Has there been a documented discussion anywhere online on the process of converting a dovetail neck joint to a bolt on? I am a beginner at repairs, but jumping in head first and willing to make mistakes. I would however like to make things as easy a possible. I am on the brink of attempting my first neck reset, and wondering if this is the way to go. Seems like converting to a bolt-on might eliminate some room for error and make the process a little easier. Its an old Guild D-40 with LOTS of cosmetic damage, so I'm not worried about how the finish around the joint looks, just how it plays and sounds. Also not worried about protecting any vintage value. This guitar was on its way to a trash can when I saved it.

I would greatly appreciate any detail on how to go about this process, potential pitfalls, etc.


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If the dovetail joint is fine, I'd leave it like it is. Yes, it could be converted to a mortise & tenon style joint, with a bolt, but it would be more effort than leaving it the way it is.

Plus if you are trying to learn about neck resets, might as well start now on the standard dovetail neck joint.

This is mentioned at a swedish board, from a member with an undisclosed identity.
The idea is to drill a hole from the heel bottom and then push in a mounting from
IKEA furniture to tighen the joint from inside.
I thought the same thing, Danove.
This approach from our mutual friend makes the joint not much differrent from those on the Levin/Goya flattops from the 60:s. They have neither dovetail nor mortise/tenon


A Goya 12 string is on my bench--do you know what size driver is required for the neck bolts/nuts? I figure it's metric, from the casting I made w/friendly plastic, it looks like it may be 5.5mm. This'll be fun to find...

Thanks, in advance.

The bolts have squareshaped holes where the side is 5 mm. What I use is a magnetic tip screwdriver with a philips tip size 2 (it works also with pozidrive 2).

Usually they come off quite easy.

Good luck!

Thanks! I'd never have thought of a philips bit.

This guitar looks suspiciously like someone slipped the back, somewhere along the line.
What is it, a TS-4 or a TS-5...?

Until about a year ago I had one of each, but sold the orange coloured TS-4 to a friend. It is still in the neigbourhood, so I am allowed to touch it every once in a while.

These guitars have the heaviest ladderbracing ever seen...

I agree with Jim that you might like to keep the dovetail joint and try the neck reset procedure outlined by Frank Ford and Bryan Kimsey. I did a bolt-on conversion as my first neck reset on an Aria 12 string but it wasnt a dovetail. It was joined to the guitar with 4 wood dowels, apparently a common occurence with cheap asian guitars. I drilled 2 holes in the neck heel and glued in 2 hanger bolts. Then I converted my Yamaha guitar from a dovetail to a bolted-on neck when it was in need of a neck reset and it was just as difficult as keeping the dovetail. Look at Frank's procedure at "An impossible neck reset..spanish heel" if you decide to go the bolt-on route.
The only advantages I see to the bolted-on neck is that you can get the exact neck angle you want by removing a little neck heel material at a time and then bolting on the neck to check where you are. But I found that by following the procedures outlined by FF and BK, you shouldnt have to resort to a bolt-on neck.

If you are as tentative as I was in trying this, I suggest you get a beater guitar at a tag sale for $1 and practice you skills on that first before tackling the Guild.
good luck.
I've done quite a few Yamahas this way, and find it much easier than preserving the dovetail.
The hardest part of a Yamaha reset, is getting the damn neck out.
Here's a link to that bolt-on conversion piece:


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