I have several projects that will require setting/cutting a neck angle...traditional flattop dovetails and also National resonator. I have good basic skills . I have succesfully removed the necks and understand the procedures, however don't understand what the best method is to cut down the heel surface. I thought I saw a photo on a members website that seems to depict some sort of jig that holds the neck in place with the underside of the heel clamped between a flat planing surface that would guide the cut. Is that the way to go?

I cannot envision doing this freehand... Would appreciate any guidance. Thanks.

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I've used chisel, sandpaper and sanding sticks (pioneered by Brian Gallop iirc). Chisels first, and only if a lot of material must come off, otherwise, sanding sticks to move fast, then the sandpaper strips (backed with clear tape for strength) to make the final fit.

Another tip to add to the above, mask off your body with low tack tape, or the pulling of the sandpaper will leave little scratches. I also use lacquer solvent along the edge of the heel and touch up markers (for furniture) to tone down any white wood exposed by the reset. Helps with a nice, clean looking heel/body joint.

BTW, don't forget to frequently check your E/e string alignment as you remove material.


I highly recommend the Dan Erlewine/ Stewmac video on neck resets. I found it extremely helpful, and it explains well most of the steps required. Be aware, the the calculation( described in the video), of how much to remove from the heel, should be made with the strings on, under tension, before the neck is removed. Otherwise, it's a guessing game.


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