You are currently viewing Kit Guitar Forum archives. To view the current forums go to


Dovetail Confession Time!

Total Topics: 24
Total Posts: 113
Before putting glue to it, I did one final clamped 'dry fit' of my dovetail neck to the body. Everything seemed quite snug, but when I put force on it (by pulling up on the headstock), a gap would open at the lower portion of the joint 'wings' (near the back of the guitar). This was really frustrating because I put countless hours into sanding and fitting the joint until I thought it was perfect.

I just could not imagine that a glue joint will handle that over time. So here comes the confession...

I installed a threaded insert into the 5/16" hole already in my Martin neck, drilled a hole in the headstock, and secured it with a 1/4-20 bolt in addition to the glue.

Heresy, I know, but the peace of mind it brings makes up for it.

There... I've said it!


Jul 23, 06 | 12:16 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Ed -- If it works, it works! I'm sure if we looked in many hand made guitars, we'd find things that were done to overcome problems, correct errors, etc. Purists can stay pure if they want; I'll take a guitar that plays well and sounds good.

Jul 26, 06 | 5:12 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
Sounds like the lower portion of the dovetail is open. If you set the neck on the joint and try and twist it , will the bottom move? if it doent , once the glue sets you will be fine.
Also when you clamp this don't stagger the clamp. You want to have the clamp tha you do force the wedge of the joint into the block. This will pull the neck into the body. You trying to force the issue with a dry fit is something you don't want to do. I will set the neck in and press it. If I can hold the guitar and the body and neck are firm and need to be popped apart the joint should be fine
john hall

Jul 26, 06 | 9:21 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Ejko, that's exactly what I did, but I thought I fouled it up so bad I used epoxy too! I won't be resetting this neck, that will be just the signal to build a new one (talk about programmed obsolescence, eh? ;) )

Jul 27, 06 | 6:17 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Me too. Sure made fitting easier.

Jul 27, 06 | 10:08 am

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 58
Sorry I missed some discussions here - I was on a mission trip for a coupla weeks. Peace of mind is worth a bolt now and then...remember the old carpenter's credo...
a little putty and paint makes a carpenter what he ain't. While I agree with all the concepts - if ya can't sleep at night cuz your thinkin', "I wish I had ______", it's probably worth the sleep!

Aug 10, 06 | 8:02 pm

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 113

First time I heard the carpenter saying; I'm still laughing (because I've been there!).



Aug 11, 06 | 5:11 pm

You must be a registered and logged in member to post in this forum