OK fellow members. I've met my match. I have a mid 70's Guild F-30 that needs a neck re-set. I've done a lot of neck re-sets over the years and this is the first time that I cannot find a clear space.I'm going  through the 15th fret, as usual. I've probed, drilled at two angles and haven't broken into a clear space. I tried injecting steam, thinking that its just a tight joint but no dice. Nothing to indicate that any steam is getting into a joint. I need some advise here. So please help me out.

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The last time that happened here (I think it was an old red label Yamaha steel string) the only thing left was to remove the fingerboard and visually check it.

It turned-out to be just a real tight neck joint with no space to work-with. At that point, I used a thin hot knife to "follow-down" the joint line almost to the heel, then used that thin opening as the steaming point. That allowed more steam to escape than I wanted to see, but it eventually got it loose.

Before putting it back together, I remembered to chisel-out a gap into the neck block for the next bloke!

Thanks Mike. I hate sawing through the board extension, but what you say makes sense. I'll wait to see if anyone else has solved this issue another way, but I might resort to that.

(Rick, sorry for being unclear)... I also hate sawing-through the extensions, so I actually removed the entire board but marked it with pins into the neck before taking it off.

It went back on cleanly ...fortunately there was no neck binding to contend-with. 

if you have any access to an x-ray machine, you can x-ray it.  man i wish i had one exactly for the problem you are facing. if you can't find it, you will have to slip the fingerboard back like mike said.  gibsons that were built with the top over the dovetail present a similar problem.

Rick, if you have a flex shaft dremel type drill tool, go in through the sound hole.  It may be easier to 'feel' the pocket that way.  It's worked for me on several occasions (I usually do this when I reset mots fb guitars) but I've never worked on a Guild.  Tom

That's a great idea, and I indeed have a flex shaft. That may be the answer. I can easily pug a small hole, or just leave it for some future repairman.

Thanks Alex and Mike for your ideas as well. I'm reluctant to remove the f.b. because the neck and finish are pretty clean. I'm grateful for all of your input.


one thing i don't think i mentioned was you only have to pull the fingerboard loose a few frets back from the body joint to expose what you can't see.  You don't have to take the whole board off completely.  That's if you do it that method.

If I were in your shoes, I would drill a large hole (½" +/-) through the fretboard on the drill press with a forsner bit which would reveal the gap at the end of the tenon.  Do the neck reset as usual but make and install a plug and re-cut the missing section of fret slot prior to regluing the neck.  That's not a particularly collectible guitar so I would have no reservations using this approach in this situation.

Making the plug is straight forward and could be made from scrap rosewood from a bridge blank or similar.  See photos 7-10 of my plug making routine here:

This is also a good method for dealing with the hidden neck joints used in the Larrivee influenced "Canadian school" of guitar building.

Thank Nathan, I like this idea best. It will certainly afford a view of what's going on in the joint and you're correct that this isn't a collectible. I'm actually planning on using it, so no problem. I've done a lot of plugs on string bass and cellos with broken necks so it's something I'm familiar with. Many, many thanks everyone for your advise and ideas. I love this forum.


I've tackled these by drilling two .093" holes through the dovetail block, right in the center, one above the other, and steamed the joint apart in the usual fashion. The second hole is for steam regulation.

Good luck!


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