Hey all.

-Have you tried the stewmac heatstick for removing necks?

-If so, how was it? Did it work and heat/loosen the neck in a reasonable time? Any wood burn? Etc

-Where the larger holes you have to drill a problem at all?


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Once Yamaha went to the slathered-on finish in the early 80s, the necks were a LOT harder to remove. 

Do you have any idea on the best method to remove one?

I built my own with a couple of pieces of brass rod. One short piece I milled with my drill press to fit in the end of my soldering iron,  which I drilled to accept a brass rod the same size as the Stew Mac heatstick. I crimped it in place (brass is soft ) plugged it in,..and it worked fine.  Brass is a good conductor of heat !  Cost me $10.00 and my time.  It's a great tool, but expensive if you buy it ready made from Stew Mac!

I have one, but the only time I've used it was on a guitar that would have been challenging anyway.  I really can't compare, but I didn't get any results at all until I started injecting a fair amount of water into the hole to generate steam.  In the end it did not seem like there was that much less likelihood of steam damage.  

I’ve reset about 10 or 12 necks with the newheat stick. For me it’s slower than steaming but it works great. I’ve retired my beloved espresso/coffee machine. It takes the worry out of steam blistering the finish and moisture trapped under the finish as well. Necks come off almost dry, this speeds up turn around time for me. 

 i've only used it on about 10 guitars, but i have to say i probably wont go back to the espresso machine. like anything else practice makes perfect and with each one that i have used the heat stick, i am getting faster and more efficient. my main argument for it is time saved.  All the resets i've done through out the years using steam i've spent a considerable amount time doing finish work on a fair amount in the end. AND.. if using nitro, add even more time to the repair. TIME=MONEY.

I still haven't tried the stick because I don't have a project right now, and I'm a bit intimidated.

Do you guys know if the Weller tip that stewmac sells will fit on the Weller WLC100? It's 40w. I'm not sure that's going to generate enough heat, either.

Do you guys feel that repairing the holes is less work than the finish repairs you had to do with the steam method?  I've never had significant finish damage using the steam needle, just a little blushing that went away with a quick wipe with some bekhol.

Repairing the holes drilled is a 10 minute job at worst when one is working with rosewood or ebony. Maple not so ,much, especially if you have to do a small amount of fnish work,  but the finish work you have to do is two 1/8" holes as compared to a whole section on the treble and or bass side.

How do you fill the holes?

Do you make small dowels and par them flush with a chisel?

yep! Just fabricate small dowel like plugs out of the same wood that your fingerboard is made out of. Glue them in with the grain oriented the same way as the fingerboard.Cut them flush. Reslot the plugs with a .022” slot. Continue repair 

I make side-grain plugs, rather than end grain dowels. More work but a better match. It requires supergluing tiny cubes of the needed wood to a long dowel. Let the glue cure overnight, then round the cube to fit the hole in the fingerboard, and then superglue with accelerator. Leave the plugs proud, and trim flush with a chiseI. I got this method from the Stew-Mac DVD on neck resets.


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