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!!

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A follow up question. I had to remove the fret extension at the 13th fret in all this. Is it better to reattach the extension on the neck before the reset, or after the neck is glued back into the joint? Or is it sixes?
I'd glue the extension on afterwards. If you glue it onto the neck beforehand and have even the SLIGHTEST misalignment, it will show up in glaring fashion at the soundhole.

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.



I am in the middle of the same type of problem as you. I have a Martin in my shop that the neck will not move. I steamed it for a long time and got the neck to wiggle but it simply would not come out. I stopped after a while because I really do not want to damage the finish. I spoke with the customer and informed him of what was going on and he insisted that I try again and told me that he wouldn't hold me responsible for cosmetic damage. I will get the neck out of this guitar sooner or later...

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?




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