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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:51 pm 
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Mahogany
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Greetings again! Last time it was a new truss rod, this time it is a neck reset. Because it's a service that's desperately needed for so many Takamines - including one of my own - I've decided it's take to take the plunge. Maybe after this one I can bring new life to many more that have been turned away by other luthiers (if I can call myself that yet).

Attachment:
20181229_130333.jpg


I purchased this guitar a couple of years ago before I really even got into neck angles very much. But the action was high and the saddle was low, so I knew something must be done somehow.

Current angle:

Attachment:
20181223_202257.jpg


I tried removing the 14th fret and drilling to no avail whatsoever (as I expected), so I just removed the entire fretboard and started hogging out epoxy.

Attachment:
20181229_170058.jpg


There is still more to it, but I have to head off the computer for today. I'm curious as to what I should do from here though to finish removing the neck which has already been scored all around. Should I try a basketball needle on a pressure cooker to inject steam into the joint like I would any other guitar, or is something else needed because it's epoxy? I'm really wanting to do this without sawing it off if possible.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:31 pm 
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I'm curious to see how involved this gets. I've got a regular customer who has an old natural series takamine that has loads of sentimental value for him and it needs a reset.

I'm assuming that brown stuff where the gap should be is epoxy? How did you start "hogging" it out?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:34 pm 
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Mahogany
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Conor_Searl wrote:
I'm curious to see how involved this gets. I've got a regular customer who has an old natural series takamine that has loads of sentimental value for him and it needs a reset.

I'm assuming that brown stuff where the gap should be is epoxy? How did you start "hogging" it out?
Correct. I basically just took a drill bit about the same width as the crack and started drilling it out. Apparently it doesn't fill the entire void of the neck joint though, because I could feel the drill break through into nothing after a certain depth.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Koa
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How about using a dremel tool to just clean the whole gap out?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Koa
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My attempt to steam the neck off an old Yamaha was not successful so I sawed it off and converted to a bolt on. My guitar so I figured I wasn't out anything.

btw - normally you inject one fret above the body joint which is 15 on most guitars


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:53 am 
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Mahogany
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Conor_Searl wrote:
How about using a dremel tool to just clean the whole gap out?


Seems like a good plan to me! Too bad I haven't invested in one myself yet. lol

Freeman wrote:
My attempt to steam the neck off an old Yamaha was not successful so I sawed it off and converted to a bolt on. My guitar so I figured I wasn't out anything.

btw - normally you inject one fret above the body joint which is 15 on most guitars


Bolt-on conversion does seem to have some perks to it. I've done a lot of reading up on it and I do like the end result.
Aha - I must have missed that detail somehow. It definitely appears to be on the 15th fret.

This is how it looked after drilling out some of the epoxy.

Attachment:
20181229_182902.jpg


Just for kicks I also tried the boiling water in a Ziploc bag trick, placing it on the heel of the neck for several minutes. It didn't do anything.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:01 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
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Does anyone know why they would use an adhesive that isn't easily reversible? I get that hide glue would require perhaps a more talented skill set, but wouldn't it be just as easy at the Takamine factory to use tite bond or something similar? They make some pretty good guitars, it would be nice if they didn't end up almost disposable because you can't easily reset the neck. The best acoustics (or at least the most industry standard) in the world need a neck reset after a while, and epoxying the neck joint doesn't seem to have solved that issue for these guys.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:14 pm 
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Mahogany
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Conor_Searl wrote:
Does anyone know why they would use an adhesive that isn't easily reversible? I get that hide glue would require perhaps a more talented skill set, but wouldn't it be just as easy at the Takamine factory to use tite bond or something similar? They make some pretty good guitars, it would be nice if they didn't end up almost disposable because you can't easily reset the neck. The best acoustics (or at least the most industry standard) in the world need a neck reset after a while, and epoxying the neck joint doesn't seem to have solved that issue for these guys.


I've been wondering this myself for a long time. I'm tired of so many Takamines I want to own being out of reach because the neck angle is too poor to get decent action.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:12 pm 
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Koa
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I should mention as a word of caution too. I had an Alvarez with a host of problems given to me to to hone my chops on. In the course of steaming the neck joint apart, everything came apart except the dovetail. The neck block, the back, the top, everything in the vicinity came apart except for the neck joint. I'm not sure why. It doesn't make sense that one type of glue would be used in part of the construction and another adhesive in a different part, but that seemed to be the case.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:18 am 
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Conor_Searl wrote:
Does anyone know why they would use an adhesive that isn't easily reversible? I get that hide glue would require perhaps a more talented skill set, but wouldn't it be just as easy at the Takamine factory to use tite bond or something similar? They make some pretty good guitars, it would be nice if they didn't end up almost disposable because you can't easily reset the neck. The best acoustics (or at least the most industry standard) in the world need a neck reset after a while, and epoxying the neck joint doesn't seem to have solved that issue for these guys.


The journey across the ocean in a shipping container is a humid torture chamber for wood. If they used hide glue all the necks would fall off when the hit the states and dries out. Same with regular titebond type glue too I'm afraid unless it's type 2 or 3 waterproof which doesn't steam apart very well either.... So it's about surviving the trip.

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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post (total 2): Bryan Bear (Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:42 pm) • Conor_Searl (Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:59 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:06 am 
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Mahogany
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Conor_Searl wrote:
I should mention as a word of caution too. I had an Alvarez with a host of problems given to me to to hone my chops on. In the course of steaming the neck joint apart, everything came apart except the dovetail. The neck block, the back, the top, everything in the vicinity came apart except for the neck joint. I'm not sure why. It doesn't make sense that one type of glue would be used in part of the construction and another adhesive in a different part, but that seemed to be the case.


Oh... ouch. Maybe I should just skip steaming and go straight for sawing then.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:11 pm 
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I can only speak of Yamahas and I can only speak of my experience. I could not get mine apart with my normal steaming jig, but there is a guy who runs a vintage Yamie forum that swears that he can with enough heat and pressure. I have had a couple more come to me needing neck resets - I just turn them down. I recently had a funky old Gibson ES guitar that needed the neck removed to fix it, I turned that down also. I simply don't need projects where there is little chance of success.

However the old Yamie was my first guitar, the reset when well, I'm able to still play it after almost fifty years.

https://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/fo ... 2/1313642-


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Got my Stewmac Japanese saw in over the weekend, and have to say I'm very pleased with the results. I'm sure someone with more experience than myself could have removed it better, but I'm quite satisfied.

Attachment:
20190304_150813.jpg


Started off by sawing not too deeply on both sides and at the bottom of the heel, and working my way in from there.

Attachment:
20190304_150805.jpg


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20190304_150818.jpg


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20190304_150942.jpg


Attachment:
20190304_153313.jpg


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20190304_153320.jpg


You can rather clearly see where I walked the saw a bit here, but good thing for me that I'll be removing material from that area anyway.

Attachment:
20190304_153342.jpg


Attachment:
20190304_153349.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:41 pm 
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And finally, a good resting place. :lol:

Attachment:
20190304_153444.jpg


There are a few pages I've already been reading, listed here:
http://www.strangeguitarworks.com/acoustic-neck-reset/
http://frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Tec ... eset1.html

I think instead of getting really ahead of myself, I'm going to stick to the next steps. Should I try to sand flat the edges of the neck heel and the end of the guitar body, or simply clean up the area where there is a little rib sticking up? And I'm just assuming that I should go ahead and reglue my fretboard before doing anything else, I can't set the neck without it anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:39 am 
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Latest progress:

After cleaning up both surfaces, I got the fretboard reglued.

Attachment:
20190322_192607.jpg


Attachment:
20190322_194139-min-min.jpg


Attachment:
20190323_105743-min.jpg


Now I can very easily see what angle I need to achieve by putting the truss rod back in its slot.

Attachment:
20190323_110212.jpg


Attachment:
20190323_110240.jpg


Attachment:
20190323_110245.jpg


I think my next order of business is to sand out the middle of the neck heel, leaving about .25" intact around the edges to change the angle with. I can then drill all my holes and install the thread inserts. Then i suppose it will be sand-tighten-sand-tighten for a while.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:53 pm 
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I usually use a rotary tool to recess the heel for flossing, leaving 1/8" around the edge.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:18 pm 
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1/8" around the edge is plenty

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:39 pm 
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1/8" would be even better. Thanks, guys.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:58 am 
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Well gentlemen, after waiting about two months I downed a couple brews and got the confidence to do something. I marked locations on the neck heel and drilled some (slightly crooked and off-center) holes for the thread inserts.

Attachment:
20190525_190724.jpg


Next step was to drill matching holes in the body itself. I measured from the heel locations to do this, but turns out it wasn't close enough. I had to wallow the holes out for the cap screws to line up, and then the washers would not cover the hole entirely.

Attachment:
20190525_191255.jpg


Attachment:
20190528_205530.jpg


Attachment:
20190528_205713.jpg


The good news is that the neck joined up very well, and I'm also a machinist. I fixed the hole problem by making a plate from 16 gauge stainless steel for the cap screws to tighten against.

Attachment:
20190531_120105.jpg


Didn't take a photo of clearing the inside of the heel and sanding to the right angle. At this point I was ready to apply some glue and clamp it up.

Attachment:
20190601_120753-min.jpg


Attachment:
20190601_120755.jpg


I used a lot of thinned-out Titebond as a way of "caulking" the heel.

Attachment:
20190601_122132.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:04 am 
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Currently thinking about how to find a better way to clamp this. I'll probably just find a C-clamp and alter it next time.

Attachment:
20190601_122138.jpg


Just a shot of show terribly the old saddles were sanded down. Geez.

Attachment:
20190602_160759.jpg


Super glue is the best finish tool I've found, so I used it to fill in any gaps up the fretboard and also refinish the heel area that I had to sand down to match the fretboard.

Attachment:
20190602_164043.jpg


New saddle height. This landed around .080/.080 at the 12th fret.

Attachment:
20190602_164130-min.jpg


And my finished photos. I sanded down the super glue with self-adhering 600 grit sandpaper on a steel ruler, followed by wet 1000 grit, steel wool, and mineral oil to match the surrounding satin finish.

Attachment:
20190604_090633.jpg


It's still a bit light here, but about as good as I can get it.

Attachment:
20190604_090637.jpg


Attachment:
20190604_090645.jpg


Attachment:
20190604_090650-min-min.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:10 am 
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Honestly, the worst part of the whole job is the little chipped out areas where I dug into the neck with my pallette knife upon removing the fretboard. You can easily see a few areas that got filled in with CA glue. At least it's nice and smooth. Admittedly I rushed that part of the job a bit - next time I'll go slower and let it go hotter. That Epoxy is a real pain to release. Hopefully after a couple more beat-up guitars I've have a method down well enough to confidently do some nice Takamines.

Attachment:
20190604_090654-min-min.jpg


Attachment:
20190604_090715-min.jpg


Attachment:
20190604_090732.jpg


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20190604_090739.jpg


And some beauty shots... next to the chain link fence and drainage ditch.

Attachment:
20190604_090845 (Medium)-min.jpg


Attachment:
20190604_090857 (Medium)-min.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:20 am 
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One thing I forgot to mention was the FB extension. There was a decently steep drop there, but I didn't think it was bad enough to warrant making a shim for it. Maybe in the future, but that's another level of difficulty I'd like to avoid for now.

All in all, I'm satisfied with the job. Especially considering it's quite playable now, and the work wasn't bad enough cosmetically that it stands out against the rest of the guitar. Fortunately (or not) I still have 3 or 5 guitars that are in similar shape with poor neck angles that I can get better on.

Here's what I intend to do differently in the future:
Go slower with more heat on the fretboard so it comes off more cleanly, or try to remove the neck without pulling the whole fretboard too.
Drill the body holes first and mark matching locations on the neck joint instead of the other way around.
Drill all the holes in a drill press so they're nice and straight.
Countersink the screw heads (hopefully) so I can neatly cover them up with a dot.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:41 am 
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In the future, for bolt on necks, I would use much less glue. The heel surface needs no glue at all; the bolts will do their job. The fretboard extension only needs a bit of glue to hold it together. Less glue will make it easier to remove down the line. The beauty of a bolt on is that it is super easy to reset. Keep the CA out of the joint too. You want to be able to loosen the bolts and heat the fretboard extension to get the neck off easily. Sometimes you don't even need to unglue the extension and you can reset just by loosening the bolts and flossing the heel.

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These users thanked the author Bryan Bear for the post: Chowlie (Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:45 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:46 am 
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Bryan Bear wrote:
In the future, for bolt on necks, I would use much less glue. The heel surface needs no glue at all; the bolts will do their job. The fretboard extension only needs a bit of glue to hold it together. Less glue will make it easier to remove down the line. The beauty of a bolt on is that it is super easy to reset. Keep the CA out of the joint too. You want to be able to loosen the bolts and heat the fretboard extension to get the neck off easily. Sometimes you don't even need to unglue the extension and you can reset just by loosening the bolts and flossing the heel.


You're right, I will consider that in the future. The main reason I used any glue in the neck joint was simply to make a clean seam all the way around. But I can still do that without filling the entire joint.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:49 am 
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Just focus on flossing the heel to the body and get a crisp line (and the correct angle). IMHO that looks better than having that seem closed.

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