We've done one recent Mossman neck reset and it turned out great. But they changed designs a few times and we now have two earlier model Mossmans [Mossmen?] here for the same work which have a very unusual head block and brace design above the soundhole. If you're familiar with Mossman, you'll know what I'm referring to.If you aren't familiar, I've added a photo looking through the sound hole at an inspection mirror.

Or this may help. When we were getting ready to do the first job, we found this very impressive discussion of the same repair by George at Phoenix Guitar Company which illustrates that unusual design. There are two 'fingers' protruding from the headblock. Then there are two braces which get very thin at the center and pass through those fingers. He felt that the bracing was inadequate in the area above the sound hole, so he added a bigger brace - which you'll see from his photos is easier said than done on these guitars.

I'm considering taking the same approach, but the tops of both guitars show none of the usual signs of being badly or under- braced and really appear to be in good shape. On the other hand, the neck was WAY under set - not just a little. So my question is this: would you add that additional brace too or leave it alone and just reset the neck. I don't want it to come back in a year needing another reset, but also don't want to make any major changes to a 35 year old guitar if I can help it.

Tags: Acoustic, Mossman, Neck, Reset

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Over the years we have done neck resets on perhaps a dozen Mossmans. Much as I liked and respected Stu, his design for the area under the fingerboard extension is faatally flawed, in my (not so) humble opinion. The most common issue we see is the top cracking on either side of the fingerboard and sliding into the soundhole (Stu called this "the agony of de feet"). I feel that if you are going to do a reset you much find a way to reinforce this area of the top - some bracing that goes side to side and has some strength. Of course the reason Stu did this design was to allow for access to the truss rod and this will be a problem but nonetheless some reinforcing is necessary.
Thank you Charlie. I've been to your shop before with a friend who lives in your neighborhood and brings work to you. We know we can trust your opinions and will definitely go ahead with the additional brace. It appears that the threading of these particular truss rods will allow a 10/32 Fender Bullet truss nut so a small access hole in the new brace should allow us to make adjustments.

Thanks again
Steve and Dan at Chicago Fret Works


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