I wanted to share my experience of what I see as a quite easy (and so far successeful) method of opening glue joints. It has been tested in a community of enthusiasts in Sweden, working mostly with old wrecked up Levins (what else in Sweden?).

I guess the idea came up partly due to lack of more fancy equipment, like steamers.

The idea is to use hot air and expose the joint externally. I have personally used the method for dovetail neckjoints, fretboard overhangs, bridges, and bridge patches (yes, by heating from outside, after removing the bridge).

Some care must be taken to have a far enough distance, so the surface isn´t damaged, and You need to protect the surrounding surfaces from the heat.

Some pictures to illustrate, while removing the neck from a 1964 Goya F-27, which is a Goliath (Dread) with 12-fretted neck, slotted head and fanbraced top. A rather loud machine.

Heating and loosening of the fretboard overhang.

The neck joint is next.

It works quite well, I have used it several times and had no failures. One of the guys on our swedish forum had a bad experience where a pickguard caught fire, but it is a matter of not getting the heat to close. You should be able to stick Your finger in there.

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I'm keen to try this method for removing the tenon-jointed neck of my Epiphone 147.  My worry is 'how hot is too hot'?  (I've already toasted the fake-MOP dot markers getting the FBE loose). 

The finish is polyurethane.I have an infra-red thermometer to measure surface temperature, but does anyone know what temperature PU can withstand?



For bridges and fretboards removal I use an infrared bulb like this one: 

Eugen, can you tell a little more about this approach?  ..thanks, Tom

So infrared will blister finish?  tw

HEAT will blister finishes. Infrared bulbs are made specifically to produce heat. A lot of heat.

I'm not that familiar..what are some advantages/differences to a luthier between using the typical 'heat lamp' and an infrared lamp (practical applications, besides where they fall on the spectrum etc)  ..thanks, Tom

 I guess I don't understand your question, Tom.

 Infrared lamps are heat lamps. I know of other lamps that produce heat, such as halogens but heat production is not the purpose of those lamps.  I understand that infrared lamps come in different wavelengths and configurations but I haven't investigated beyond that. I suppose it should be possible to research them easy enough on the Internet if you want to know. 

Original post: "I guess the idea came up partly due to lack of more fancy equipment, like steamers."

I would consider a recalculate on this method for some of the work posted. Steamers are almost mid-evil in concept, cost, and operation. The glue needs heat more than the wood.


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