I have a Kay flat top that looks like one of 'em from the early 60s. It needs a neck reset bad. It has a very small neck (1 1/2") width at the nut and I thought it would be a good guitar for a kid or a small adult. My question is, what kind of glue did Kay use during this time period? I don't know how to post pix here so let me describe the guitar - it is one of those old Kays you see in the pawn shop with a fake-looking sunburst finish and is probably made of plywood. I'm thinking maybe I'll do a California reset on it and stick a strap button where the deck screw goes into the neck block. Should I do a regular steam-off -the neck thing or do the Erlewine thing and saw between the neck and body with a back saw with the set taken out of the teeth? The guitar is worth virtually nothing, except for maybe a lap steel (the action really is that bad at the 12th fret) or just keep it for a wall hanger in the shop? Ideas? Thanks.....

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Thre is another method developed by Peter Ahlin, Sweden.
It is layed out in a thread by Magnus, at

Properly masked, the area suffers less damage than whith steam.

Really tough joints may require both methods.

When nothing else helps, its time for the oscillating saw.
I have a soft spot in my heart for those old kays, silvertones, etc... I've done a number of neck resets on these types of guitars as a way to learn on something where mistakes are OK. I've only tried the steam off method,and all the ones I've encountered were assembled with hide glue. And most of 'em I've seen are actually solid hard wood (usually flatsawn) but then painted with those sunbursts and goofy faux flame (even painted pick guards).

A "California reset"? Is that what they call bolting the heel down from the outside?! ugh..

I think there's more interest in those guitars among younger folks and hipsters, who like the look and sound, and I think if it was well set up, it would be worth more than nothing. There's a guitar shop in Seattle that sells guitars like this as-is as "slide specials" for $100-200, and they sell, I assume because of the "cool retro style". I don't think there's anything wrong with designating it as a wall-hanger. On the other hand, there may be someone who'd love to be playing it.
Hey Rev George- yep my verry first guitar was a kay that wasnt verry big in the body-- you could almost stick the thing in your back pocket--
I paid a whole $15.00 for it and that was 3 weels salery then-- I emptied trash and swep the floor for it. ( 1960)
it was put together with hyde glue so it should be taken off with steam -- just my thoughts
Do a good job and have fun with it-- best to you
Thanks for the advice, ya'll. I was worried that the little guitar was put together with some sort of glue that didn't respond to steaming. I've never tried a reset before so I figure this guitar would be a good candidate for my first try. Wish me luck.

Rev George
That should be an EZ-Pop. Steam it, it'll take a couple of minutes.


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