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 Post subject: Learning Curve
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 2283
I'm working on the old Kay archtop, a good guitar to learn the art of restoration since I only paid $65.

I took the back off and replaced 2 braces, reglued one, and I've replaced binding. I'm in the process of resetting the neck. I took off the old fretboard to see what was happening with the neck. Well, it has no reinforcement, none whatsoever.

Luckily, when I took the old fretboard off, the neck straightened. It had a severe forward curve from years of string pull. The guitar is solid wood (surprisingly), but the neck is popular, not the hardest of woods, typical for a guitar out if Chicago of this era. I really wish to preseve as much of the original guitar and finish as possible, so it's necessary to add neck reinforcement. Since it's an archtop, a truss rod is out of the question.

I've decided to install a 1/4" steel rod, easy to do except the dovetail and headstock get in the way of the router jig I made to rout neck channels. On top of this, the neck is the old, thick V shape, pre WWII.

To use the jig, I needed to put the neck on top of a 1" piece of wood for support. But, trying to hold a v-neck steady while routing is a trick. I decided to use my trusty double-sided Duck carpet tape, but if any of you have experience with this tape, you'll know it'll take finish with it when removed.

I used the green 3M tape to first tape the back of the neck for protection. In my experience, I can trust this tape on old nitro and shellac. Masking tape will take finish with it.

After taping with the green tape, I attached my piece of wood, using the Duck tape. In that way, I could adjust my jig to rout down the center for the rod.

As you can see, it routed well and there's no damage to the nitro finish.

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