Official Luthiers Forum!

Owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Wed Sep 28, 2022 11:29 am


All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:59 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
I'm doing a dovetail neck reset for the first time, on a 1970s Vega Dread (a guitar I picked up to learn this on). I pulled the 15th fret and drilled down through, but I can't find the gap in the dovetail joint to inject steam into. I've drilled 4 holes at various angles, but no luck. Has this ever happened to any of you? Any suggestions for how to proceed?

This guitar was made during a period when Martin owned Vega. The guitar seems to be made just like a Martin D in every respect. I am assuming, on that basis, that it has a typical dovetail joint. I did not expect to have this problem.

Thanks!

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:52 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:19 pm
Posts: 23
First name: John
Last Name: Thompson
City: Loyalhanna
State: PA
Zip/Postal Code: 15661
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Take a look here:

http://fretsnet.ning.com/forum/topics/v ... neck-joint


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:15 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
Thanks, John. I wouldn't think a 1970s dreadnought guitar made in a factory overseen by Martin would have a joint like that much older Vega, but I suppose it's possible. Unless anybody has any wisdom on how to steam this joint apart given my lack of success in finding the gap in the joint, it seems I might have no choice but to cut off the fretboard extension to find out what's under there. I suppose I could just try injecting steam into the 4 holes I've made and see if that gets me anywhere... seems unlikely that would work, though, since all four holes appear to have gone into solid wood. Maybe the gap is just extremely small??

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:19 am 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 2739
Location: Magnolia DE
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
City: Magnolia
State: Delaware
Zip/Postal Code: 19962
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
I believe you are going to find the neck is set with dowels. Easiest thing to do in that case is convert to a bolt on.

_________________
Brian

You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

https://www.howardguitarsdelaware.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:09 am 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:19 pm
Posts: 23
First name: John
Last Name: Thompson
City: Loyalhanna
State: PA
Zip/Postal Code: 15661
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
I didn't notice the 1970's. I just remembered seeing that link a while back.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:23 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
B. Howard wrote:
I believe you are going to find the neck is set with dowels. Easiest thing to do in that case is convert to a bolt on.


Thanks, Brian. Interesting. I'm asking around some more to see if I can confirm the kind of neck joint this has. I'll report back if I learn anything new.

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:49 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:42 pm
Posts: 32
First name: Ryan
Last Name: Mazzocco
City: Joplin
State: MO
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I did the same thing on a mid 70s model Alvarez one time. I learned a valuable lesson that I think you are about to learn.
I, like you, drilled through the 15th slot and found nothing. I drilled a few more holes at different angles to see if I could find it anywhere. I figured it had to be in there, I just couldn't feel it, so I started steaming. The neck joint never budged, but the headblock started to come loose, the binding/perfling started to come loose, but the neck joint was still hard as a rock. I sawed off the fretboard extension to find a VERY shallow dovetail joint. It only came into the body about 5/16" or so. so I was just drilling into solid wood, the steam was soaking the wood and going everywhere. Since I could see the joint now, I drilled directly into the joint and pumped more steam in (after I let it dry out for a few days.) Still nothing. I eventually concluded that it must have been set with some sort of quick set epoxy and was never going to come off with steam, so I sawed it off and it's still waiting to become a bolt on when I get around to it. (but it has fallen way down on my list of things to do.) I learned though that you never know what you're going to find in there.

_________________
PMoMC


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:54 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
Thanks for sharing your experience, Ryan!

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:04 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:42 pm
Posts: 32
First name: Ryan
Last Name: Mazzocco
City: Joplin
State: MO
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Todd Rose wrote:
Thanks for sharing your experience, Ryan!

No problem. After re-reading it.. I'm not sure what I was trying to accomplish... You're obviously much more experienced. I think my point was that it was an unusual joint that I had never seen before, but somewhere I got carried away with the story.

_________________
PMoMC


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:55 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
I do appreciate your post, Ryan. My experience with setting necks is mostly limited to my own guitars, on which I've done various configurations of bolt-on, and Taylors with the bolt-on-with-shims design. I know how to set a dovetail neck; my second guitar was built using Serge de Jonge's method of making a conventional dovetail joint, but securing the dovetail with a bolt rather than glue (which works really well, by the way). This is my first effort at steaming apart a neck joint. I need to get good at it so I can confidently do a neck reset on a customer's Martin.

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:52 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:41 pm
Posts: 312
B. Howard wrote:
I believe you are going to find the neck is set with dowels. Easiest thing to do in that case is convert to a bolt on.


^^^^^^^^^^^Yup.

_________________
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreylsuits/he ... -runnin-13


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:55 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:41 pm
Posts: 312
I've done these with a heatgun, strings tuned waaaaaaaaaaaaaay high, racking the neck back & forth; once the joint starts to let go, I go in with a flushcut pullsaw.

Of course, the fretboard tongue has to be freed prior to this, and AMG can make this an aggravating experience...

_________________
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreylsuits/he ... -runnin-13


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:11 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
Thanks, Jeffrey! You're the first person I've heard from who has personally dealt with one of these Vega necks. So, an odd dowel joint it is. Dang.

I would think it would be difficult to get enough heat into the joint applying a heat gun externally, without making an overheated mess of the lacquer. I'm impressed that you accomplished that. And I'm daunted to try it. But I guess I will, for lack of any better ideas.

Actually, here's an idea: heat a metal block and apply it to the face of the neck block (through the soundhole). Maybe that would get heat into the joint as effectively as your heat gun method. It does introduce the risk of making the neck block come unglued from the sides, but, in that respect, it doesn't sound any more risky than heating the heel area with a heat gun from the outside. Although, if I mask the sides on each side of the heel with cardboard before applying heat to the heel with a heat gun... Just thinking out loud, here.

I've already got the FB extension unglued.

Sorry -- what's AMG?

Thanks again.

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:57 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:42 pm
Posts: 32
First name: Ryan
Last Name: Mazzocco
City: Joplin
State: MO
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
are your nerves made of steel? If so then maybe this trick will work. Last time I removed a dowelled butt joint with AMG I used one of those handheld oscillating saws. You will lose the kerf of the blade, but it didn't affect my intonation enough that I could detect. You would have the same thing, maybe even more kerf loss, with a Japanese pull saw.
I converted it to a bolt on and after a little finish touch up the customer was extremely happy. I'm glad he was because I thought it could have been better. :oops:

_________________
PMoMC


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Sorry -- what's AMG?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:01 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:41 pm
Posts: 312
That would be, "Asian Mystery Glue"! :D

"I would think it would be difficult to get enough heat into the joint applying a heat gun externally, without making an overheated mess of the lacquer. I'm impressed that you accomplished that. And I'm daunted to try it. But I guess I will, for lack of any better ideas. "

You'll be surprised at how easily that joint lets go!

_________________
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreylsuits/he ... -runnin-13


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:02 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:41 pm
Posts: 312
Ryan Mazzocco wrote:
are your nerves made of steel? If so then maybe this trick will work. Last time I removed a dowelled butt joint with AMG I used one of those handheld oscillating saws. You will lose the kerf of the blade, but it didn't affect my intonation enough that I could detect. You would have the same thing, maybe even more kerf loss, with a Japanese pull saw.
I converted it to a bolt on and after a little finish touch up the customer was extremely happy. I'm glad he was because I thought it could have been better. :oops:


Or, this! Many is the Yamaha I have converted thusly!

_________________
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreylsuits/he ... -runnin-13


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:06 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:42 pm
Posts: 32
First name: Ryan
Last Name: Mazzocco
City: Joplin
State: MO
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Okay Jeffery, You have my attention. Just how high is "waaaaaaaaaaaaaay high?"
Would a common hairdryer put out enough heat to do this job? That's what I use to remove bridges, fretboards, pickguards, pretty much everything.
and since most of these asian beauties have the neck fused to the body with a rock hard finish, do you cut the finish before you start heating, or do you just put the gun on it and let it go to work?

_________________
PMoMC


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:22 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:41 pm
Posts: 312
Ryan Mazzocco wrote:
Okay Jeffery, You have my attention. Just how high is "waaaaaaaaaaaaaay high?"
Would a common hairdryer put out enough heat to do this job? That's what I use to remove bridges, fretboards, pickguards, pretty much everything.
and since most of these asian beauties have the neck fused to the body with a rock hard finish, do you cut the finish before you start heating, or do you just put the gun on it and let it go to work?


I've never checked the tuning at that point, I'm just deliberately overdoing it. I imagine a hairdryer will work, they're just lower-heatguns. Again, it's surprising how little it takes to get these joints to fail.

The finish: that slathered-on 80s finish, means you have to cut all the way through it; if you try to get away with just scoring it, you end up with continent-sized chunks cracking off.

_________________
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreylsuits/he ... -runnin-13


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:55 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
Got it apart. Did it with the strings off, just heating the heck out of the heel with the gun and muscling the joint apart with my hands. No damage to the lacquer. I see now that the FB extension didn't separate as cleanly as I would have liked, but it will be all right.

Happy to have gotten this far with it. Now, I might be setting it aside for a while to work on other stuff, but I'll post more when I've made more progress.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:33 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 2739
Location: Magnolia DE
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
City: Magnolia
State: Delaware
Zip/Postal Code: 19962
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Ahh...so it appears they finished the body prior to assembly on these. Will make a note of that. Thanks for posting.

_________________
Brian

You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

https://www.howardguitarsdelaware.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:56 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 6709
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
No advice from me but I enjoy these threads. Looks like a standard furniture dowel joint.

That looks like a fairly high-powered heat gun. How do you keep from messing up the lacquer?

_________________
Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:55 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:52 am
Posts: 4498
First name: Big
Last Name: Jim
State: Deep in the heart of Bluegrass
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
SteveSmith wrote:
No advice from me but I enjoy these threads. Looks like a standard furniture dowel joint.

That looks like a fairly high-powered heat gun. How do you keep from messing up the lacquer?


Me too , Im glad we started this subforum [:Y:]

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:45 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 2683
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States
SteveSmith wrote:
No advice from me but I enjoy these threads. Looks like a standard furniture dowel joint.

That looks like a fairly high-powered heat gun. How do you keep from messing up the lacquer?


I was surprised at how much heat I was able to apply to the heel with the heat gun without having any effect on the lacquer. The gun is variable, and I had it set at about 1/3. Still, that's pretty hot, and I had it cooking on that heel for a pretty long time -- not constantly on one spot, of course, and I closely monitored the lacquer as I worked -- taking breaks every now and then to rack the neck. Putting my hand in through the sound hole, I could feel a lot of heat coming through the wood in there.

The glue was not very soft when the neck finally came off.

_________________
Todd Rose
Ithaca, NY

https://www.dreamingrosesecobnb.com/todds-art-music

https://www.facebook.com/ToddRoseGuitars/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:42 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:41 pm
Posts: 312
WudWerkr wrote:
SteveSmith wrote:
No advice from me but I enjoy these threads. Looks like a standard furniture dowel joint.

That looks like a fairly high-powered heat gun. How do you keep from messing up the lacquer?


Me too , Im glad we started this subforum [:Y:]


Yeah, and w/o any fanfare...

_________________
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreylsuits/he ... -runnin-13


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:43 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:41 pm
Posts: 312
Glad this has worked for you, so far!

_________________
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreylsuits/he ... -runnin-13


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
phpBB customization services by 2by2host.com