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I looked , and didn't see anything about this that I could find other than the stewmac tool that costs around 80 bucks...I purchased a pair of hot wire foam cutters for around 30 bucks...Had a Yamaha 12 string sitting around that needed it's neck removed...I hadn't gotten to it in years because of the hassle and possible danger with the old steamer set up....I inserted the 2 wands into the holes I had previously drilled for my steamer...The wand is slightly larger than my steamer needle..Just a tad bigger than a Martin / Fender fret...Set up in my neck removal jig and working cautiously , I was wondering if I got screwed , as the wands didn't seem to get very hot...But they sliced through styrofoam like butter , so I re- inserted them..Next , I dribbled a bit of water into the holes...O.K...Got bubbles and steam , so I knew they were getting warm...after about 10 minutes , I started to wiggle the neck , and was surprised to get movement...Within 15 minutes , that neck slid right out of the dovetail pretty as you please with only a few turns of the jig screw......On a YAMAHA !..So , I gave it a try on a 70's J-50..After 10 minutes , I noticed a small puff of smoke...I took the wands out , gave the screw a couple turns , and boom...Popped right out !...So far , the only drawback I can possibly see is that one MIGHT get a little scorching around the holes , but that didn't seem to happen , although you see plenty IN the dovetail where the wand is doing the work...On the Yamaha , the first one I tried it on , you could feel the heat building up when you'd feel the back of the neck/body joint...I've known about these heat wands for years , but never thought of using them for this purpose...I don't think there's any need to hit the " pocket " of the dovetail as you need to for steam to work...My next experiment will be trying to remove an Ovation neck on a junker laying around the shop...If this works for that , I will be gobsmacked , flabberghasted and amazed...And BTW...Not my idea...I saw in on the interwebs...

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Be careful trying to pull one out if it seems stuck...I wrecked one already by trying to use brute force...I got 5 necks off before that happened though...

interesting, keep us posted!

I set up a neck removal jig like this today.  I did three new things.

1. I tried the hot stick method. I used two sticks by "Hot Wire Foam Factory" model K11B. These were suggested by Ted Woodford on Youtube. Purchased on eBay $30 Each. Made in USA. The stick is .050" at he fat crimped end. Sweet!

2. I made my bench into a neck removal jig with small sliding bar clamps. I cut the ends off so I could remove the handles and clamp through holes in my bench top to hold the guitar down.  A 3/8" bolt to drive the heel upward was installed. This was a huge help as I don't like that fussy Stewmac style mechanism. I have been mostly steaming and wiggling side to side. Big improvement. 

3. This idea came from the sky: I used my Dremel with a little ball cutter bit to start the holes for the needle/stick. No chip out. Duh!

I may be re-inventing the wheel, but it was a good day - Tom 


How did it go? The Dremel trick will be used, I hate those chips!

Everything went well. Very clean removal. Took about fifteen minutes. Way less stress without steam flowing. I waited on investing in this until I had some peer field reports as shared here, and elsewhere. Most kind and helpful. We have a very busy shop. Always searching to refine our methods and tools. This is a welcomed upgrade. 

The clamps through the bench are useful for other jobs. I have a neck jig attachment as well. The clamps are covered in shrink tube as safety padding.    

I switched to those style heat sticks....1/16th hole !

That's a very clever idea you got there, using the bench to hold the clamps. And as a bonus you have both hand free. I love it. Congrats.

Ok so i finally used my pair of foam cutters on a '99 martin D-16, and yeah, effortless! this is a martin variation with a mortise instead of a dovetail, along with a bolt pulling the heel in

drilled two 3/32" holes with a 6" aircraft bit, heaters in and adjusted to just below the red zone on the little knobs on the power supplies, clamped up in the neck removal contraption with a little pressure on it and ten minutes later a little bit of gentle wiggling and tightening and the neck pushed right out

at that heat setting there was a little scorching of the wood down inside the pocket where nobody will ever see, but otherwise clean and safe

The best result comes when you can drill the hole into the neck block/neck heel instead of the void behind the dove tail. That way, the heat will distribute more effective. When finding the void behind the dove tail, the old steam method is working better.

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