Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jay Turser JTA-Flag300 - The First Cut Is The Deepest

I would have given you all of my heart
But there's someone who's torn it apart
And she's taken just all that I had
But if you want I'll try to love again

Removing a fret board from a neck takes just the right amount of heat and some sharp tools.  Without knowing how much or what kind of glue Jay Turser used, I started out slowly with some heat from my iron applied to my favorite sharp putty knife.  Applying slow and steady pressure, and reheating the knife a second time, I was able to work the knife in the first couple of inches.

Like the song says, the first cut is the deepest, since the neck heel is the narrowest part of the neck.  To release the rest of the glue, I used the iron sitting on top of the frets and worked a pair of putty knives in between the neck and fingerboard a few inches at a time.   With a little trial and error, a pattern of 5 minutes heat time for every three or so inches revealed itself to be enough to separate the pieces with very little effort on the knife  handles.

After an hour, I had separated the fretboard and neck, with no apparent collateral damage to either piece.  Even the dovetail I had rebuilt earlier was intact..

Fortunately, Jay Turser was a bit stingy with the glue, as they were with many other features on many of their guitars.  Judging by how little residue there was on the fretboard and neck mating surfaces, JT used a good quality hide glue.  Before cleaning up the old glue from the fingerboard and neck, I checked  the fit of the dovetail and started thinking about how to complete the neck-to-body connection.

With so much width in the heel taken by the truss rod assembly, and so little depth in the dovetail joint, a glued connection is starting  to look like the best way to go.  Some carefully drilled pilot holes, on either side of the truss rod and lining up with a fret, would make it possible to steam out the neck joint, just in case I don't get the neck set angle right the first time.  That's food for thought until next time with This Old Guitar.

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