I have an FG-180 red label made in Japan.  The neck needs reset on it.  I have done some research and have read that there is a possibility that they used epoxy in the neck joint.  My repair skills are not up to working on the joint if this is the case (experienced woodworker but first work on a guitar other than refinishing one).  I don't want to ask a dumb question here, but, can I fabricate a new fretboard that would make the action more manageable rather than resetting the neck?  The guitar is not in good shape (scratches and scrapes, cracked bridge and bridge plate, a lot of use, etc..).  I am going to repair the bridge issues and clean it up the best I can.  It belonged to my dad and has some sentimental value but I do not intend on making it a collectors piece, just playable again.  Any thoughts on this I would appreciate.  Thank you.

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Thanks for the tips, I know Axminster, I bought some great plug cutters from Veritas from them, and I order my drills from them when I need Imperial sizes. It's ironic, because I couldn't find a supplier of Imperial brad-point drills (to match the plug-cutters, also Imperial),here in Germany, I ordered some from Axminster. And then they came, and what did I see on the plastic sleeves they came in? "Made in Germany" ! Go figure...
The saw from Axminster that you linked to is out of stock at the moment, so I've ordered an early Christmas present for myself from Dick (that'll be my explanation anyway to my dear lady wife should she get wind of it :-) ), see the pic underneath. 0.4mm cut!
Can't wait to try it out

I had convinced myself that I would not remove the neck on this one...let me reconsider. I will let you know what I decide. Thank you for the input. BTW - I do like the sound of this guitar. The action is the only reason that I quit playing it. Would be a shame not to do the right thing here.
Those old Yamahas(red label 180s) are wonderful sounding instruments. It makes me wonder about the necessity of solid wood vs. laminates. How did Yamaha get it so right? The bracing is very light, non-scalloped...
I followed Jeffrey's advice on the saw-off, on a green label 210. Worked great(considering it was my first try: The neck would not come off with steam).
Makes no sense to cut off the neck, or I have never experienced any dovetail neck joint locking up where it would be hard to remove.
I've reset some of these and they are same as any other dovetail neck joint. That is the way I would go, plus you keep it original.

I have to agree with Jim on this one, these guitars can be reset just like any dovetail neck and that's the way I've always done it. As an earlier post mentioned, the fingerboard extension is a bit difficult to remove but the dovetails come off fairly easy.
Is it possible that old Yamaha guitars have different kinds of glue from instrument to instrument? Some people have indicated no problem steaming them off, while others say you can't do it. Bryan Galloup told me that epoxy simply can't be steamed and that almost all cheap Asian imports use epoxy. Bryan has been doing neck resets for a long time and he knows what he is talking about, so I trust his experience. And yet others have a different experience...
Like I said: Some of them have extremely tight dovetails. You get steam in there, and they swell shut.

Last year, I did 2 FG180s, one popped out w/ very little hassle--though certainly not as easily as a hideglued
joint--and the other would not budge.
Guess I'm just lucky, I've done lots of neck resets and never had one swell tight.
Are you using a jig, like the Stew Mac neck removal jig? Necks come off fast with standard wood glues, and using a jig to push them out, and really don't have time to swell. The only problems I've had is with epoxy glued joints.

Yep, got a jig--you're lucky!
I had a Red Label FG-180 once. My 1st guitar. Sold it on a whim & wish i had it back...sigh!

Not that his pertains to the removal of a 180's neck, but I did a cut-off on a Spanish Heel junker acoustic once, following Franks guidelines on his site. Since it was purely 'experimental' & a learning thing, I had no great expectations for the instrument, only to get it in playable condition as a give-away guitar for a young kid.

Using a Japanese back-cut saw, the neck came off w/o issue, other than a little scuffing on the body from the saw. Getting the neck-angle where I wanted it, I used bolts to secure it back on. Cosmetically, it came out fine. After re-string & setup, what I did notice was, it lost some of the bass response & that it didn't have the quite punch as it did...previous to me slicing off the neck!
I steamed the neck off a red label Yamaha a couple months ago and it was fine...I have photos if you send email..I tried to download on here but could not do it...
Thanks Steve:


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