Removing a neck-through help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by wavey63, Jan 14, 2008.


  1. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    I have a neck from an old Epiphone hollowbody that I want to use for a new project but need to remove it. Any advice on how to get it off of the body without damage if possible? Any magic tools to use to soften the permanent glue? Thanks !!:roll
     
  2. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    You'll have to give some more details. 1990's old, 1970's old, New York Epiphone old? What model, where was it made?

    No glue is permanent, except for maybe resorcinol or perhaps urea formaldehyde. Heat, moisture, or a combination of both will soften most glues. The best method all depends on what type of neck joint you're dealing with, what type of glue we think is in there, and how you want to use or preserve the parts that are being disassembled.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Since I'm assuming that you want to use the neck for something else because the body is damaged beyond repair, the best and safest way is to cut the body away leaving a small excess around the neck - a bandsaw is easiest, just chop the body straight off beyond the end of the tenon which is usually somewhere in the neck pickup cavity, then take both sides off - and then you can remove the rest of the scrap material from the tenon using various chisels etc. Heat and/or moisture can help to soften the glue, but be careful not to damage the glued joints in the neck itself (or the finish, if you're wanting to preserve that).

    If you don't want to destroy the body, fix the guitar, don't take the neck off...
     
  4. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    Thanks. It is actually an '83 Sharaton that the top is bashed in on. I would like to have the neck on something else and I figured it ma be easier to put to one of my planned projects...cheaper too, than buying a neck, etc etc,
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Get yourself to a bandsaw and cut up the body. They're easier to bury in pieces ;).

    It could be quite cool - do you remember Slade's Dave Hill had an odd-looking white Gibson, which was made like that... from an ES-175, I think.

    Or if you're really adventurous, you could do the opposite and re-top the guitar in some cool way... like solid spruce or something.






    Or plexiglass :).
     
  6. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    I thoght about retopping but decided against it. Hate wiring those damn things like that. Thinking of making a chambered mahagony or someting similar.
     
  7. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    I'm not sure how similar the Epi neck joint construction is, but Gibsons can be steamed apart rather easily. Epi would still probably have a PVA glue which will steam quite easily, but I'm not sure about the mortise and tenon. Here's an '83 Gibson neck I had my apprentice steam off a couple weeks ago.

    [​IMG]


    Of course John is right, that if you don't want to save the body for anything and don't have any tools for steaming joints, it will probably be easier to just cut the body away.
     
  8. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    Looks a bit alike I have NO idea how to go about steaming and it would be cool to save the body for something. Is it easy for some with moderate repair skills to perform the removal? I do have a band saw as a last resort!;)
     
  9. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    The key to steaming off a Gibson neck is knowing exactly where the joints are. Easy to measure on a long tenon neck, but for a short one you just need to know the width. I could give you measurements for a Gibson, but I'm not entirely convinced that the Epiphone would even have this joint. It may just be a doweled butt joint.

    As for tools, you need some sort of steam carafe, either pressure cooker and hot plate or modified cappuccino maker, some pressure hose, and a basketball needle would work fine for this style of joint. If you really decide you want to have a go at it, I can try to get some pics and tips for you. The big if though, is whether your neck even has a true M&T joint. It's not difficult for me, but I'm not sure how much of a challenge it would be if you've never seen it done and aren't set up with the right tools. Getting it off is the easy part anyway - refitting the joint on a new body can be the more difficult part.
     
  10. michael30

    michael30 Gold Supporting Member

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    I've wondered what that guitar was since the 70's. I actually thought about it just a few days ago. Thanks!
     
  11. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I saw it on TV a couple of days ago on one of those 'No.1 Hits' shows. The only things I know about it are that it was built by (or for) Dave Hill's dad, and was known by him as "Dad's Gibson". It was definitely made from the neck and some electrical parts of a real Gibson, and from the fingerboard inlays it was a 175 or a 345 (which is actually more likely if the truss rod cover says 'Stereo' on it... 175 covers are plain). I assume the rest of the guitar met with an accident... :(

    This is the best pic I can find online of it:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rob Sharer

    Rob Sharer Muso-Luthier

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    Point of order.....what's being discussed here is the removal of a glued or set neck, not a "neck-through" as the thread title suggests.

    Neck-through is a description that should be reserved for guitars that are, well, neck-though. Cheers,

    Rob
     
  13. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    Thanks for the help and sorry for the misrepresented title. I meant set neck.Win some you lose some I guess...
     

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