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I do a lot of repairs on, shall we say, lower-priced instruments for a couple of music stores. One of the more frequent issues (on acoustics and electrics as well) is a stubborn neck bow -or maybe a warp- that the truss rod just can't quite correct.

So I finally bit the bullet and got one of LMI's $300 Lupus neck heaters (overpriced for what it is, but that's show-biz)... and now I'm trolling here for any tips, tricks or cautions that you may have to offer before actually setting it into motion.

All thoughts greatly appreciated.....

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You want my opinion?
Send it back before it's too late.
It may sort of work, but for just a short time.
A store I used to work for had one that I would borrow from time to time, I quit borrowing after a few tries.
If you want to help a weak rod, a block of wood clamped on the neck so it holds it into a backbow while you turn the adjusting nut is about as good as it's going to get for a bad neck.
Point taken. Granted, the blocks of wood and clamps are the first lines of defense, but some bad-boys need an extra nudge.

One of my "extra nudges" (after the blocks & clamps) has been using oversized fret tangs to put further back-pressure on the neck, but I'm always looking for something different, as not every customer wants to pay for a refret just to gain improved action.

Anyway, David, the opinion is appreciated but I shall continue forth on my demented path. Sometimes a little heat is just what the good doctor ordered and I might find a few other uses for it down the road.

If nothing else, it'll make a hell of an egg warmer.
You have the best advice yet! I had a repair shop give me one years ago and have tried to many times to no good. You can turn up the temperature of that thing and leave it clamped on for ages and I have just burned the fingerboard and at one time melted the plastic fret markers. Send it back now!!

Robro ROn
My approach is to be sure the customer understands there is no guarantee whatsoever that the procedure will do any good, or if it does, for how long, and that they have to pay me anyway. Generally, though, on a low-end instrument that bowed in a short time it's a waste of time. On an old, stiff neck that has bowed because the joint with the fingerboard has slipped, you can actually do some good.
I use heat lamps and a stiff 2x2, by the way.
Well, I wasn't gonna say anything, and all the advice has been heartfelt... but I'm keeping my neck heater! I've used it 4 times since early September, and it's just what the doctor ordered in certain situations.

Granted, you need to be careful with the bindings and inlays, etc. but it's good (with small blocks & clamps) for localized trouble spots on stubborn necks and for helping a truss rod get to where it needs to be.

In fact, the 2nd job it was used on was the easy complete removal of a trashed fingerboard... and it makes that particular job a piece of cake. OK, it's not a panacea, and it's certainly not the first tool I grab... but it's got it's place.
I have actually done bolt on necks in my oven...I have a thick aluminum bar that I use to clamp it into a backbow, and pop it in a 180 degree setting for about 2 hours....Then I take it out and wrap the whole thing in a couple towels to slowly let it cool..Agreed, there is no guarentee, but I have had alot of success so far...Especially if you are just trying to get just a bit more to make it so the truss rod can take care of the rest...I also did an accoustic neck that I clamped into shape, wrapped the neck in a black plastic garbage bag and set it outside in the sun on a 90 degree day..I covered the body with white sheet to deflect heat from the body..It worked!!! GO SOLAR POWER REPAIRS!!!

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