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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:56 am 
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This guitar came up as a "steal" on Craigslist recently, and being the first person to contact the seller, I was able to inspect and purchase it the same night it was listed.

The guitar had been kept in a wood-heated shop, and as such was dried out pretty badly. I noticed the neck had quite an inward bow to it, but I attributed that to the low humidity and went home with it.

Two days later I put the guitar on the bench to restring, as it had been getting proper humidity for a bit. I noticed it had .010 gauge Elixer polywebs on it. Once I started to attempt tightening the truss rod, I understood why.

The nut will turn freely in either direction with very little resistance to it. I've spun it both ways dozens of times and it hasn't adjusted any. Takamine's head US luthier agrees that the a weld has probably come loose on it somewhere. And being a dual-action truss rod, there's no way to remove the hex nut and check for stripped threads. Takamine will also not sell me a replacement truss rod, so I'm looking at either fixing the one in it or replacing with an aftermarket rod. (LMI or Stewmac?) I'll just have to inspect and take measurements once it's out.

I've been doing easy to moderate luthier tasks for several years, the most advanced so far being a bridge reset on my Alvarez 12 string (which went well and is still holding up very nicely). I've joined here to get more advice from people who are much more experienced than myself. I feel very confident in doing this repair - I'll just take it slow and pay attention to detail. Not to mention that, if things go awry, I can part out the guitar's hardware for close to what I paid for it, and the guitar may not necessarily be worth paying a professional to do the repair.

With all that being said, this is my plan of attack so far:
  • Score edges of neck binding with a box cutter until I'm certain it's free of the poly finish
  • Use heat gun to loosen glue holding the binding to the fretboard
  • Gently work the binding off the neck with a guitar pick or pallette knife
  • Remove nut
  • Remove two frets, drill alignment holes for pinning the board back in place when it's time to glue
  • Lay down painters' tape on guitar's top near fretboard to protect finish as much as possible
  • Use a standard household iron (without steam) to start warming the fretboard at the soundhole
  • Use pallette knives to separate fretboard
  • Once fretboard is off, clean both wooden surfaces with heat and a razor blade to remove glue/wood splinters
  • Evaluate and repair/replace truss rod
  • Lay new truss rod in place, use a small brush to apply Titebond to neck surface
  • Use alignment pins and lay fretboard in place, clamp with fingerboard bands
  • Alternatively, glue binding back on fretboard and then glue fretboard to neck. I'm starting to lean this direction.
  • Use one or two Bridge/Brace clamps to secure fretboard over sound hole
  • Reinstall binding, if not done yet
  • Repair finish as necessary, put in frets, and hopefully be done.

And some pictures.

Image Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Thank you all in advance for your assistance. I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions and getting to know you!

Charlie


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:20 pm 
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I'm by no means anything close to being an expert, but if the guitar is badly dried out, a couple of days is not enough time for any sort of rehydration to take place. From your pictures, it looks like the fret board has shrunk a fair bit, judging by the gap between the FB and it's binding.
Maybe proper rehydration before repairs would be in order.

Alex

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:26 pm 
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Alex Kleon wrote:
I'm by no means anything close to being an expert, but if the guitar is badly dried out, a couple of days is not enough time for any sort of rehydration to take place. From your pictures, it looks like the fret board has shrunk a fair bit, judging by the gap between the FB and it's binding.
Maybe proper rehydration before repairs would be in order.

Alex


It's been sitting in 45% humidity for one week come tonight. The fret board has not expanded back enough to fill the crack in the binding, but that's probably just because the glue has failed there already.

I had planned to start work either sometime this weekend or the beginning of next week. Does that seem to be enough time to let it re-hydrate?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:40 pm 
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When someone brings a dry guitar to me (usually for top cracks) I put two heavy duty re-humidifiers (large kitchen sponges in a zip lock baggies) - one inside the guitar, one by the headstock) and send them away for a month. At that time we check again for the usual symptoms (mainly sunken top) and decide whether its time to do the work. In my humble experience fretboards never come back and I always have to dress frets but the top usually will come back up.

I have some questions on your project - first, how much relief do you actually have and can you live with it maybe by doing some fretwork (or at most pulling frets and planing the neck)? What is the neck angle? Remember that there are a lot of guitars out there with non-adjustable truss rods.

Second, if you actually are going to remove the f/b I would leave the binding on it. I always bind my boards before installing them - it might be easier to leave it on (if it gets screwed up in the process you haven't lost anything).

Third, be prepared for a lot of hassles - "repair finish as necessary" might be more than you realize since it is colored and probably a catalyzed finish, replacing frets over binding adds a bit of work (but its done every day), a clothes iron may not apply enough heat (consider buying a blanket). You might end up breaking the board, in that case fit a new one.

Whatever you do, take some pictures and report back.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Chowlie (Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:51 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:04 pm 
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You should be aware that many import guitars use mystery glues that may not release from heat.

The last time I did a similar project the fretboard released about halfway and then broke apart. It made the project much more time consuming. I agree with Freeman that you should try to leave the binding on the fretboard.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: Chowlie (Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:04 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:07 pm 
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Walnut
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Freeman wrote:
When someone brings a dry guitar to me (usually for top cracks) I put two heavy duty re-humidifiers (large kitchen sponges in a zip lock baggies) - one inside the guitar, one by the headstock) and send them away for a month. At that time we check again for the usual symptoms (mainly sunken top) and decide whether its time to do the work. In my humble experience fretboards never come back and I always have to dress frets but the top usually will come back up.

I have some questions on your project - first, how much relief do you actually have and can you live with it maybe by doing some fretwork (or at most pulling frets and planing the neck)? What is the neck angle? Remember that there are a lot of guitars out there with non-adjustable truss rods.

Second, if you actually are going to remove the f/b I would leave the binding on it. I always bind my boards before installing them - it might be easier to leave it on (if it gets screwed up in the process you haven't lost anything).

Third, be prepared for a lot of hassles - "repair finish as necessary" might be more than you realize since it is colored and probably a catalyzed finish, replacing frets over binding adds a bit of work (but its done every day), a clothes iron may not apply enough heat (consider buying a blanket). You might end up breaking the board, in that case fit a new one.

Whatever you do, take some pictures and report back.


That's a very detailed response, thank you.

The top is still not up 100% just yet. It's more flat, but not convex like it should be. I thought this might just be because there's no string tension on it, but apparently it's still dry.

I should have taken a photo of the neck relief before I took off the strings. Even with .010s, it had a severe inbow. Apologies for not being able to provide actual numbers. I always run at least .012s, and knew that the neck wouldn't withstand it. I'm not sure how the truss rod failed, but it doesn't seem to be stuck in a tensioned position. It seems to not hold the wood at all right now.

I'm not worried about dressing the frets... that's a job I've done often enough that I'm well prepared for it.

One perk (to me) with removing the binding would be that I'd have that much "safe area" on the top of the guitar to tape up and stay away from the finish that much more. Don't know if it's that important. Also seems like I would be less likely to damage the binding if I removed it first, but you would know more about that than I.

I feel like Takamine stains their guitars and sprays on clear poly, but I could be wrong. I'll have to check on that.

I'll post a photo of the neck later. I currently don't have the means to tell you what the actual angle is.

Barry Daniels wrote:
You should be aware that many import guitars use mystery glues that may not release from heat.

The last time I did a similar project the fretboard released about halfway and then broke apart. It made the project much more time consuming. I agree with Freeman that you should try to leave the binding on the fretboard.


I asked the Takamine luthier, "Do you know what the best method is to remove the FB with the glue that Takamine uses? Don't they use some sort of epoxy?" To which he replied, "Probably wood glue. Let’s hope!"

:?

And thanks for the feedback on the binding!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:51 pm 
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When I need to rehydrate a really dry guitar prior to repair I usually keep it closer to 70% for a week or two (unstrung, multiple humidity sources inside a closed case), then let it sit 1 week at 45% in my shop.

I agree that your Takamine still looks pretty dry, and could benefit from another week at higher humidity to be sure its settled in before you take final measurements and plan your attack.



These users thanked the author dpetrzelka for the post: Chowlie (Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:31 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Overall you plan is good, and seems well thought through. But the comments provided so far give you good warning of potential pitfalls. Don’t let that put you off. You will be very happy and learn lots if you succeed, and not badly scarred if something goes wrong

I have two comments. Firstly, you will not properly rehumidify the thing just by bringing it into a RH of 45 for a while. It definitely needs “active” rehydration. Either humidifiers inside it in a case, or wrap the body of the guitar in a large plastic garbage bag (trash bag to you?, not sure as I only speak English) - with some wet rags in the bag with it (not touching the finish). Hang it like that for a week.

Second, I have found that a good way to clamp the fingerboard during the re-glue is to use a bicycle inner tube as a big elastic bandage and just wrap it from one end to the other, pulling some good tension in with each turn. Your locating pins will keep it in place and the big rubber band provides even pressure everywhere. It is better than lots of individual clamps, and much faster. Titebond doesn’t stick to the rubber. You just unwrap it when the glue is dry and scrape off any squeeze out.



These users thanked the author Mark Mc for the post: Chowlie (Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:31 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Just a couple more comments or questions. A photo of the relief won't tell us anything - string it back up and take a real measurement. The top should have a significant dome - maybe 1/8 of an inch. Lay a straightedge across and measure. My point is that since the geometry is all wonky on a dry guitar I don't work on them until they are stable.

The usual reasons truss rods "fail" is that some ham handed "tech" twists them too hard. Double acting rods have a neutral zone where they are flat and turn very easily, they get increasing tighter in both directions as they start flexing. I honestly don't know how someone could get enough torque with an allen key in a sound hole adjuster to break a rod, but people do amazing things.. AS you know, double acting rods are kind of like a turn buckle, both ends threaded and there is a bar connecting them. As you tighten/loosen the ends move together or apart, flexing the bar which pushes up or down on the neck in different places. They are very powerful and have a lot of mechanical advantage.

Common glues for fretboards include hide, AR and epoxy. Usually the extension is pretty lightly glued - work on that first. Trying to work pallet knifes under the board does run the risk of breaking it at a fret slot. You might find it better to just sacrifice the board and replace it.

You'll do more than just dress the frets - you will refret the board with the problem of getting them between and over the binding. Again, done every day, I charge a little extra for the work.

The binding probably has clear coats over it. Score thru them or you'll chip the finish. I'm going to guess that the wood is NOT stained, even if it is any sanding or scraping will disturb the stain and that is a real hassle to fix. Looking at the 'burst on the top I'm going to guess its sprayed in the finish. Test the finish to make sure you can deal with whatever it is.

Check the neck angle with a straight edge on the frets just like always. That will partially answer the question about hydration and if the angle happens to be bad and the neck needs to come off anyway it will make your fretboard removal that much easier.

Not an impossible job but certainly not trivial either.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Chowlie (Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:31 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:59 pm 
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Thinking about your guitar this afternoon while I was out in the shop (and looking at the Martin neck that I broke the fretboard trying to remove it) I'll tell you how I would approach this

First, as I always do, when the guitar comes into my shop I would measure everything and write it all down. We suspect the guitar is dry, but Chowlie hasn't completely confirmed it (flat or sunken top, low neck angle, wavy finish. sharp fret ends...). I would measure relief, action, bridge and saddle heights - the usual stuff.

Second - if the guitar is dry, put it away for a month to rehydrate. What do you have to lose? If its not dry and the neck angle is OK, move forward

Third - measure the relief without string and with strings. Most of the time it will change a few thousands, if it changes a whole lot more there is serious structural issues with the neck (maybe a completely broken rod?). If it only changes a little, what is the relief? I like as low as possible when I do a setup - with really good frets I can usually get to 4 or 5 thousands. Ten is kind of a break point - above that I start thinking about reducing the relief. Twenty is definitely bad. However to put this in perspective I have two wonderful old Martins with non adjustable t/r's - one had 10 and one had 12 thou - they both play fine.

Forth, if the relief is higher than I like but seems stable (doesn't change significantly with string tension) then whether the truss rod works or not really doesn't matter (like my Martins). I would be very tempted to pull the frets, plane the f/b more or less flat, refret it and live with it. If the relief is really bad I might consider compression refretting (I've read about it but never done it).

Next, if the neck seems unstable with adding string tension and/or I felt I couldn't sand the board flat enough I might start considering taking the board off and looking at the truss rod. If so I would basically follow your steps - I'd pull the frets, make the index holes, leave the binding on and use my little heat blanket that I use on f/b extensions and just heat and move down the neck doing a little at a time. Once the f/b is off figure out what (if anything) is wrong with the truss rod, replace it, clean up the board and neck and reglue with Titebond. Clean up whatever mess I made of the binding and finish the best I could (I am not capable of fixing colored catalyzed poly so I probably would dab some red CA into the cracks). Refret (I've done enough bound boards that I'm comfortable, I would certainly glue the frets in). Since the neck angle is OK and the truss rod now works it should be an easy matter to make new saddles and nut and set it up.

Last, open a cold adult beverage and post the pictures here.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:29 pm 
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dpetrzelka wrote:
When I need to rehydrate a really dry guitar prior to repair I usually keep it closer to 70% for a week or two (unstrung, multiple humidity sources inside a closed case), then let it sit 1 week at 45% in my shop.

I agree that your Takamine still looks pretty dry, and could benefit from another week at higher humidity to be sure its settled in before you take final measurements and plan your attack.


Yesterday night I put it in the case with two of these, and a damp sponge in the soundhole inside of two ziploc bags.

Image

Mark Mc wrote:
Overall you plan is good, and seems well thought through. But the comments provided so far give you good warning of potential pitfalls. Don’t let that put you off. You will be very happy and learn lots if you succeed, and not badly scarred if something goes wrong

Thank you! I don't feel too intimidated by it, but I certainly feel better knowing what all the potential issues are.

I have two comments. Firstly, you will not properly rehumidify the thing just by bringing it into a RH of 45 for a while. It definitely needs “active” rehydration. Either humidifiers inside it in a case, or wrap the body of the guitar in a large plastic garbage bag (trash bag to you?, not sure as I only speak English) - with some wet rags in the bag with it (not touching the finish). Hang it like that for a week.

See above... but yes, I'm from bluegrass country and only speak English as well. ;)

Second, I have found that a good way to clamp the fingerboard during the re-glue is to use a bicycle inner tube as a big elastic bandage and just wrap it from one end to the other, pulling some good tension in with each turn. Your locating pins will keep it in place and the big rubber band provides even pressure everywhere. It is better than lots of individual clamps, and much faster. Titebond doesn’t stick to the rubber. You just unwrap it when the glue is dry and scrape off any squeeze out.

I'll be on the lookout for some inner tubes then. Great advice!


Freeman wrote:
Just a couple more comments or questions. A photo of the relief won't tell us anything - string it back up and take a real measurement. The top should have a significant dome - maybe 1/8 of an inch. Lay a straightedge across and measure. My point is that since the geometry is all wonky on a dry guitar I don't work on them until they are stable.

Yeah, it's nowhere near that right now. Since I don't already have one, I'm going to purchase a luthier's straightedge soon. Is it best that I get one with fret notches, or just solid?

The usual reasons truss rods "fail" is that some ham handed "tech" twists them too hard. Double acting rods have a neutral zone where they are flat and turn very easily, they get increasing tighter in both directions as they start flexing. I honestly don't know how someone could get enough torque with an allen key in a sound hole adjuster to break a rod, but people do amazing things.. AS you know, double acting rods are kind of like a turn buckle, both ends threaded and there is a bar connecting them. As you tighten/loosen the ends move together or apart, flexing the bar which pushes up or down on the neck in different places. They are very powerful and have a lot of mechanical advantage.

No idea how it happened... I guess the only thing that matters now is how to fix it though.

Common glues for fretboards include hide, AR and epoxy. Usually the extension is pretty lightly glued - work on that first. Trying to work pallet knifes under the board does run the risk of breaking it at a fret slot. You might find it better to just sacrifice the board and replace it.

I have it on pretty good authority that Takamine has used Titebond in recent years, so hopefully it will go rather smoothly.

You'll do more than just dress the frets - you will refret the board with the problem of getting them between and over the binding. Again, done every day, I charge a little extra for the work.

About 30% of the people I've talked to seem to think this repair will warrant a full refret. Is that really necessary? At what point would I need to remove the frets, other than for alignment pins?

The binding probably has clear coats over it. Score thru them or you'll chip the finish. I'm going to guess that the wood is NOT stained, even if it is any sanding or scraping will disturb the stain and that is a real hassle to fix. Looking at the 'burst on the top I'm going to guess its sprayed in the finish. Test the finish to make sure you can deal with whatever it is.

I also have it on pretty good authority that it's clear poly over stained wood, but I'm not 100% certain. I do know that I can see some clear poly on the end of the fretboard sticking out over the soundhole. It flakes right off fairly easily. But yes, scoring the finish well is going to be vital.

Check the neck angle with a straight edge on the frets just like always. That will partially answer the question about hydration and if the angle happens to be bad and the neck needs to come off anyway it will make your fretboard removal that much easier.

Have a straight edge coming soon... but I really don't think the neck angle is bad. Looked to me like, once the top comes back up and the neck is straightened out, that it will be perfect. But I'll check it and report back.

Not an impossible job but certainly not trivial either.



Freeman wrote:
Thinking about your guitar this afternoon while I was out in the shop (and looking at the Martin neck that I broke the fretboard trying to remove it) I'll tell you how I would approach this

First, as I always do, when the guitar comes into my shop I would measure everything and write it all down. We suspect the guitar is dry, but Chowlie hasn't completely confirmed it (flat or sunken top, low neck angle, wavy finish. sharp fret ends...). I would measure relief, action, bridge and saddle heights - the usual stuff.

Top was sunken initially but is right about flat now. Fret ends weren't sharp, but the binding was a bit separated. Neck angle looked good, although it had far too much relief. But now even the relief is looking better without strings on it. Also - not sure if it was due to poor hydration, neck relief, or a combo of the two - but there were wooden shims under each saddle piece to keep the strings from buzzing. Normally I can take at least .050" off the height of the stock Takamine saddle pieces to get the action around .080". The saddles were sticking up REALLY high, and the strings were still buzzing a bit in the high frets.

Second - if the guitar is dry, put it away for a month to rehydrate. What do you have to lose? If its not dry and the neck angle is OK, move forward

Third - measure the relief without string and with strings. Most of the time it will change a few thousands, if it changes a whole lot more there is serious structural issues with the neck (maybe a completely broken rod?). If it only changes a little, what is the relief? I like as low as possible when I do a setup - with really good frets I can usually get to 4 or 5 thousands. Ten is kind of a break point - above that I start thinking about reducing the relief. Twenty is definitely bad. However to put this in perspective I have two wonderful old Martins with non adjustable t/r's - one had 10 and one had 12 thou - they both play fine.

I really think the truss rod is broken. I have a set of used .012s I can try putting on it, but from the way it looked with only .010s I know it's gonna be bad. I probably won't even get them up to full tension before I back it off.

Forth, if the relief is higher than I like but seems stable (doesn't change significantly with string tension) then whether the truss rod works or not really doesn't matter (like my Martins). I would be very tempted to pull the frets, plane the f/b more or less flat, refret it and live with it. If the relief is really bad I might consider compression refretting (I've read about it but never done it).

That's an interesting proposition, but I think the problem with this guitar is far too severe to get away with only planing the board. Nonetheless, I'll try putting more strings on it once it's better hydrated and report back.

Next, if the neck seems unstable with adding string tension and/or I felt I couldn't sand the board flat enough I might start considering taking the board off and looking at the truss rod. If so I would basically follow your steps - I'd pull the frets, make the index holes, leave the binding on and use my little heat blanket that I use on f/b extensions and just heat and move down the neck doing a little at a time. Once the f/b is off figure out what (if anything) is wrong with the truss rod, replace it, clean up the board and neck and reglue with Titebond. Clean up whatever mess I made of the binding and finish the best I could (I am not capable of fixing colored catalyzed poly so I probably would dab some red CA into the cracks). Refret (I've done enough bound boards that I'm comfortable, I would certainly glue the frets in). Since the neck angle is OK and the truss rod now works it should be an easy matter to make new saddles and nut and set it up.

Sounds look a good plan. I might even look into buying a heat blanket for it. One question though - why would I need to make new saddles and a nut? I don't think the nut will give me too much trouble upon removal, and the saddles just drop right in. They'll have to be shaved quite a bit anyway once the top is rehydrated. I don't suppose all nuts and saddles are like Takamine saddles though.

Image

Last, open a cold adult beverage and post the pictures here.

I might even have to crack open an adult beverage while in-process. Maybe I won't be that stressed out. ;)


Thank you all so much for your replies - you have no idea how helpful you've been already.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Rather than copy and pasting your reply I'll just make a a few more comments. You can get a perfectly good 24 inch metal straight edge at any box hardware store (Lowes, Home Depot). Also get a machinist rule (calibrated in 64ths) and a set of feeler gauges (0.002 to 0.025 or so). I love my StewMac action gauge but the above will work nicely. Notched straightedges let you "read" the fretboard but they are only good for one scale length and really its the frets that count so I don't feel you need one.

A sunken or flat top is a definite sign of a dry guitar, and the tall saddles indicate that someone has made new saddles to try to compensate (or has shimmed them). You will seem to have an over set neck, that should settle down when it gets rehydrated. You should have plenty of saddle to adjust the action after you are all done.

I had one thought about the fact that your adjust seems to turn freely in both directions - are you sure you have the right sized wrench. Hex t/r adjusters come in at least three sizes, 4 and 5 mm and 9/64 inch. When the nut is way up inside the heel like most double acting rods it is frequently hard to get the wrench inserted and easy to miss judge the size.

I'm not sure why you are so worried about your string gauges. Stringing it up is going to tell you a lot - if the relief goes up dramatically you've got a big structural problem, probably a completely broken t/r plus probably some neck damage. If it goes up a couple of thou you have a normal neck. If that is true all you need to do is decide whether the relief is acceptable. Are you sure you had 10's on it? My micrometer usually measures strings that are marked as 0.012 one or two thousands smaller. And if you really have 10s on it remember that the difference in total tension is in the order of 25 pounds (126 vs 152 using D'Addario's chart). I'd measure with the string off, throw something on and tune up, measure again.

My comments about refretting were two fold. First, I would much rather deal with a fret job that trying to take off the fretboard. However, yes in theory you can pull two frets to do you index pins and only replace them. In fact you could drill your index pins between frets - fill the holes in the f/b with powdered rosewood and you might only have to do a little dressing.

The saddles should be fine, nut may or may not be OK too. If you do a refret then a new nut is usually needed. You might luck out. I'm guessing that Tak has twin UST's, otherwise thats a pretty ordinary split saddle.

I often find its a bad idea to have the adult beverage before starting the work. Or a whole lot of coffee either. Your milage might vary. Good luck



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Chowlie (Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:07 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:34 pm 
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Freeman wrote:
Rather than copy and pasting your reply I'll just make a a few more comments. You can get a perfectly good 24 inch metal straight edge at any box hardware store (Lowes, Home Depot). Also get a machinist rule (calibrated in 64ths) and a set of feeler gauges (0.002 to 0.025 or so). I love my StewMac action gauge but the above will work nicely. Notched straightedges let you "read" the fretboard but they are only good for one scale length and really its the frets that count so I don't feel you need one.

10-4 on the Straightedge. I already have a machinist rule (because I am one) and some feeler gages.

A sunken or flat top is a definite sign of a dry guitar, and the tall saddles indicate that someone has made new saddles to try to compensate (or has shimmed them). You will seem to have an over set neck, that should settle down when it gets rehydrated. You should have plenty of saddle to adjust the action after you are all done.

I see what you're saying. Somebody just shimmed up what was already there.

I had one thought about the fact that your adjust seems to turn freely in both directions - are you sure you have the right sized wrench. Hex t/r adjusters come in at least three sizes, 4 and 5 mm and 9/64 inch. When the nut is way up inside the heel like most double acting rods it is frequently hard to get the wrench inserted and easy to miss judge the size.

It's definitely a 5mm. Also very easy to see from inside the soundhole.

I'm not sure why you are so worried about your string gauges. Stringing it up is going to tell you a lot - if the relief goes up dramatically you've got a big structural problem, probably a completely broken t/r plus probably some neck damage. If it goes up a couple of thou you have a normal neck. If that is true all you need to do is decide whether the relief is acceptable. Are you sure you had 10's on it? My micrometer usually measures strings that are marked as 0.012 one or two thousands smaller. And if you really have 10s on it remember that the difference in total tension is in the order of 25 pounds (126 vs 152 using D'Addario's chart). I'd measure with the string off, throw something on and tune up, measure again.

Yeah, but just knowing what it looked like before it seems pretty obvious that the truss rod is broken. I just don't want to chance damaging the neck further. It's possible that the humidity will help the relief a bit, but I don't see it being enough to make it acceptable with .012s.

I just checked the strings with my Brown & Sharpe mic again. The 10s measured .010 and the 12s measured .012. Maybe minus .0002, give or take.


My comments about refretting were two fold. First, I would much rather deal with a fret job that trying to take off the fretboard. However, yes in theory you can pull two frets to do you index pins and only replace them. In fact you could drill your index pins between frets - fill the holes in the f/b with powdered rosewood and you might only have to do a little dressing.

Good tip. I'll take that option into consideration as well.

The saddles should be fine, nut may or may not be OK too. If you do a refret then a new nut is usually needed. You might luck out. I'm guessing that Tak has twin UST's, otherwise thats a pretty ordinary split saddle.

I often find its a bad idea to have the adult beverage before starting the work. Or a whole lot of coffee either. Your milage might vary. Good luck


Thanks again. One more question I have - I'm really considering getting a heat blanket for the job. Anything in particular you'd recommend? What about the silicone ones on eBay/LMI?

Charlie


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:47 am 
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Koa
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Chowlie wrote:

Thanks again. One more question I have - I'm really considering getting a heat blanket for the job. Anything in particular you'd recommend? What about the silicone ones on eBay/LMI?

Charlie


I have a blanket very similar to LMII's for my Fox style side bender (I didn't buy it from LMII) and it works very well. I've bent a dozen or so sides with it. I also have the LMII bridge blanket (the cord comes out the middle) - I do a fair number of bridge repairs and this has worked well. I do not have a specific blanket for neck extensions (I've only done a couple of resets) but I did use the bridge blanket on two extensions and it worked OK (previously I had one of those little blocks of steel with a handle - you heat it on a hot plate and set it directly on the extension - I didn't like the whole procedure.

I also have a simple rheostat controller - it is not the fancy one that LMI sells. When I'm bending sides I stick a digital thermometer between the blanket and the side and just maintain the temperature I want manually. When I remove a bridge again I mostly just watch how it is responding and keep working a pallet knife under the bridge. That is what I did with the extension - no problem.

If I were going to try a fretboard I would still use the bridge blanket and start at the extension. Once that was loose I'd just move it down the neck a ways and keep working the pallet knifes under it. I would worry about the binding - both coming off and being damaged by the heat - but I guess my thought is if it came off OK I would be ahead of the game, if the it was damaged I'd just have to deal with it. Another potential problem with too much heat on the board is that you probably will damage the marker dots if they are plastic or they may pop out if pearl.

Last minor comment, if someone did shim the saddles that is a pretty bad idea because of the UST's under them. The transducers are about 0.050 thick, that means the saddles have already been "shimmed" by that much. If you throw another 50 thou on top of the transducer there isn't much of the saddle still in the slot - I think it is always better to make a new saddle when you have a UST.

Good luck, I'll be interested in seeing what you find in there.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Chowlie (Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:06 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:30 pm 
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Freeman wrote:
I have a blanket very similar to LMII's for my Fox style side bender (I didn't buy it from LMII) and it works very well. I've bent a dozen or so sides with it. I also have the LMII bridge blanket (the cord comes out the middle) - I do a fair number of bridge repairs and this has worked well. I do not have a specific blanket for neck extensions (I've only done a couple of resets) but I did use the bridge blanket on two extensions and it worked OK (previously I had one of those little blocks of steel with a handle - you heat it on a hot plate and set it directly on the extension - I didn't like the whole procedure.


Just found this site today. Looks like it might be a good option for a heat blanket. I'd assume my wireless infrared thermometer would work well for reading the temp. What's a good temp to start out with, assuming it has titebond in it? 200 degrees Fahrenheit?

Freeman wrote:
I would worry about the binding - both coming off and being damaged by the heat - but I guess my thought is if it came off OK I would be ahead of the game, if the it was damaged I'd just have to deal with it. Another potential problem with too much heat on the board is that you probably will damage the marker dots if they are plastic or they may pop out if pearl.


I guess this is another +1 for removing the binding first? I could still put it back on before I re-glue the fretboard. At least by taking it off first I won't have to be concerned so much about it getting damaged. And I guess we'll just have to see about the marker dots.

Freeman wrote:
Last minor comment, if someone did shim the saddles that is a pretty bad idea because of the UST's under them. The transducers are about 0.050 thick, that means the saddles have already been "shimmed" by that much. If you throw another 50 thou on top of the transducer there isn't much of the saddle still in the slot - I think it is always better to make a new saddle when you have a UST.

Good luck, I'll be interested in seeing what you find in there.


The shim was probably just .020 but the saddles were pretty wobbly at that height. I'm definitely eager to see what the string action will be like once the top is re-hydrated and the neck relief is fixed. I'd imagine I'll have to take my normal .050-.075" off them later. One great perk of working in a machine shop is that I can just pop the saddles in a grinding vise, get them indicated flat, and take exactly how much I want off them in about 2 minutes. Easiest setup ever.

Re: Neck reset
What conditions generally warrant a neck reset? If the neck is pointing inward to the guitar, instead of slightly backward? I think that may be the issue with another Takamine I have. The top is fine, the relief is good, and the saddle is as low as it can go, but the action is still much higher than it should be. I'll be running to Lowe's to get a nice 24" stainless ruler soon. Might even run it through the surface grinder to make sure it's completely flat on the edges.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:02 pm 
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Chowlie wrote:
Re: Neck reset
What conditions generally warrant a neck reset? If the neck is pointing inward to the guitar, instead of slightly backward? I think that may be the issue with another Takamine I have. The top is fine, the relief is good, and the saddle is as low as it can go, but the action is still much higher than it should be. I'll be running to Lowe's to get a nice 24" stainless ruler soon. Might even run it through the surface grinder to make sure it's completely flat on the edges.


I have two rules of thumb. On a well hydrated guitar with a "normal" height bridge (usually about 3/8) a straightedge laying on the frets should just touch the top of the bridge. When I set a neck I over set it just a hair - I like to see a tiny gap under the end. If the end of the straightedge is below the top of the bridge by about 1/8 inch then a reset is needed.

The second rule (other thumb) is a bit more practical - its a boolean. IF the action on the guitar is acceptable AND you have at least 1/8 inch of saddle sticking out of the slot THEN the neck angle is OK. If either of those conditions is not met, ie the action is too high or there isn't much saddle sticking out then a reset is probably necessary.

A bit hard to tell here, but the straightedge is definitely below the top of the bridge and the saddle is quite low (and the action was high)

Image

Here it is, strung up and the ruler on top of the bridge, taller saddle, sweet action

Image

Your guitar fails the first part of the first test - because the top is collapsed a straightedge will probably be well above the bridge - the test is basically meaningless. I'm going to guess that once you get it hydrated you'll find the neck angle is OK. The main reason I asked a long time ago is that if you did need to take the neck off it might make doing the truss rod easier.

I'm still going to argue for trying to take the board off with the binding in place. If you are lucky and the binding isn't damaged then you probably won't need to refret it. If you take the binding off then you pretty much need to refret - you'll have the little fret ends sticking out and it will almost impossible to put binding under them. Here is a bound f/b that I'm in the process of fretting - the ends of the frets extend over the binding and will be dressed back

Image



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Chowlie (Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:57 am)
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