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  #16  
Old 11-29-2017, 07:44 PM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryan Alexander View Post

Very curious to hear how this works out for you. What model did you get? My O-10 is one of my favorite guitars ever. I hope yours ends up becoming a cherished instrument

.
So I heard back from the the tech today. This is his email message.

Hey Matthew,

Sorry for the delayed response on the pics. That neck was tough to get off! Mainly because itís a very long, narrow dovetail, so a much more gradual taper than a typical one, with lots of glue way down in the bottom of the pocket. Also, because the heelcap is curved instead of flat, we couldnít use the fixture we typically do, which pushes against the heelcap. Plus, thereís almost no gap between the back of the dovetail and the pocket, which there typically is. That allows the steam to get down to the bottom.

Anyway, we got it off after a couple of sessions, got the old glue residue cleaned off, and let it dry out over the holiday weekend.

Thatís the first dovetail Iíve seen thatís actually wider than the heel itself. At any rate, weíre good to go now.

Ken Jones
Mountain Song Guitars




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  #17  
Old 11-29-2017, 07:57 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
Whatever you call them (cheeks or shoulders), IMHO, compression of the sides (denting) is a non-issue. In order for compression to take place as a result of string tension, the fingerboard would have to shift on the top, and the dovetail glued surfaces would have to come unglued. If either of these actually happens, the neck is loose, and needs to be reglued.
That is not to say that there is not some denting of the sides from undercutting the neck mating surface, but this is not due to string tension, but due to tight fitting when the joint is assembled. This denting is more common on softer woods like mahogany....much less so on rosewood or maple.
The side compression as a result of the undercut shoulder was what I inferred from George's quote above and not from George himself. I don't know what types of glues George used on his guitars then, so it's possible cold creep allowed some dovetail movement and fretboard movement. Which possibly caused him to rationalize that if there was no gap, there can be no movement. Interestingly, as a cabinetmaker/woodworker, I always abhorred air space even in a blind mortise, even in something relatively large like a door, though it did provide some challenges like allowing excess glue to escape.

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As someone who has done over 1400 resets in the last 33 years, I absolutely question the practice of leaving no gap at the end of the tenon. IMHO, it does nothing but make the joint much harder to steam apart.
My resetting record includes many, many 1920's and 1930's guitars, which are old enough that they should show some evidence of the denting of the sides causing the neck angle to change. I have not seen it.
Out of curiosity, of the resets, how many were Lowdens? There is a school of building that favors a non-reversible neck joint; much to the chagrin of some, I do understand the reasoning whether I agree or not. Of course all's not lost, but it does make the repair more "fun." I suppose the reasoning for not using the Spanish method results from the ease of construction and finishing of body and neck as separate units.
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2017, 07:59 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by Mbroady View Post
So I heard back from the the tech today. This is his email message.

Hey Matthew,

Sorry for the delayed response on the pics. That neck was tough to get off! Mainly because itís a very long, narrow dovetail, so a much more gradual taper than a typical one, with lots of glue way down in the bottom of the pocket. Also, because the heelcap is curved instead of flat, we couldnít use the fixture we typically do, which pushes against the heelcap. Plus, thereís almost no gap between the back of the dovetail and the pocket, which there typically is. That allows the steam to get down to the bottom.

Anyway, we got it off after a couple of sessions, got the old glue residue cleaned off, and let it dry out over the holiday weekend.

Thatís the first dovetail Iíve seen thatís actually wider than the heel itself. At any rate, weíre good to go now.

Ken Jones
Mountain Song Guitars
Great news, best of luck!
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  #19  
Old 11-29-2017, 08:11 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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I have not reset any Lowdens, but I have reset guitars where there was no gap at the end of the tenon. Sometimes it has helped to drill to the bottom of the dovetail with a long 1/16" bit. In stubborn cases, I have removed the entire fingerboard to have better access to the joint.
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2017, 09:23 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
I have not reset any Lowdens, but I have reset guitars where there was no gap at the end of the tenon. Sometimes it has helped to drill to the bottom of the dovetail with a long 1/16" bit. In stubborn cases, I have removed the entire fingerboard to have better access to the joint.
I had pondered the thought of using a 1/16" aircraft drill bit to do just as you described....
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  #21  
Old 11-30-2017, 06:25 AM
Ryan Alexander Ryan Alexander is offline
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Well, I'm glad this question has sparked some interesting discussion

Matthew - thanks SO much for posting the pics and email that Ken sent you. This is really the kind of thing I was hoping to find - you know, that is probably only the 2nd or 3rd pic I've ever seen of an unassembled Lowden neck joint. What a great point of reference - cheers!
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2017, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan Alexander View Post
Well, I'm glad this question has sparked some interesting discussion

Matthew - thanks SO much for posting the pics and email that Ken sent you. This is really the kind of thing I was hoping to find - you know, that is probably only the 2nd or 3rd pic I've ever seen of an unassembled Lowden neck joint. What a great point of reference - cheers!
Glad it was helpful. So it seems that a neck reset on a Lowden guitar is tougher then most standard dovetail guitars, but not impossible.
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  #23  
Old 11-30-2017, 06:01 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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No guitar is impossible to reset. However, that doesn't necessarily mean it is financially viable.
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  #24  
Old 12-01-2017, 06:36 AM
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No guitar is impossible to reset. However, that doesn't necessarily mean it is financially viable.
That's the rub. If you get a great deal on a Lowden that needs to be reset then it could be worth it, if every thing else checks out and you like the Lowden sound.
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  #25  
Old 12-04-2017, 09:26 AM
Ryan Alexander Ryan Alexander is offline
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Matthew - do let us know the final result on this job, I'm quite curious how it plays out. I just took another look at the pics you posted and it looks like Ken might have drilled a couple of holes through the fingerboard, perhaps to inject steam? I'm no repair guy, but I believe I've heard of this method in the past. Pretty crafty
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  #26  
Old 12-04-2017, 12:39 PM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryan Alexander View Post
Matthew - do let us know the final result on this job, I'm quite curious how it plays out. I just took another look at the pics you posted and it looks like Ken might have drilled a couple of holes through the fingerboard, perhaps to inject steam? I'm no repair guy, but I believe I've heard of this method in the past. Pretty crafty
Hey Ryan,

It's a standard practice to remove a fret to drill holes to inject steam into dovetail cavities to loosen glue to unglue/disassemble dove tail joints. This is likely one of the main reasons that dovetail joints are made with such a cavity.

So, dovetail joint disassembly standard equipment will usually include a steamer with hose & needle.
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  #27  
Old 12-07-2017, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Alexander View Post
Matthew - do let us know the final result on this job, I'm quite curious how it plays out. I just took another look at the pics you posted and it looks like Ken might have drilled a couple of holes through the fingerboard, perhaps to inject steam? I'm no repair guy, but I believe I've heard of this method in the past. Pretty crafty
Will do. Should get it back soon
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  #28  
Old 12-08-2017, 10:42 AM
Ryan Alexander Ryan Alexander is offline
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Originally Posted by Ned Milburn View Post
Hey Ryan,

It's a standard practice to remove a fret to drill holes to inject steam into dovetail cavities to loosen glue to unglue/disassemble dove tail joints. This is likely one of the main reasons that dovetail joints are made with such a cavity.

So, dovetail joint disassembly standard equipment will usually include a steamer with hose & needle.
Indeed, it was probably you who informed me about it the first time! Hope to see you this weekend if I can get a few Christmas related activities checked off my list!
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  #29  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Alexander View Post
Matthew - do let us know the final result on this job, I'm quite curious how it plays out. I just took another look at the pics you posted and it looks like Ken might have drilled a couple of holes through the fingerboard, perhaps to inject steam? I'm no repair guy, but I believe I've heard of this method in the past. Pretty crafty
Picked up the Lowden a couple days ago. What an incredible difference. The playability and sound are much improved. And the guitar is Loud, loud, loud. As mentioned, it was a difficult job (see response from tech in previous response in this thread). Fortunately, Ken at mountain guitars is an honorable guy and stuck to his original quote, otherwise it would not have been cost effective for me.

But the proof is in the pudding, yes, you can reset a Lowden neck.
Will add pictures this afternoon - Edit: Pics added
As much as a like the guitar I am putting it up for sale (preferably local). Gassing for a new rosewood guitar (the new D-28 is in sight)



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Last edited by Mbroady; 12-17-2017 at 08:07 AM.
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