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 Post subject: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:53 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 8:50 am
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First name: michael
Last Name: cather
City: san diego
State: ca
Zip/Postal Code: 92109
Country: usa
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Status: Amateur
I am starting a repair, for a friend, of a Fender dreadnought. (DG-8S) the guitar had been dropped and the neck split open a few inches below the head. The repair was done incorrectly, with the two halves not aligned when glued up. The misalignment created a back bow. Running a straight edge along the frets, the first fret has about an 3mm offset.

My plan of attack is to clamp a steel bar or "platen" across the frets and pull the neck back into alignment. Wrap the neck in a wet towel and heat the assembly to steam the neck. Perhaps I need to over-bend the neck to allow for memory.

My other thought was to detach the fret board with a fretboard removal knife far enough down and insert a wedge between the fret board and the neck. If anyone has experience with repairing neck back bow, I would love to hear from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:59 am 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
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Can you post some pictures?

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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 9724
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
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This is a $100 - $200 guitar with an improperly done prior repair and an unplayable neck.

Replace it. The headstock repair alone had it been properly done by a decent shop would have exceeded the value of replacing the guitar.....

As for gaining valuable repair experience that's not going to happen. The one-off repairs that you described or might be done are not something that will enable you to do repairs again because this guitar would be replaced and not repaired. Steam may also loosen every fret on the neck resulting in scope creep of the project and even more expense....

Or, in other words there is nothing to be gained by jumping through your sphincter trying to fix this thing. It's also highly unlikely that you will be successful.

Not trying to be a jerk. Our repair shop services over 1,100 instruments annually and we keep a counter of instruments turned away for this very reason, repair costs AND effort exceed the value of the instrument. We are 5 months into the year and have turned away over 250 instruments for this very reason. It happens, replace it, move on. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 8:50 am
Posts: 6
First name: michael
Last Name: cather
City: san diego
State: ca
Zip/Postal Code: 92109
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hesh wrote:
This is a $100 - $200 guitar with an improperly done prior repair and an unplayable neck.

Replace it. The headstock repair alone had it been properly done by a decent shop would have exceeded the value of replacing the guitar.....

As for gaining valuable repair experience that's not going to happen. The one-off repairs that you described or might be done are not something that will enable you to do repairs again because this guitar would be replaced and not repaired. Steam may also loosen every fret on the neck resulting in scope creep of the project and even more expense....

Or, in other words there is nothing to be gained by jumping through your sphincter trying to fix this thing. It's also highly unlikely that you will be successful.

Not trying to be a jerk. Our repair shop services over 1,100 instruments annually and we keep a counter of instruments turned away for this very reason, repair costs AND effort exceed the value of the instrument. We are 5 months into the year and have turned away over 250 instruments for this very reason. It happens, replace it, move on. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.


That was my original advice to the owner. The cost of repairs are above the value of the instrument. thkx...I guess I'm buying my GF a new guitar...I better hurry up though...she borrowed my Faith Signature, that I just finished repairing....girls

I am a one man shop, I build classical guitars...5 or 6 a year. I also do refinishing on a limited basis. Just for the sake of conversation, how would the big shop address this type of repair? thkx


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Last edited by Michael2522 on Wed May 17, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 12:34 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 8:50 am
Posts: 6
First name: michael
Last Name: cather
City: san diego
State: ca
Zip/Postal Code: 92109
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Chris Pile wrote:
Can you post some pictures?


Here's a pic


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 9724
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Michael2522 wrote:
Hesh wrote:
This is a $100 - $200 guitar with an improperly done prior repair and an unplayable neck.

Replace it. The headstock repair alone had it been properly done by a decent shop would have exceeded the value of replacing the guitar.....

As for gaining valuable repair experience that's not going to happen. The one-off repairs that you described or might be done are not something that will enable you to do repairs again because this guitar would be replaced and not repaired. Steam may also loosen every fret on the neck resulting in scope creep of the project and even more expense....

Or, in other words there is nothing to be gained by jumping through your sphincter trying to fix this thing. It's also highly unlikely that you will be successful.

Not trying to be a jerk. Our repair shop services over 1,100 instruments annually and we keep a counter of instruments turned away for this very reason, repair costs AND effort exceed the value of the instrument. We are 5 months into the year and have turned away over 250 instruments for this very reason. It happens, replace it, move on. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.


That was my original advice to the owner. The cost of repairs are above the value of the instrument. thkx...I guess I'm buying my GF a new guitar...I better hurry up though...she borrowed my Faith Signature, that I just finished repairing....girls

I am a one man shop, I build classical guitars...5 or 6 a year. I also do refinishing on a limited basis. Just for the sake of conversation, how would the big shop address this type of repair? thkx


Hi Michael and thanks for not being offended by the bluntness here. Just trying to help.

Our big shop would never attempt to repair this guitar because of the scope creep. Finish issues are sure to develop as well and that means likely replacing a neck, doing finishing and well over $1,000 of effort. If we take it in we own it and are obligated to make it right. As such we won't or wouldn't take it in and in my experience no one would want pay what we would change to fix it either. Even if they did I would not want to get involved when the "value" clearly is not there for ALL concerned.

The good news is that China and others are making really decent instruments these days for very little money.

By the way good on ya for tying to help, that's always important. In the business world though as I am sure you know hurting ourselves is not that hard to do at times unless we are always vigilant of opportunity costs and scope creep.


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 8:50 am
Posts: 6
First name: michael
Last Name: cather
City: san diego
State: ca
Zip/Postal Code: 92109
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hesh wrote:
Michael2522 wrote:
Hesh wrote:
This is a $100 - $200 guitar with an improperly done prior repair and an unplayable neck.

Replace it. The headstock repair alone had it been properly done by a decent shop would have exceeded the value of replacing the guitar.....

As for gaining valuable repair experience that's not going to happen. The one-off repairs that you described or might be done are not something that will enable you to do repairs again because this guitar would be replaced and not repaired. Steam may also loosen every fret on the neck resulting in scope creep of the project and even more expense....

Or, in other words there is nothing to be gained by jumping through your sphincter trying to fix this thing. It's also highly unlikely that you will be successful.

Not trying to be a jerk. Our repair shop services over 1,100 instruments annually and we keep a counter of instruments turned away for this very reason, repair costs AND effort exceed the value of the instrument. We are 5 months into the year and have turned away over 250 instruments for this very reason. It happens, replace it, move on. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.


That was my original advice to the owner. The cost of repairs are above the value of the instrument. thkx...I guess I'm buying my GF a new guitar...I better hurry up though...she borrowed my Faith Signature, that I just finished repairing....girls

I am a one man shop, I build classical guitars...5 or 6 a year. I also do refinishing on a limited basis. Just for the sake of conversation, how would the big shop address this type of repair? thkx


Hi Michael and thanks for not being offended by the bluntness here. Just trying to help.

Our big shop would never attempt to repair this guitar because of the scope creep. Finish issues are sure to develop as well and that means likely replacing a neck, doing finishing and well over $1,000 of effort. If we take it in we own it and are obligated to make it right. As such we won't or wouldn't take it in and in my experience no one would want pay what we would change to fix it either. Even if they did I would not want to get involved when the "value" clearly is not there for ALL concerned.

The good news is that China and others are making really decent instruments these days for very little money.

By the way good on ya for tying to help, that's always important. In the business world though as I am sure you know hurting ourselves is not that hard to do at times unless we are always vigilant of opportunity costs and scope creep.


Scope creep is a dirty word...and my old co-pilot. I personally hate clients. In my previous life as an Architect, it was the worst aspect of the profession. I understand the effort and responsibilities of good business management practices and when to say "no".

I never custom build for a client just build them as I see fit and when I'm done put a price on it.

So, just speaking hypothetically, if someone dropped my 1942 Martin D-45 and broke the neck, the plan of attack would be to re-fabricate and replace the whole neck?

Thanks for your time...our most valuable asset!



These users thanked the author Michael2522 for the post: Hesh (Wed May 17, 2017 4:18 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:30 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 8:50 am
Posts: 6
First name: michael
Last Name: cather
City: san diego
State: ca
Zip/Postal Code: 92109
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Made a couple of cowls for the back of the neck, clamped a sq. steel tube across the the fingerboard until it was straight. stuck it in the oven at 175 for an hour. left it overnight in the clamps. sanded and dressed the frets. reassembled. sanded the neck seam, rattle can a little poly, buffed it out. Plays better than new! For about 2 hours of labor, my GF has her old friend back.

Sometimes overthinking the problem is the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:27 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: john
Last Name: shelton
City: Alsea
State: Oregon
Zip/Postal Code: 97324
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Sounds like you should be teaching guitar repair. Good work, congratulations!


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Back Bow Repair
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:22 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 9724
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Michael2522 wrote:
Made a couple of cowls for the back of the neck, clamped a sq. steel tube across the the fingerboard until it was straight. stuck it in the oven at 175 for an hour. left it overnight in the clamps. sanded and dressed the frets. reassembled. sanded the neck seam, rattle can a little poly, buffed it out. Plays better than new! For about 2 hours of labor, my GF has her old friend back.

Sometimes overthinking the problem is the problem.


Wishing you the best but heat treating often fails in time and it reverts to the original problem. We have commercial guitar neck heat presses and we've done it only to have it revert in 6 months or so. It is a decent last resort and can buy some time but the repair often reverts.

Keep us advised of what it does in time please?


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