I want to obtain a neck heat press device like the one in the pictures in the link. Does anyone know where to buy one? Or, does anyone know where to find plans to build one?
Heat Press Pics:
i've been using a steel rectangular tube with a heat gun as heat source and some U clamps. And, I'm thinking of buying a fretboard heating blanket and doing it that way. But, it would be nice to have one of those old units.
LMII used to carry them a long while back... I bought one and it's caused me nothing but trouble! Oh sure, the unit itself does what it's supposed-to (which is to simply get hot & heat a neck) but the results haven't been worth the price of a bag of M&M's.
Here's what it's taught me: (a). If you're trying to heat a neck to straighten it, the neck will invariably return to it's previous condition within 2 weeks of being restrung. (b). while making the futile attempt to straighten the neck, the melting of plastic inlays and binding are truly a sight to behold.
On the plus side, it's pretty good for removing fingerboards.... that's about it. My better half's clothes iron works equally as well. I can see why LMII dropped 'em like a hot rock. I keep it around mostly to remind myself that there are no magic tools.
Thanks Mike.....I might just give up on this one. Everyone says the same thing......they just don't work, long-term.
I'm here to agree with Mike on the subject of heating necks to straighten them - my old books on heating necks to bend them to a better configuration all deal with classical necks which are thick-ish brutes with low string tension and I guess it works for them.
However, and I acknowledge there is a thread running at the moment which will disagree with my observations, the practice of heating electric and acoustic guitar necks and placing the fingerboard/neck glue joint (which by the very process under discussion is using inherit creep under tension and temperature for most yellow production glues. HHG is a different subject) in tension to counteract a movement in the neck wood is contradictory to everything I know about applied woodworking and glue technology.
Wood takes a set for a number of reasons but the principle one we know best is that steam/ and pressure will bend wood and keep it bent, which is not what is happening in this procedure. Wood will cycle with the seasons and generally goes where it want to go, simply placing a yellow glue tension strap (fingerboard) on one side is unlikely to stand the test of time unless the condition is minor. Certainly, heating a yellow glue until it breaks bond and creeps significantly is detrimental to the glue joint integrity when it cools anyway.
If one was to pre-tension the neck and epoxy the board in place I would agree with the procedure. Same goes for removing the board, planing the neck flat and reglueing the board.