A customer brought in an older (maybe a 50's?) Framus nylon string acoustic for some work. The guitar has fan bracing and seems to be decently built, overall. The coolest thing found, thus far, is an elaborate joint that attaches the headstock to the neck. Mighty fancy work. Anyway....
The bridge is pulling up and It's badly in need of a neck reset. So, I'm wondering if anyone knows what sort of a neck joint lays waiting for me in there?! Sure, a standard dovetail would be nice, but I haven't a clue as to what Framus used back in the day.
Also can't find any model or serial numbers, so if someone could ID the guitar or has some previous knowledge about it, that'd sure be real useful:) Three pics here and two more to follow....
Mike, I can't tell you how sympathetic I am to your current situation, been there too many times. I'd go to removing the fretboard so you can see what the f#$% is going on. Just removed a Super 400 neck that had been replaced years ago and the b!%^%*# didn't leave any space between the end of the tenon and the block. Fished around for an hour trying to find a cavity for steam until out came the hammer and chisel. Neck was gone in no time, but I had the luxury of destruction of the neck since it's being replaced anyway.
I hate to be the one to bring this up, but....could it be a Spanish heel?
I awoke in a cold sweat a couple of nights ago with that same thought.... but it's got a very standard-looking neck block inside, so I don't -think- that's the case.
It looks like the fretboard may have to come-off. In any event, it'll be fascinating to see what the heck's going on in there. In the meantime, all the requisite steam-damage has occurred, so it's at the point of no return, I'm afraid. Still open for 'alternate tunings', however :)
So here's what I found after taking the fingerboard off... it's a standard dovetail arrangement, but in this particular case, there's no pocket to hit with the steam. The dovetail occupies virtually 100% of the neck block cutout. Mystery solved, but now I need to create some room in there to get the steam in... we live & learn.
Funny but that looks like the Super 400 pocket I was talking about in my earlier post. You just never know until that board comes off.
must give credit where it's due.... Jeffrey Suits and I exchanged a few messages and he reminded me that, in Don Teeter's book (Vol. 1, pgs 81-84) Don addressed this very problem specifically.
Teeter has us injecting the joint with water, inserting the knife and heating the handle-end with a propane torch 'til the glue joint softens. Brilliant.
So now it's either (a). talk the missus out of an older table knife or (b). hit the Goodwill store... and something tells me it'll be (b).
Thanks to Jeffrey for reminding me that there's nothing new under the sun and that old advice is generally pretty darned good advice.
Both of Don Teeter's books have so much valuable nuts and bolts info! Love that little guitar Mike.
Addendum: I was soooo excited about the "knife trick" but it didn't work for me. Maybe another guitar on another day, but it didn't do the magic this time.
Thanks to a very understanding (and non-rushed) customer, I was able to take a break to do some other jobs. When they were out the door, it was just me and that %#@ Framus in a stare-down:)
Bottom line: the neck's off! I drilled two thin long angled holes, one on either side of the dovetail, straddling the intersecting faces of the neck block and the dovetail cheeks. The steam needle was inserted deep in both holes for alternating 2-min intervals. Finally.....pop!
What I found was a huge glob of hide glue, maybe the size of a thimble, had pooled at the bottom of the 'V' and just sat there, daring anyone or anything to disrupt it. German-engineering, for sure.... "if a little glue is good, then a lot more must be better".
In retrospect, the only way to get to that hunk of glue was drilling "mine-shafts" directly to it. Had I known what was there (and where) it might've been easier to come-up through the heel, but hindsight's 20/20.
So there we are.... the neck's off and it's "now, where was I?"
I've had to do the very same thing on '70s Gibson and Guild guitars where there was no air gap between the dovetail and neck block. If I don't hit the pocket after a couple attempts through the 15th fret slot, I'll excavate a section of the fret board from the 14th - 16th and have a look. Sometimes the whole extension gets removed.
Whatever it takes Mike don't let 'em win, don't let 'em win!