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 Post subject: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Walnut
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I bought a cheap Fender Squire Acoustic Guitar off of Craig's List as a sacrificial guitar that I could use to practice routing a binding channel. I would like to remove the neck and then use the body to test out my newest router binding channel jig.

Instead of sawing off the neck, I figured I could remove the neck using the steam method. Since it didn't appear to be attached with bolts, I figured it had to be a dovetail attachment. So I put together a neck removal jig similar to what is available at Stew Mac. After I pried up the fingerboard extension, I removed the 15th fret and drilled a couple of holes for a needle (using one that is normally for inflating a basket ball). Unfortunately when I drilled the holes, it didn't feel like I hit a cavity behind the dovetail. I tried using steam, but I never saw the steam coming out of the second hole and the neck never moved.

Question: Is it possible that this inexpensive guitar doesn't have a dovetail joint and the neck is simply glued in place so my efforts in trying to remove the neck would be futile?

Thanks!
Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Yes, right you are. This guitar does not use a dovetail and many inexpensive imports like this one use a dowelled attachment method that is not engineered to be serviced or removed. There is nothing to steam off as you suspected.

With this said sawing off the neck and removing the fret board extension however you can, it may not come off with heat depending on what kind of mystery glue was used on it.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Matt H (Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:24 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Walnut
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I never considered a doweled joint. I guess I have no choice but to saw off the neck. Ugh!


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Matt H wrote:
I never considered a doweled joint. I guess I have no choice but to saw off the neck. Ugh!


Yeah I agree and good instincts on your part too. I usually have to suggest to folks that these inexpensive imports are not conventionally built to be serviced and not good candidates to learn a thing about neck resetting.

You are the first that I can recall who obtained one to practice routing and that's an excellent idea! It most certainly will be good for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:40 pm 
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Cocobolo
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I've removed two necks like that (yes they are doweled) and I made new necks (Mortise and tenon bolt-on), routed out the mortised and attached. Made good student guitars when I was done and could provide you excellent practice.

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Tim Benware
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:41 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Ben-Had wrote:
I've removed two necks like that (yes they are doweled) and I made new necks (Mortise and tenon bolt-on), routed out the mortised and attached. Made good student guitars when I was done and could provide you excellent practice.


Why? I get-it that you wanted something to do but for a commercial repair shop to make new necks and do the conversion, finishing, etc. is easily $1,000 plus of billable hours if one has the work with the results being some import POS with a new neck. As for useful experience as repair Luthiers we've never had to do this nor would we because the economics are not there for anyone and who has the time? No one is going to pay the going rates for a Luthier to make a new neck, fit it, attach it, finish it, convert the body for a mortice and tenon, etc. I'll add there is around $400 in fretting, making a new fret board, etc.

Unless one is in the business of converting these and actually has a valid reason why bother? I fail to see anything beyond something to do for those wanting something to do here.

With all of this said just what exactly is this excellent experience for? What are you learning to do that will have commercial demand or any demand for that matter? If making student guitars is your bag put out the word that you accept donations to repurpose for the homeless and vets, that's what we've done and we don't have to make new necks to help someone.


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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Walnut
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Hesh,

You were exactly right. I cut the neck off and I found it had been attached with five dowel pins. It was easy to get off once I realized I had to avoid the truss rod with my pull-saw.

Now I need to finish up my router binding channel jig and try it out.

Thanks!
Matt



These users thanked the author Matt H for the post: Hesh (Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:24 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:17 am 
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Cocobolo
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Hesh wrote:
With all of this said just what exactly is this excellent experience for? What are you learning to do that will have commercial demand or any demand for that matter? If making student guitars is your bag put out the word that you accept donations to repurpose for the homeless and vets, that's what we've done and we don't have to make new necks to help someone.
WOW! I went on vacation just after I posted this and haven't returned until now to find this. To answer your question: Much of what I learned was self taught. The experience I had of building and attaching those necks at the time was invaluable to my learning process and I wasn't worried about screwing up a good guitar, in the process I returned 2 unusable guitars to playable. Now I have a business in which I have no need to advertise. In fact, I stopped advertising and took my website down because I was getting to busy, I do all my work on referral now. I have more than enough repair work and a build list that is on average 20+ waiting. So to me it was "excellent experience." Apparently to you it is not.

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Tim Benware
Creedmoor, NC



These users thanked the author Ben-Had for the post: Haans (Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:10 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:52 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

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Ben-Had wrote:
WOW! I went on vacation just after I posted this and haven't returned until now to find this. To answer your question: Much of what I learned was self taught. The experience I had of building and attaching those necks at the time was invaluable to my learning process and I wasn't worried about screwing up a good guitar, in the process I returned 2 unusable guitars to playable. Now I have a business in which I have no need to advertise. In fact, I stopped advertising and took my website down because I was getting to busy, I do all my work on referral now. I have more than enough repair work and a build list that is on average 20+ waiting. So to me it was "excellent experience." Apparently to you it is not.


Wait... If you've been on vacation since you posted this almost 6+ months ago. How have you had time to do all this work and build a business?

From experience and time spent in this trade, It's a bit odd to me that you'd delete your website, usually if your business is doing well you want to have a website even if you don't think you need it. A website is required to succeed in business today, there's simply too much money floating around with people online. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Hesh (Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:38 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

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For the very reason of which we are speaking I actually took a trashed 150$ish acoustic and sawed the neck off. I did this just to show people why these guitars are not meant to be serviced.

Image

They also use friggin staples to hold pieces together from the factory on these. Not a good thing if you don't want to be replacing your tools all the time.

Image


In the interest of knowledge, I'd like to see pictures of the guitars you did this too.



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Hesh (Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:38 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:37 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:14 pm
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DanKirkland wrote:
Wait... If you've been on vacation since you posted this almost 6+ months ago. How have you had time to do all this work and build a business?

From experience and time spent in this trade, It's a bit odd to me that you'd delete your website, usually if your business is doing well you want to have a website even if you don't think you need it. A website is required to succeed in business today, there's simply too much money floating around with people online. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?

Well I probably worded that a little wrong. I left on vacation just after I made the post but didn't return to the forum until the other day, so in all I was gone from the forum for over 6 months not from work. Additionally, I deleted my website because I am retired now and don't want the additional requests I get from it. I only work PT now and have more than enough to keep me as busy as I'd like. My point was that those cheap guitars can be good to learn on for those without a lot of money to invest that are interested in luthiery. Yours and others experience may be different but it does not invalidate mine. I never said I did this to service the guitars, I did it early in my career to learn on but when they were done I wasn't gone to just throw them out. They were given to 2 young kids from my church interested in learning to play and couldn't afford their own. Hope that clears things up.

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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:12 pm 
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Koa
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Why all the criticism for Tim? It's completely uncalled for.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post (total 4): Haans (Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:23 am) • Ben-Had (Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:59 pm) • fumblefinger (Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:18 pm) • Glen H (Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:38 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:06 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Ben-Had wrote:
Well I probably worded that a little wrong. I left on vacation just after I made the post but didn't return to the forum until the other day, so in all I was gone from the forum for over 6 months not from work. Additionally, I deleted my website because I am retired now and don't want the additional requests I get from it. I only work PT now and have more than enough to keep me as busy as I'd like. My point was that those cheap guitars can be good to learn on for those without a lot of money to invest that are interested in luthiery. Yours and others experience may be different but it does not invalidate mine. I never said I did this to service the guitars, I did it early in my career to learn on but when they were done I wasn't gone to just throw them out. They were given to 2 young kids from my church interested in learning to play and couldn't afford their own. Hope that clears things up.


I'm a bit more confused. If you didn't remove the necks and convert/repair them then how is that not servicing the guitars? Repairing a guitar is the definition of servicing an instrument, you're performing a service on it to conduct the repair.

This is the disconnect. Hesh, myself and others do this for a living. Meaning that should we take on a job that wastes our time, then we are wasting our money/living on a job that doesn't amount to anything for us from a professional standpoint.

What that means is that what we consider a waste of time you might not. If you only do it part time then that means that you're probably not doing it as your primary means of income, and being retired helps you have more time to do the work you want.

I do need to point out that on the same note that our experience does not not invalidate yours, your experience doesn't trump ours. In essence, your experience does not apply to our setting, I work full time in luthiery/repair and you're part time and retired. What makes sense for you, literally cannot work in my setting. We don't turn down these jobs to be mean, we turn them down because there are truly better ways to serve the customer and make longer lasting repairs.

Again, I'm not saying you're wrong for doing the work, but don't accuse others of being mean spirited or wrong simply because we turn jobs like this down.

I still would like to see pictures of the two guitars you did this work on.



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Hesh (Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:00 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:14 pm
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Sorry DanKirkland but did you even read the original first post? The OP said he "bought a cheap Fender Squire Acoustic Guitar off of Craig's List as a sacrificial guitar that I could use to practice routing a binding channel." Obviously, HE is not a pro but is in fact trying to learn new skills. I simply posted that "I've removed two necks like that (yes they are doweled) and I made new necks (Mortise and tenon bolt-on), routed out the mortised and attached. Made good student guitars when I was done and could provide you excellent practice."

My intent was to be informative that "maybe" if he wanted he could use the body for further experimentation as I did (rather than toss it away if that was his plan). When I was learning that's one way I attempted to do it. At NO TIME did I say a professional luthier, such as myself, should engage in this kind of work and I have no idea why it was interpreted that way.

As far as the disconnect. I have already retired as a luthier from a successful business I started and now I do it for a few select loyal customers because I like to, so I am quite familiar with the challenges of staying in business.

As to you wanting to see pictures of the guitars that ain't happening because I did this work in the 70's and had no camera or need in my mind to photograph the work back then. But here's a pic of one of my builds to satisfy your curiosity.

EDIT: One more thing I must address you said, "Again, I'm not saying you're wrong for doing the work, but don't accuse others of being mean spirited or wrong simply because we turn jobs like this down." I NEVER accused anyone here of being mean spirited or wrong. I simply expressed an experience of mine from early in my career that I thought would be helpful and was questioned as "Why?" would I do that.


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These users thanked the author Ben-Had for the post: DaveFlis (Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:14 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:23 am 
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Cocobolo
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Ben-Had wrote:
Sorry DanKirkland but did you even read the original first post? The OP said he "bought a cheap Fender Squire Acoustic Guitar off of Craig's List as a sacrificial guitar that I could use to practice routing a binding channel." Obviously, HE is not a pro but is in fact trying to learn new skills. I simply posted that "I've removed two necks like that (yes they are doweled) and I made new necks (Mortise and tenon bolt-on), routed out the mortised and attached. Made good student guitars when I was done and could provide you excellent practice."

My intent was to be informative that "maybe" if he wanted he could use the body for further experimentation as I did (rather than toss it away if that was his plan). When I was learning that's one way I attempted to do it. At NO TIME did I say a professional luthier, such as myself, should engage in this kind of work and I have no idea why it was interpreted that way.

As far as the disconnect. I have already retired as a luthier from a successful business I started and now I do it for a few select loyal customers because I like to, so I am quite familiar with the challenges of staying in business.

As to you wanting to see pictures of the guitars that ain't happening because I did this work in the 70's and had no camera or need in my mind to photograph the work back then. But here's a pic of one of my builds to satisfy your curiosity.


I am not angry at you, don't get angry at me for simply taking issue with your statements, what you wrote at first about the 6 month vacation was very confusing. I see what you said, and I see your response, I'm making my conversation based on what you've already said, not the OP at this point. That is a nice guitar, but again I'm not sure why you're showing it? Why didn't you just say that you did all that work in the 70s in the first place? I wouldn't have been bugging you for pics if I had known that.

Let me put it this way. When Hesh made the comment about the experience not really having any practical application, you proceeded to write your statement about having a successful business and all the details on that. It comes off as you being angry at Hesh for making the observation that he doesn't see the value in that kind of work. I see no need for you to be angry that Hesh simply disagrees with you, it's not personal.

In my opinion and experience it's better to practice on something that will have at least some form of payoff down the road. When I removed my first neck from a guitar it was a very cheap 40s harmony I got from a yardsale. Even as cheap as it was it was a dovetailed neck (crude albeit). I gained a metric ton of experience from that one guitar that has resulted in me being able to do some work well and increase my skills.

In my mind, as cheap as those 30s and 40s harmony/stella guitars are, why not practice on those?

I'm not trying to invalidate your opinion here, just kind of trying to figure out why you're so adamant on this rather menial issue? Why come back and make a fight out of it 6 months after the fact?



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Hesh (Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:33 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:14 am 
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Cocobolo
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DanKirkland wrote:





"That is a nice guitar, but again I'm not sure why you're showing it? Why didn't you just say that you did all that work in the 70s in the first place? I wouldn't have been bugging you for pics if I had known that." Because when one challenges another to provide pics it smacks of disbelief, i.e. that that person is lying. I provided the pic as a bit of evidence that I know somewhat of that which I speak

Let me put it this way. When Hesh made the comment about the experience not really having any practical application, you proceeded to write your statement about having a successful business and all the details on that.No, I did not state it that way. I first said "To answer your question: Much of what I learned was self taught. The experience I had of building and attaching those necks at the time was invaluable to my learning process and I wasn't worried about screwing up a good guitar, in the process I returned 2 unusable guitars to playable. I was referencing a valuable learning experience that helped me on my way to developing a successful business. I never presented it as "work" I presented it as "a learning experience" knowing full well there are other ways to learn (I taught numerous guitar building classes and have many "grads" out there).

In my opinion and experience it's better to practice on something that will have at least some form of payoff down the road. Agreed but the payoff does not always have to be monetary, my payoffs were the look on those kids faces getting a "by-product" from my learning experience, as well as learning how to cut a mortise on a body and make a guitar neck. And I agree on the Harmony's I cut my teeth on those as well and turned a whole bunch of those around with neck resets, brace conversions, re-tops, you name it I probably did it to a Harmony.

I'm not trying to invalidate your opinion here, just kind of trying to figure out why you're so adamant on this rather menial issue? Why come back and make a fight out of it 6 months after the fact?I was not trying to make a fight out of it. When I posted my learning experience and its value to me to the OP who was posting a similar learning experience, I was taken aback that someone would criticize that experience in such a manner. Perhaps I was over sensitive but I would never devalue ones experiences that way.

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Tim Benware
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:44 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Ben-Had wrote:
"MUCH OF WHAT I LEARNED WAS SELF TAUGHT." The experience I had of building and attaching those necks at the time was invaluable to my learning process and I wasn't worried about screwing up a good guitar, in the process I returned 2 unusable guitars to playable.


Almost hate to get involved in this can of worms, but to me the important part of Tim's post is above. I capitalized the most important part.
I will refrain from commenting further...

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:03 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:55 am 
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Mahogany
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A few weeks ago I posted pics about neck angle and neck reset etc. I'm a beginner at most things luthier, it's not how I make a living but I wondered if it would be worth doing for a learning experience. Hesh agreed with me that it was pointless because it was indeed a 4 dowel butt joint and cheap guitars like this will most likely never deserve a reset.

I totally agree with this. I'd never see or want to do a neck reset on a guitar/joint like this...but I did it anyway. I'm just about done. LOL.

If I ever do this professionally I didn't learn anything in the sense that I'd never do a neck reset on this type of guitar BUT I did get good practice at the basics...measuring, gluing, chiseling, touch-ups, fret dress and setup, using my tools in general. It also revealed what I know and don't know about acoustics, just got me thinking more.

I had good incentive because it was my guitar and I saw it as a waste.



These users thanked the author FL6 for the post: Hesh (Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:44 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Neck Removal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Ben-Had wrote:

"That is a nice guitar, but again I'm not sure why you're showing it? Why didn't you just say that you did all that work in the 70s in the first place? I wouldn't have been bugging you for pics if I had known that." Because when one challenges another to provide pics it smacks of disbelief, i.e. that that person is lying. I provided the pic as a bit of evidence that I know somewhat of that which I speak

Let me put it this way. When Hesh made the comment about the experience not really having any practical application, you proceeded to write your statement about having a successful business and all the details on that.No, I did not state it that way. I first said "To answer your question: Much of what I learned was self taught. The experience I had of building and attaching those necks at the time was invaluable to my learning process and I wasn't worried about screwing up a good guitar, in the process I returned 2 unusable guitars to playable. I was referencing a valuable learning experience that helped me on my way to developing a successful business. I never presented it as "work" I presented it as "a learning experience" knowing full well there are other ways to learn (I taught numerous guitar building classes and have many "grads" out there).

In my opinion and experience it's better to practice on something that will have at least some form of payoff down the road. Agreed but the payoff does not always have to be monetary, my payoffs were the look on those kids faces getting a "by-product" from my learning experience, as well as learning how to cut a mortise on a body and make a guitar neck. And I agree on the Harmony's I cut my teeth on those as well and turned a whole bunch of those around with neck resets, brace conversions, re-tops, you name it I probably did it to a Harmony.

I'm not trying to invalidate your opinion here, just kind of trying to figure out why you're so adamant on this rather menial issue? Why come back and make a fight out of it 6 months after the fact?I was not trying to make a fight out of it. When I posted my learning experience and its value to me to the OP who was posting a similar learning experience, I was taken aback that someone would criticize that experience in such a manner. Perhaps I was over sensitive but I would never devalue ones experiences that way.


I'll rephrase what I said earlier with wanting to see pics. I wanted to see pics becuase I was curious how you actually did the repair. It was not intended as a challenge to you. If it came across that way it was not intentional. I can see how it read that way.

From my perspective, resurrecting a 6 month old thread just reads like you wanted to make it a fight. Just my view on things.

We've both made our case for this, I'll leave it at that. Hesh and I both look at it through the lens of full time luthiery/repair so you should understand where we're coming from and it appears that you do.



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Hesh (Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:56 pm)
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