A simple neck set turns into a headache…then turns into fun.

A simple neck set turns into a headache…then turns into fun.

A neck reset on a guitar with a tapered dovetail joint is usually a very pleasurable experience. Yes, it takes a little time, some technical know how and a modicum of precision, but it’s not difficult if you know what you’re doing. The smell of old wood soaking up moisture, the hide glue being revived, the hiss of the steam machine. It’s a very pleasant collection of stimuli. All of that can change when you press the neck out of socket to find that someone has been there before you and they’ve made a mess of it.

That’s the kind of surprise I uncovered in this 1970’s Gibson B-20.

I have two feasible options: 1) I rebuild the dovetail to match original configuration, or 2) I convert the guitar to the increasingly-popular bolt-on style neck.

More to come….


After a little thought and some clean-up, I’ve decided to rebuild the joint to it’s original design.

Here’s a patch and freshly prepared gluing surface.


Here it has been smeared with Smith’s Allwood Glue, clamped, and set to cure.


Repaired, fit, neck angle corrected. What fun!




Together again.


Fingerboard has been trued and frets are in!


Singing again, and lovely.


Repairing a Gibson Mastertone

Repairing a Gibson Mastertone

I’ve had this old, damaged, tenor neck hanging around the shop for almost ten years. Recently, a fellow came in with a matching pot and asked if I’d take on the job to join up the two.

The heel of the neck had been subject to a strange alteration at some point in it’s life. Today, I repair the damage and set it back to it’s original configuration.

Here’s the patch gluing in.