Guitar Repair and Restoration
Neck Repairs Continued
Martin D-18 Neck Reset
Here I have removed the fret just
above the joint and am drilling
access holes to inject steam into
the dovetail joint to loosen the
neck from the body. The hole
locations will vary depending on
which type of truss rod or neck
reinforcement was employed
during the era of the instrument.
This particular vintage used a
square hollow bar.
This is where I generate the steam. I
use a pressure cooker on a lab style
hot-plate. As the steam exits the top
of the pressure cooker it runs
through an Erlemyer flask where the
hot condensate is trapped and the
dry steam is sent onward into the
neck joint.
Here is the guitar set up into the Stew
Mac neck removal jig. As steam is fed
into the joint a small amount of force is
applied to the end of the neck heel to
aid in separation.
Here is the setup as steam is being
injected into the joint. The process
requires a great deal of attention to
minimize swelling of the joint and
potential blushing of the finish from
escaping steam.
Photo after neck removal.
Photo of neck showing square
neck reinforcement tube and
access holes that were drilled for
steam injection.
Unfortunately the guitar was due back to the retail store that contracted
the repair before I was able to get some after photos but after a new Tusq
saddle and re-installation of the pickup the action was perfect and the
customer extremely happy.
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Ken Smith Bass
Peghead crack running into tuner
mounting hole. Before repair....
After repair and finish touch-up.