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Steps for top and back removal

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
I've got a project guitar I want to take apart. I've removed the neck and routed out the bindings - there are no purflings. It is all solid wood, btw.

It looks like the next step should be to rout the kerfing. Does that sound right?
Any other tips before I do the deed?

Dave B

Jul 05, 10 | 5:43 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Hi Dave,
Not sure where you are going with "routing the kerfing?" but if your plan is to take off the top and back you'll need a putty knife with edges sharpened also an old butter knife sharpened will be useful as well. The object is to work the blades between the kerfing and the plates without completely ruining the kerfing --- not easy! Heat the blades with a propane torch, work slow -- the end and heel blocks will present a challange.

Ken Cierp

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Jul 09, 10 | 6:25 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
The only thing I can add to Kens post is I found that Pallet knives from an artist supply store are great for getting into tight spots. I also use a cloths iron on the top to help facilitate heating the glue. I use dry medium heat.
If you don't want to save the top and back you can be more aggressive and use a saber saw cutting inside then you can route to the kerfing. I prefer to try and save the tops and backs , Often they are more repairable than you may think

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin repair center

Jul 09, 10 | 7:52 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I have had trouble using a torch to heat my tools, either it is too cool, or I get it too hot and scorched the wood. I had a hard time, maybe due to lack of practice, maintaining any consistency. Instead, I got a small 4 quart boiling pot from Walgreeens for $10. I put my tools, at least three of them, in the boiling water. I quickly dry onewhen it is hot enough (usually doens't take more than a minute), then get it into the joint, where it melts the glue directly without any risk of scorching the wood, or having extra ambient heat loosen joints you want kept solid. You will know when the knife gets cooler, it stops working effectively. Switch it with another one, and let the first heat up again. You can have your top off in 5 minutes without damaging anything else.

Jul 09, 10 | 12:32 pm

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