greetings, I have acquired a very rare Weymann & Son (Philadelphia) double-neck harp guitar. It needs a neck(s) reset. All Weymann guitars I've worked on have a regular mortise and tenon type neck joint .. very difficult to steam, although I have had success with the heat stick on a M&T neck in the past.
Now I have two necks to pull and I need to figure out a plan/procedure to avoid cracking the delicate neck heel(s). Note that the necks are joined at the heads (see pic, not my guitar but similar, mine is a slimmer 4-string harp drone neck and a regular 6-string neck), so both, likely, need to be pulled together.
Anyone done this before? Any suggestions for a plan of action?
Thanks .. Tom
BTW photo courtesy of Greg Miner's website on harp guitars .. I forgot to take a pic of mine before I passed it over to a local luthier to assess the necessary work.
Wow! I'll watching this one. I've always hankered for a double neck and will certainly end up acquiring one by getting it in terrible shape and restoring it! Good Luck.
Hi Onewent, my first thought was to do the job as I would normally do it, loosening the fret board over the body, drilling holes and applying steam or heat stick. I often use a neck clamping jig, like the one in Stewmacs catalogue, that adds a pulling action up on the heal cap. I heat and increase the pressure on the clamp and as the glue softens the neck slowly releases......on a good day.
The difference here is that I would have to modify that jig to pull up on two neck heals at the same time, using the same procedure.
Thanks, Taffy, yes, you outline how I basically see it going down .. but it gives me chills ;-)
I have used the heat stick with success on m&t type neck joints, and it takes a long time, and a little water, but feels pretty safe.
Maybe set up two heat sticks at the same time, one for each neck? .. because the way I see it, the necks must come out together, and you can't soften one, and then go after the other .. the first one would cool too much. And I should be able to modify the single neck neck press into a double, and thanks for that idea btw.
I was hoping someone on here attempted and succeeded at this, and would pass on some secret formula, or at least a success story!
I'm just shooting from the hip, here, but I agree with using two heat sticks simultaneously. While they may be slower, I suspect you'll have more control and frankly, I'd be concerned about the issues of working multiple steamers at the same time.
Hi, yes I thought about heating issues on two necks. I'm thinking will two heating systems release different glue joints at the same time? Good luck. Deffinatly one for the neck reset thread.
Another far more drastic way, I say this without seeing the instrument, is it possible to separate the peghead, giving seperate necks to work on.Just a thought.
Taffy, yes, I think it's possible to separate the two heads, but probably in the end it easier to keep them as one and just deal with two-at-a-time neck removal .. I thought of that earlier, and may look at it again to re-assess that idea, since there is a Brazilian overlay covering both and would hide any seam from the front, at least.
A major consideration should be the probability of the necks needing completely different angles of compensation at the neck blocks.
Seperating the necks prior to disassembly and during adjustments will be much, much easier and worlds more accurate than
working with a single component.
Any realignment issues can be easily accomplished when reconnecting the headstocks.
It’s your call.
let us know the outcome and best of luck.
It's possible that the necks are butt-glued and mortised into the neck block without separate dovetails. That's the way violin necks are mounted, and I've seen it from time to time on guitars of this period.
More likely, I suppose, is that they are regular tapered dovetails. In either case, I'd steam the necks out one at a time, even when they are connected at the peghead, expecting that there would be enough flexibility to allow one to be released, but not fully extracted before attacking the other.
Remember that when you're steaming out a regular tapered dovetail, it becomes completely loose after raising only a fraction of an inch. So, it seems reasonable to me that they could be removable together.
Frank, thanks, your overview makes sense for a traditional dovetail .. but .. the Weymann factory used straight mortise and tenon joints into the block, three facets glued, each side of tenon, and the surface of the tenon, so steaming is tough because there is no 'pocket'. I've gone to a heat stick with these joints with some success, and that's why I'm leaning toward simultaneous heat sticks to ease them out at the same time.
Hi again, I used to do my neck joints as you describe here on my first guitars, back in the 1970s, years later I had to remove a neck, and could not get it to budge, no way. This not a suggestion, but I had to saw the neck off, and that started me on a path of bolt-on necks.
I modified my stewmac neck popper jig by removing the aluminum bar with the thumb wheel and replacing it with square steel tube. I drilled two holes for the carriage bolts to go through and added wing nuts to the bolts for tightening. The square tube makes contact with the heel cap and force is applied by tightening the wingnuts. Depending on the angle, this would push on two heels at the same time with a little shimming (im guessing).