I looked , and didn't see anything about this that I could find other than the stewmac tool that costs around 80 bucks...I purchased a pair of hot wire foam cutters for around 30 bucks...Had a Yamaha 12 string sitting around that needed it's neck removed...I hadn't gotten to it in years because of the hassle and possible danger with the old steamer set up....I inserted the 2 wands into the holes I had previously drilled for my steamer...The wand is slightly larger than my steamer needle..Just a tad bigger than a Martin / Fender fret...Set up in my neck removal jig and working cautiously , I was wondering if I got screwed , as the wands didn't seem to get very hot...But they sliced through styrofoam like butter , so I re- inserted them..Next , I dribbled a bit of water into the holes...O.K...Got bubbles and steam , so I knew they were getting warm...after about 10 minutes , I started to wiggle the neck , and was surprised to get movement...Within 15 minutes , that neck slid right out of the dovetail pretty as you please with only a few turns of the jig screw......On a YAMAHA !..So , I gave it a try on a 70's J-50..After 10 minutes , I noticed a small puff of smoke...I took the wands out , gave the screw a couple turns , and boom...Popped right out !...So far , the only drawback I can possibly see is that one MIGHT get a little scorching around the holes , but that didn't seem to happen , although you see plenty IN the dovetail where the wand is doing the work...On the Yamaha , the first one I tried it on , you could feel the heat building up when you'd feel the back of the neck/body joint...I've known about these heat wands for years , but never thought of using them for this purpose...I don't think there's any need to hit the " pocket " of the dovetail as you need to for steam to work...My next experiment will be trying to remove an Ovation neck on a junker laying around the shop...If this works for that , I will be gobsmacked , flabberghasted and amazed...And BTW...Not my idea...I saw in on the interwebs...

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Hi, this is very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Good luck with the Ovation project. I remember over thirty years ago or so I had to pull an Ovation neck and asked Ovation at that time what glue they used. As they did not wish to share that info I had samples of the glue professionally analyzed and the report [I still have it] came back: made for use in caulking type applicator, suggest not suitable for guitar building. 

I do not know if that is still the case.

Cheers Taff

I consider it the ultimate test...As it turns out , It's an Ovation COPY , making it even more interesting...Matrix , I think...

What do these foam cutters look like?
I assume you use the straight fitting end?


Did you use the 18 or 24 watt version?

There was no wattage choices from the ones I got...


i saw this very thing from videos by one ted woodford, who does wonderful, soothingly narrated hand-crafty sorts of guitar repairs on youtube

i immediately went out and bought a couple, they were not even $20 each. i haven't used them yet (still learning neck resets and haven't done many) but i have high hopes because they really tick all the boxes, including being adjustable, generating heat along the whole length of the wire and being thin enough that the holes needed are hidden under the fret

here's the video where he first talks about them

Hi, just ordered mine online, and have a possible neck reset waiting. Happy days, hopefully.

Cheers Taff


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