Just randomly saw a Japanese woodworking video about a joinery technique that involves peening  down the cheeks of a joint and wetting after assembly to swell the joint to close all gaps. 

It occurred to me that this could be a great way to make a strong dovetail joint in a traditional neck reset. The idea I had was to work the tenon of the dovetail back in the usual way, but when the fingerboard extension is maybe 1/8” from the top, maybe try peening the high spots instead of scraping them? Then when the joint is glued and clamped, it should swell to a perfect match without blowing the geometry of the heel? 

I think im gonna try this on the next neck reset I do, but I’m wondering if anyone has been down that road already?

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Sounds interesting..

But will it make future removal too much more difficult?

I’m glad you thought of that, I hadn’t considered it. For removing a neck I use a clamping method sorta similar to the neck removal jig that LMI and Stewmac sell, but mine is integrated into a big clamping table that does a bunch of stuff. Downward pressure on the guitar Top alongside the fingerboard extension with a 1-2-3 block under the heel and a combination of steam at first and then one of Ian’s cartridge heaters once it starts to wiggle.

   I think it might take longer to soften and wiggle but I think it would end up coming apart? I should do it on something of my own since the experiment should be given a year or two to firm up. 

Thanks for considering it, Mr Ford.

Thinking about this Japanese process. It seems that we might be doing this to a small degree as we refit the joint by crushing the fibers making those shiny spots as we drive the tenon home - remove, shim and chisel, etc. 

I completely agree, I just wonder if it’s stronger when that peening is specifically directed at the high spots.

I'm all for the pursuit of developing the best techniques in our field, but I question the necessity of "improving" a perfectly adequate, strong and predictable neck joint that has a long track record of success (assuming it's done correctly). I understand the desire to make a good joint even tighter, but applying this method to guitar neck joints may be overkill, with the likely possible attendant removal issues waiting to spring themselves on unsuspecting repair persons. I, however, encourage you to proceed and report back!!


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