I just started on a neck reset on a Ventura Bruno D-35 Brazilian Rosewood made is Japan. Since these are Martin copies, I'm guessing the neck joint is a dovetail but I just can't seem to convince it to come on with the steam and jig method. Has anyone every worked on this model or know more about the neck joint? Tried Google, no luck. Figured I'd put it out there before I remove the whole fingerboard. Please let me know!
My impression is that those guitars could have epoxy-glued dovetail, a butt joint with dowels, or a regular workable dovetail. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing, so my general approach is to avoid working on them. Most of the time when I tell folks the oost of resetting plus refretting, that alone is enough to keep the job away. . .
I'm afraid it's to late to turn the work away. After a bit more investigating I stumbled upon the bolt on conversion for a Spanish style joint. It looks pretty tricky. If I were to go with this option, do you have any other advice not mentioned in the post?
Steve, I feel for you, but you need to remember "Martin copy" means made to look like a Martin guitar, not necessarily built the same way. This instrument was designed to sell, and have a service life of ten years, maybe. It has well exceeded that, so they did a good job, from that point of view. I would be shocked if this is a dovetail joint. Any heroic effort you put into resetting the neck is going to exceed the value of the instrument. My advice is to get out as soon as you can, explain the reality of the situation to the customer in the most positive way you can, and move on. Good luck.
In a situation like this, taking away the fretboard is an option. It will take some time to loosen it and regluing it, but you will know much more about how the neck joint is made. The joint is in the open and can be attacked with the right tool.
I did a few repairs on a disaster of a Ventura I found a couple of years ago just for the practice. I don't know the model number because the label was faded away.
But it was a dovetail.
I could feel the neck move slightly and the finish was cracked between the heel and the body. After I loosened the fingerboard extension with heat, and gave a bump with the palm of my hand the neck separated. The glue was light brownish and brittle. there was a lot in the pocket. I believe I removed the majority with a sharp chisel.
Hope this helps a little.
There you go! A standard dove tail. What a relief :-)
Wow, the finish is as thick as the side!
Found the model number.
Ventura's Gibson Dove wannabe.
Gave it to a kid in the neighborhood who still plays it.