Hoping to get a little advice on this one. I'm at the point of resetting the neck on this old parlor guitar and am a little stumped by how far off the neck alignment is. This is one of those 1920's or 30's cheaply made lyon and healy student models that originally had a floating bridge and tailpiece that I decided to convert to a pin bridge.

The neck has been steamed off and is just sitting in the pocket right now while I make the necessary adjustments to get the correct neck angle and straightness. I've dealt with this before where I've had to make a couple of extra pulls of the sandpaper on one side or the other to correct some misalignment, but never dealt with a guitar that is this far off.

If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

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I have a link here that may or may not help (since the neck is already off and thus, you can't string it):

Otherwise, I guess you can clamp the neck into place and use a straightedge across the frets to see where it lands on the bridge, and I would subtract 1/16" (maybe 3/32") to mimic string tension... then do the equation.  Basically, if you can figure out where the saddle height would ideally be, then subtract that from what it is now (from soundboard to top of saddle), and then divide that by 3 ... this how much materialy you need to remove from the heel.  I know this way oversimplifies it, but maybe it will help you some.  Good luck.

Thanks for the response Jason. Right now I'm more concerned with getting the neck lined up properly before delving into the neck angle. I'm concerned that if I sand the heck out of the bass side of the (cheek)? of the dovetail it will wind up throwing everything else way out of whack. 

Out of curiosity, was the original tailpiece mounted on center or offset toward the bass side a bit?

I'm not sure about that one. I started the project a year ago or so and it was a total wreck when I got it. Couple of big splits on the back, loose and missing braces, and extremely high action.  

Is there a way you could post some pictures so that we can see exactly what state your guitar is in?  I am not sure, if the neck is already "free", and you can't put strings on, how you can line up the neck... maybe if we could see what you're dealing with we could give more specific or helpful responses.  

John, if your bridge is glued on and centered, you have no alternative but to work to that. Determine if the whole neck is offset to the bass side or centered at the heel contact but angled. Either way you'll wind up with some hefty shims in the neck joint, but in the end that won't matter.

Just wanted to post a follow up because I always appreciate a thread that has a good before and after. I took Greg's advice and used a sizable shim on the treble side. Worked great, thanks Greg.

This guitar really exceeded my expectations when strung up. I can't believe what a difference the pin bridge made vs the original floating bridge. Transformed the guitar into a really nice full sounding parlor with a nice even volume from string to string. I'm not sure if I'll be able to let this one go....

Thanks again Greg and FF and this whole invaluable forum!


Nice. Love the patina.


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