Order of Operations for a 94 Taylor LKSM neck reset

 I have a Taylor LKSM. It cam in "dry". It has been rehumidified so the top is where it should be but, the neck is tilted so that the action at the 12 fret is .020 on the high e. Newer taylors I'd just adjust w factory shims but this is a '94 and the tongue of the fingerboard is glued to the top with the 2 bolts. My question is how do i adj the neck angle as the neck heel and body joint are 100% exposed. I cant add a shim at the base of the neck heel because it will be seen. Am i supposed to remove material from the top of the inside of the neck heel causing the neck to angle forward raising the string action. who all has done this?  i know I'll have to remove the tongue from the top with heat and the what? Thanks in adv for any replies!!

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Frank’s got you covered with a pictorial tute on this at  It is an early Taylor like the one you are working on.

Thanks Mark! I wasn’t aware of that  tute, but I need to do the opposite. Instead of lowering the action by reducing material at the bottom , I need to remove material from the top of the heel or ?????  to raise the string action. I imagine the tongue has to come off the top as it will be shifted towards the sound hole. This one is an odd one. I’ve been doing Taylor warranty repair for the last 30 years and have never seen this. 

Yes, after i wrote that reply I realized that you were dealing with an overset neck, not the usual reset problem - but I got timed out before I could edit my message.

I am curious why this situation has arisen.  Is the neck angle definitely rotated backwards, so a straightedge now shoots well over the top of the bridge.  And, just checking, that is not because the bridge and saddle are lower than normal (shaved down for some reason)?  If you run that straightedge along the plane of the frets how high is it above the soundboard?  Sorry, you obviously have a lot of experience with repairs and I am not questioning your chops - just trying to get a picture of this problem.  

Do you think someone has done a normal neck reset in the past, but overdone it?  Is the most likely scenario.  Or has there has been some heat stress or other insult that has moved the neck block - but in the opposite direction to how it usually goes under string tension?  If so, what other damage to bracing and such might also exist?

It is a simple butt joint.  If you are going to fix it by adjusting the neck angle your options are: 1. to add material to the bottom of the heel (likely to be visible), 2. take material off the top of the heel (invisible, but might muck up intonation by shortening the neck), or 3. Leave the heel as it is and take some material off the body of the guitar where the heel butts on (same risk for intonation).  

 I am curious as to why this is happened as well. I have kept it in a humidor now for about six weeks. The top  is now where it should be with the humidity being 47% or so  in the humidor .I am in Phoenix Arizona so humidity is kind of a touchy subject out here and I have to keep my eye on it everywhere.  This is kind of a weird one as with no tension on the neck truss rod the neck has a natural over bow which would make me think it was overhumidified but I know it is not. When I put strings on it and turn it to factory C sharp and the neck is adjusted with to .005 at the seventh fret my straight edge is about 1/8 of an inch to 3/16" above the face of the bridge . The bridge has not been carved down or shaved  and  Graphtec saddle has not been sanded down. It is still almost brand new in height. I kind of am with you,I think that someone may have done an over reset if there is such a thing. I’ve also checked all the braces, the neck block, and nothing has shifted or moved. I just don’t know

Interesting.  It is certainly possible to overdo a neck reset and end up in this situation.  How do I know that you might wonder........?  Well, yes, I did it on one of my own builds and ended up puting a thin shim back on the end of the heel to correct it.

Another thing that comes to mind is that these LKSM guitars are supposed to be strung with very heavy strings, and tuned down to C# as you mentioned.  Has this one been strung with lights so that the string tension is significantly less than it was actually built for?  It makes quite a difference.  I recently rebuilt a guitar to be a multi-scale and to have heavy strings.  It originally had custom lights on it.  After the rebuild I had to adjust the neck angle to get it set up right with the new strings.  Maybe you are just dealing with the opposite effect?

Hi, another idea, if all else fails, is to rework the heal by adding a shim to the lower part of the heal, then applying a sunburst effect to the heal to cover the shim and glue seam.


thanks for the reply! The customer wants to keep it as close to stock as possible. This is definitely one for the books especially for me. AND remember, the are that needs to be shaved away contains a insert to take the bolt.

Yes there is an insert for the bolt, but one of the pictures from Frank’s tutorial makes an important point. 

The face of the heel that contacts the guitar body is concave, so that only the outer rim actually makes contact.  This means that you only need to remove material ( or in your case maybe restore material) from that very thin strip around the perimeter.  The area where the threaded inserts for the bolt sit are depressed, and out of play.  


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