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  #1  
Old 05-28-2019, 08:58 AM
johnrc22 johnrc22 is offline
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Default Questions about a Kay Archtop

Hello,

Just by random chance I ran into a guy at Guitar Center who was trying to sell them an old Kay archtop. Guitar Center passed on it because the neck was separating and so the guy just gave it to me.

The only identifying marks are the Kay decal on the headstock (part of which is gone) and the number 2425 ink-stamped inside the left side f-hole. It seems to be all original, and basically sound, but it needs a lot of work. The neck is very loose, the frets are extremely worn, the bridge was glued to the top, the metal parts are very tarnished, and it generally shows decades of wear. I accepted it from the guy with the idea that it would be a good project to learn how to reset and refret an acoustic guitar neck. I am hoping you all can help with some basic questions.

First, I would like to try to identify the model and roughly when it was made. I have included links to some photos.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GvD9ikaBUmzfJ6ac9
https://photos.app.goo.gl/RpLKVKnfGgK2xFYE9
https://photos.app.goo.gl/96WwvccgUKXTWQwX7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/KFoiwHZhhhoYwJFc9

Next, I am trying to remove the neck. It is very loose, in that it wobbles around freely. I can slide a pallet knife in the crack at the heel all the way around, and under the tongue that extends on the top. Still, it won't slide out. It sort of "toggles" back and forth and up and down as if it is hung up on something. Does anyone know whether there is any sort of dowel, or bolt (there are none visible) in this joint that would keep the neck from coming off? If not, would it make sense to steam it, in case there's a hard glob of glue holding it up? I am afraid of just forcing it, for fear of breaking wood out of the joint. Any other ideas?

Thanks for your help.

John

Last edited by johnrc22; 05-28-2019 at 09:40 AM. Reason: To add links to photos
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2019, 08:15 AM
bkepler bkepler is offline
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Steam is the trick. If you canít see a screw or anything that someone tried as a hack, itís not there and itís just getting hung up. I had a similar problem with a Kay upright bass neck and a harmony archtop. An extra set of hands might help. One person to hold the body and another to work the neck straight out of the joint. Be patient and when you feel it let go, youíll think you broke everything anyway!
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:21 AM
toxophilite toxophilite is offline
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I have a 55 Gretsch Convertible that face planted at a rehearsal, It had a gap at the heel prior to that. I noticed the action getting slightly higher and it not staying in tune as well, so I took the strings off and sure enough I could wiggle the neck. Out of curiousity I took at sanding block with cork on one side, put it on the heel and gave it a couple of sharp taps with a mallet and pop, the neck came right off in my hand. It was my first reset and it sent well. On my 52 Electro 2 I had to steam the neck off, a much more stressfull procedure for me though it worked a treat. Remove the 15th fret I believe. Drill a small hole on either side about 5/16" in. use a wall paper steamer with some appropriate hose and a basket ball needle. Steam till the neck comes off. Wear heavy gloves...


You can also make a jig to put pressure on the the heel while clasping the body. Look it up, all online.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:14 PM
johnrc22 johnrc22 is offline
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Thanks for your responses, bkepler and toxophilite. I've gone ahead to try steaming it off. I've gotten the fret pulled and the holes drilled (see photos). Next step is to devise a steamer. . .

https://photos.app.goo.gl/77GC8AvPaXNeXSmQ9
https://photos.app.goo.gl/JMptTjgLW3FLwqjA6
https://photos.app.goo.gl/R2iaYTziHf5QPKbE8
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