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  #1  
Old 05-22-2020, 08:59 PM
Everton FC Everton FC is offline
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Default Neck heel separation - old Kay arch top

Got the '59 K6437 for free this week. It's in good shape, except there is enough neck heel separation at the body that I can pull it back into normal position - it's got flex in it. I'd like to repair this cheaply, by simply re-gluing the heel and clamping it down for a week. When I pull it back to normal, the action is good. The old steel rod is not bowed where it needs to be heated straight. Does this seem a reasonable, and inexpensive way to bring this old arch top back to life - I don't think I need to heat and remove the neck for reset, and I am not going to invest that kind of cash, in a neck reset. Thanks in advance...
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2020, 04:51 PM
Everton FC Everton FC is offline
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Trying this one again, with update;

So... I got an old Kay K6437 archtop for free. I don't want to do a neck reset. There is separation where the heel meets the body, but when I pull the headstock back, it fits perfectly, the action is great... So - do I need to steam off the neck (probably the best solution, but I've never done it/have no tools/don't want to pay $500.00 for a full neck reset), or, could I glue and clamp down the separated area to make the neck stable again? I've looked inside - no damage to the block I can see... I know it's a quick fix, but I think the glue just dried and separation occurred. With the strings off, the neck (no truss rod) is straight - I used a level, for "concurrence". Could I get lucky gluing the heel back to the body, clamping it all down for a while, and having the action perfect - albeit a poor-man's fix?

Thanks in advance (funny, not much on this type of topic on any guitar forums, nor on Youtube).
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2020, 06:44 PM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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So, that’s probably a dovetail neck joint.
Those are normally only glued -in- the dovetail, not on the “cheeks”, which is what you can get to right now.
Could you put glue in there? Sure.
Should you? No one’s going to stop you, but I think the lack of response to your earlier post is a bit telling. IE, no one’s going to recommend it.

You said you couldn’t find much on this - google this...
Restoring an Old Kay Archtop with Guitars and Caffeine
(For some reason I can’t get the link to copy).
Shows the interior of the joint you’re trying to stick back together.

Find someone that’ll take the project on. It doesn’t have to be $500 at a pro luthier. Student luthiers have to learn, too. And it’ll be a better job than just sticking some glue in there.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:27 PM
Everton FC Everton FC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarsaune View Post
So, that’s probably a dovetail neck joint.
Those are normally only glued -in- the dovetail, not on the “cheeks”, which is what you can get to right now.
Could you put glue in there? Sure.
Should you? No one’s going to stop you, but I think the lack of response to your earlier post is a bit telling. IE, no one’s going to recommend it.

You said you couldn’t find much on this - google this...
Restoring an Old Kay Archtop with Guitars and Caffeine
(For some reason I can’t get the link to copy).
Shows the interior of the joint you’re trying to stick back together.

Find someone that’ll take the project on. It doesn’t have to be $500 at a pro luthier. Student luthiers have to learn, too. And it’ll be a better job than just sticking some glue in there.
Deep down (actually, not so "deep down"), I know you are right. Perhaps, if I can get the neck off, and clean it up, gluing the neck back inn place won't cost too much. I have no sentimental attachment to the instrument, but I have no clamps, no steamer, no glue mix...

I'll take it to the luthier my son works for, and see what he thinks. He does violas/violins/cellos... But has done guitars, in the past. At least I'll get the family discount!
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1959 Kay K6437
1930s Harmony Mandolin
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2020, 08:30 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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I had a Silvertone come my way that had the neck loose, the only thing really holding the neck on was the fretboard, the dovetail was loose. I had to glue a sliver of wood to both sides of the neck. Their idea was to have a real loose fit and slop hide glue in the joint. Should have documented it more.

Marking the neck position to help in lining it up again.



Removed neck using a razor knife and spatula, it was not too bad as the joint was loose.



Cleaning the old glue out. Made a shim out of a piece of oak.



Getting ready for glue up.



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Old 05-27-2020, 09:44 PM
Everton FC Everton FC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
I had a Silvertone come my way that had the neck loose, the only thing really holding the neck on was the fretboard, the dovetail was loose. I had to glue a sliver of wood to both sides of the neck. Their idea was to have a real loose fit and slop hide glue in the joint. Should have documented it more.

Marking the neck position to help in lining it up again.



Removed neck using a razor knife and spatula, it was not too bad as the joint was loose.



Cleaning the old glue out. Made a shim out of a piece of oak.



Getting ready for glue up.



How long did the whole process take?
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:53 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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If you have no tools, no clamps, no glue, a corresponding lack of experience in woodwork, and a son that works for a luthier, the path forward seems clear to me!

Good luck with the project.
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:35 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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You can just flow some glue into the cheeks, but it won't work well at all. One, there is finish on the sides, old finish, and glue won't stick to it well at all, Two, the neck wood in the cheeks is end grain, and you can't get a strong joint gluing to end grain. If you can wiggle the neck like you say, it will probably just pop off with a little flexing and pressure, and you can do yourself a home-grown neck reset a lot more correctly.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:26 PM
Everton FC Everton FC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
You can just flow some glue into the cheeks, but it won't work well at all. One, there is finish on the sides, old finish, and glue won't stick to it well at all, Two, the neck wood in the cheeks is end grain, and you can't get a strong joint gluing to end grain. If you can wiggle the neck like you say, it will probably just pop off with a little flexing and pressure, and you can do yourself a home-grown neck reset a lot more correctly.
That's my plan - to try and get the neck off myself, clean off all the old glue, then take it to my son's boss to have a look.
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1978 Yamaha FG-331
1971 Espana 2102
1959 Kay K6437
1930s Harmony Mandolin
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:00 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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If it is that loose, you should not need to steam it to get it out. Just loosen the fingerboard extension with a spatula, and wiggle it side to side.
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  #11  
Old 05-28-2020, 06:10 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Everton FC View Post
How long did the whole process take?
I also removed the frets, leveled the fretboard and refretted so more than a neck reset. Removing the neck, about half an hour as I did not know what I was dealing with. Cleaning out the glue on the surfaces, then I had to figure out how to do the reset. It would be a good thing to look up someone doing it, it is hot hard, just you have to go slow and check on your progress. If you screw up, you can just glue a thickness of wood on the appropriate part of the dovetail and start removing wood again. Bruce is doing a photo spread on the dovetail and hopefully he will get to the fitting of it.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:17 PM
Everton FC Everton FC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
If it is that loose, you should not need to steam it to get it out. Just loosen the fingerboard extension with a spatula, and wiggle it side to side.
I'm heading to Michael's tomorrow after work to get the spatula - the ones here (artist wife/daughters) are plastic. That's where I'll start. It'd be great if I didn't have to steam it off. Fingers crossed.

printer2 - Your neck joint looked relatively clean, in your photos. That's what I hope to find!

I really do want to get some basic tools. I so all my own saddle work - sand, et al. I feel very comfortable with that. Refretting - need those tools, and some clamps/glue. Seems the hardest part of the reset, to me, is getting the neck off. I would also like to remove the bridge on my Espana and fix the dip above the bridge, below the soundhole. It's a very nice guitar "as is", especially for fingerpicking. But the Kay comes first! This is my model, below - I have the pickguard, and will most likely re-install it, though I like it w/o the pick-guard. Mine is in much better condition (note the Kay emblem is thin metal nailed to the headstock - mine is the same, perhaps for Canadian models?)

https://www.lelandlittle.com/items/3...27%5C%2F%22%7D
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1978 Yamaha FG-331
1971 Espana 2102
1959 Kay K6437
1930s Harmony Mandolin

Last edited by Everton FC; 05-28-2020 at 09:56 PM.
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