide glue. I was referring to the splintered off wood bits, visible in the image you provided of the dovetail. I would take that all down flat, epoxy on a new bit of Mahogany and level that back to the original dovetail profile, then do your shim work.

Good luck with this!

David King
Posts: 2678
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Neck Reset

Post by David King »

Around here folks like to use Alaskan yellow cedar aka port Orford cedar for the shims because it shaves so nicely with a plane.

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Reset

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I had to rebuild the tenon on the neck, as some of the wood stayed in the mortise. That is what has me thinking this guitar was glued with epoxy.
That, and how hard it was to get it out.
You can see the gluing caul on the far side in this pic.
Repair Dovetail Tenon.jpg
I also glued some material back on the body.
I didn't have any small pieces of spruce, so I used the maple veneer again. It will be hidden under the fret board extension anyway.
Body Repaired.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Reset

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I have the angle completed, and the tenon rebuilt. Just have to make a very thin shim to go under the extension.
B 4 Glue Left Side.jpg
Here is a shot of a straight edge running along the top of the frets. I have 1/16 clearance now. After the shim is built, I'm ready for glue!
St. Edge Clear of Bridge Plate.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Neck Reset

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

This old Yamaha has a pickup; possibly after market, I don't know, can anyone tell me?
It has an aluminum saddle, with a ground wire under it.
Ground Wire in Bridge.jpg
Here is a shot of the aluminum saddle.
Aluminum Saddle.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

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