Doesn't always happen, but I've got an unusually solid dovetail fit happening on a D18 neck reset. 

I'm getting ready to do the glue-in in the next day or so. The clamped f'board sits proud of the body by about 1/32" or less at the joint.

Here's my question: would I be better-off to  (a). continue to sand the shims to get it down flat ...but run the risk of somewhat loosening my nice solid fit?

or... (b). hope that the application of the HHG would help to "grease the skids" of the joint, allowing the f'board to settle-down flush in the process?

In other words, is there a factor that can be counted-on to let the wet HHG act as a lubricant vs. a dry fit?   Safety tells me to get the f'board flat now, but if anyone here has noticed a "slide effect" with it, it'd be great to consider that before starting to heat the glue pot up!  Thanks.

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The HHG will not necessarily lube the joint and allow it to be pulled the last bit in the image, I wouldn't count on that. The water in the glue starts to swell wood pretty much right away and the HHG  will also want to tack very quickly. If you can clamp it dry and pull the neck in all the way, then you should be OK. Otherwise, it's best to get the sandpaper back out.

Thanks for verifying that, Paul... always better safe than sorry!  Good point about the swelling effect.  It's probably something I knew in my "heart of hearts" but, hey, hope springs eternal. 

Alrighty then, it's back to grits-ville!

This brings to mind a Jimmy D'Aquisto story he told at a Guild of American Luthiers event. He was fitting a neck to a guitar body, and (apparently not using jigs for cutting the joint) had made the heel too tight a fit in the heel block.

It was good when dry, but when he glued it up and began to press the neck into the heel block, the neck went in about half way ... and stopped.

He had to saw the neck off the body. So, keep that in mind.

Ha!  That's a good story and a lesson worth remembering.  To follow-up from my original post, I went back and "relaxed" the fit of the dovetail shims enough for the fingerboard to now be laying flat against the body. 

Everything seems happier (including me!) it's on to the glue pot.  Thanks for the encouraging words.

You always need a good dry fit, don’t figure glue will make it pull in all the way because generally it won’t.

i found when fitting a neck, when getting close to a good snug fit, that you will notice shiny spots where the shims are being rubbed, I will sand or scrape these areas then keep trying the fit, clamping each time. Keep checking where the shims are being rubbed and sanding or scraping those areas as needed until the neck pulls complete in and the fretboard extension makes firm contact with the top.


Got it... thanks!


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