Hi All,

 I've had a few neck re-sets through the workshop recently (lucky me). I always take a photo of the join once it's apart in case I do one the same again. It's handy to know what angle/depth to drill the streaming holes.

Does anyone else do this?

Is it possible to have a gallery page on this forum to show them all? - might be a useful resource for us.

Just a thought


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A paper shim in the joint isn't unusual, but movement of the dovetail is - maybe it wasn't fitted as tightly as it could have been.  That insert in the end of the dovetail is used to screw on a handle and/or for fixturing in the finishing process.

What looks like an injury from a runaway router bit is actually a divot taken when the bit is withdrawn - it's now a "feature" on newer dovetail joints. . .

Arch-top of unknown origin and date (possible pre 1952 based on the "D.R. GM" mark on the tuning mechanisms)
I found out the dovetail had been cut off and then screwed back -previous repair that now failed- but no way the neckblock would let go of the neck...


This is a "C. Bruno" labeled guitar (anybody's guess as to who made it.)  It is a small parlor guitar in a coffin case.  When I got it the back was held on, literally, with duct tape, and the neck was off. 

The neck joint is a simple mortise and tenon.  The tenon is simply an extension of the cheeks of the heel.  I forgot the ruler, but the mortise is only 3/16 of an inch deep.  If you drilled under the 12th fret, you would be drilling 3/16 back from the glue joint.  The white stuff is some kind of unknown (to me) glue, and it has been spread liberally inside the guitar


This has proven to be a very valuable thread. Excellent resource to help guard against future surprises! 

Here's a late 60's Hofner 457 or 4570. Check out the neck hinge. The glue had completely failed yet the neck remained on the guitar with the strings under tension. I didn't notice the neck joint failure until after removing the strings!


Maybe I'm showing my ignorance but that doesn't look like it had much glue to begin with. The "hing" you pointed out looks like a hook/lock mechanism to me and the pocked and neck both look like only the very edges were ever glued, if that. This may not be a failure of the joint so much as it's another way to attach the neck.

Why did you take it apart? Does it need a reset or were you just changing the strings? 

The guy brought it in with several problems. He bought it cheap but It had an aftermarket bridge that was the wrong spacing and radius. The headstock fascia plate was melted and shattered, and he wanted a new bound pickguard cut to original specs to replace the cheezy aftermarket one that came with it. All this and a setup.

No, it doesn't look like it had much glue but it had some. I call it a hinge for lack of a better word but, you're right, it's like a hook/lock.  The neck pivots on the mechanism but does not lock it in place...hence the need for glue.

It's an interesting design and I've wondered what the designer had in mind. Was it supposed to prevent neck resets or make them easier? Obviously, if the hinge held the neck couldn't pivot forward.

The only other Hofner I've worked on was a '63 violin Bass and it didn't have this mechanism.

Robbie, I was thinking that the latch side of it, the part in the neck, seems to be worn away or broken. Maybe that's why it doesn't work. I thought there must be some glue around the edges but it doesn't look like the pocket or tongue had any glue. 

It's interesting anyway you look at it. It seems that a lot of people have tried to find ways to make neck attachment and adjustment easier. I love this kind of stuff!

The neck and pocket go together like a hook-and-eye screen porch latch. There doesn't seem to be a locking mechanism. I would guess that the perfect way to lock the joint would be with a screw through the end of the neck the place where a truss rod nut might be accessed. However, this being an archtop there's no way to do that.

Yeah, it's cool in jerry-rigged kind of way. Somebody's always looking to build a better mousetrap.

Does the strap pin in the neck block adjust the assembly?  It seems to be the only other knob like thingy in the vicinity.  

"Somebody's always looking to build a better mousetrap."  I don't think that contraption was one of the better mousetraps (:

Happy fixin'


"Hofner also developed an intriguingly crappy bolt-on neck joint, which made some of their archtops resemble Fender’s LTD and Montego guitars in the neck/body joint, although the Hofner system used a single screw with a hook and eye arrangement."  -

I found this down towards the bottom of the page where the author is discussing the changes in the '60,s. I think it may be safe to assume that the screw is probably the strap button. 

Good catch, guys. The strap button is held in place by a 3mm hex set screw that tightens the hook.  

Here are some interesting comments on Steve Russell's Vintage Hofners website:

"The 489 was fitted throughout its production life with Hofner's own adjustable neck rake mechanism in the none-glued body/neck joint.

"499: Neck bolted to body by means of "Stauffer-Legnani " system, which as well as holding the two together, also offers a degree of neck rake adjustment."


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