I set out to do a normal neck reset on a 1940's L-00 acoustic. Ued a heater blanket to soften the neck extension and used a spatula to release the glue. Took off the 15th fret, drilled a hole for my steamer needle, put on the neck removal jig, heated up the cappacino maker to the steam stage, inserted the needled and had a million rags ready to sop up the moisture. No problems so far! Well, this is where it all went south.
The neck joint wouldn't budge,even after about 10 minutes of steam! I was frantically sopping up moisture from the steam around the fretboard extension, but as you can see, it dulled the finish, yellowed the black color between the fretboard and the soundhole, and turned the finish white in some spots on both sides of the soundhole on the upper bout...what the heck is that?! The steam also shot out of the truss rod channel on the headstock and before I realized it, it had bubbled some of the finish a little and dulled it. And to add to the frustration, the finish was softened the heel cap and came off with the caul I had between the fixture and the heel.
And the neck joint still didn't come loose! Is there something unusual about this neck joint on this model? Any suggestions on how to get the neck off and repair the finish damage, aside from a refinish? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
You can glue it on before or after, doesn't matter a whole lot, but you want the neck in perfect alignment with the bridge and the fretboard extension helps with that alignment. You can also use a straightedge placed along the edge of the fretboard, without the extension, to get it aligned. If I was doing it I'd glue the extension on before installing the neck, you have plenty of gluing surface being it was severed at the 13th fret. You also don't want to alter the extension at the 13th fret slot, if there is some slight misalignment.
Another problem you could encounter is forcing the neck too far into the dovetail joint without the extension there to stop it.
You definitely eliminate some potential problem by gluing it on before installation.
Martin's glue with Titebond will take more steam to release the neck than those glue with hide glue. If it's never had a neck reset before, it should come off without problems. If it's been reset before maybe epoxy was use. If it was, then I'd remove the fretboard extension to access the joint to work a super heated spatula into the joint.
Hang tight Gary,
What is the model and year of this CF Martin guitar?