I just finished a neck reset on a Martin MC68 Cutaway. I fought with this guitar for much longer than I expected and still have some touch up work to do and realize now that I probably should have made a shim for the fingerboard because there is considerable fall away from the 14 fret.  This guitar has 22 frets so fall away looks worse than usual. The guitar plays great up until the 14 fret and then it becomes a bit tough to play.  I have reset necks before that required the same amount of neck angle change and never felt the need to shim them. I have already lost my shirt on this job and I really would like to avoid doing anymore major work. What would you guys do in this situation? Any help is appreciated.

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Did you overset the neck?  If the set is right, then you need to shim, unless the top is collapsing into the sound hole.  In that case some internal repair would be needed.


If it has too much fall away, you should do whatever it takes to make it right.  Your investment in time so far has nothing to do with your obligation to your client.  You held yourself out as being able to do the job right; you gave a price; you have an obligation.  Stop looking at the clock; some jobs just go that way.  Your charge should include that possibility.  Look at the long run of neck resets and charge for the long run.

Thanks for the reply. The neck is set perfectly the straight edge falls right to the top of the bridge.  The top isn't falling into the sound hole. The guitar seems to have had some weird geometry going on from the beginning as the customer has told me that guitar has had unplayably high action since he bought it. I guess it was an oversight not thinking about the extra two frets on the extension.
Maby add incrementally taller frets from 15 on down level crown and polish add more relief ? it might make it look like an expansion bridge but it'll Play if you can still achieve this ...
I appreciate the thought but I don't really think that I'd be willing to go that route.  The guitar plays great up until the 15th fret and gets higher towards the last 2-3 frets. This particular guitar was a nightmare to work on the neck was glued so excessively that removing it was a real chore. The guitar plays infinitely better than it ever has. I will talk with the customer and see where he wants to go.  My other problem is that the shim would be incredibly thick and wouldn't look too pleasing.

If the neck reset is perfect, I wouldn't be that concerned with shimming the extension unless the customer plays up there or doesn't like the fall off.

If a shim needs to be added, I don't totally eliminate the fall off as a thick shim doesn't look that good. If the guitar has fretboard binding it is hard to not make it show. 

If a shim is required it is best to install on the extension when the neck is off. Of the resets I have done I'd say only 10% or less actually needed shimming.




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