Yamaki 331s top replacement?

tippie53
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by tippie53 »

you will have to take off the neck to do it right.
yes it is tricky but you will ad a skill to your abilities.
go for it
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com
Stray Feathers
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Stray Feathers »

My luthier friend Steve has a steam device, and a neck removal press so I will lean on him when I do this. Thanks again for ideas and encouragement.
Diane Kauffmds
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

You'll do fine Bruce. Just plan out what you need to do, and take your time. Sometimes it helps to make a list of what needs to be done.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
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Bob Gleason
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Bob Gleason »

Curious what you found in the neck joint. Import guitars can be challenging. Nothing standard about them. Probably not a dovetail. More likely dowels. The whole neck block area can self destruct before the neck comes off. On cheaper guitars, sawing the neck off can be be the most expedient choice. Good luck!-Bob
Stray Feathers
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Stray Feathers »

Bob, I haven't started yet - still cogitating, but am happy to have some advice before I dive in. I will start by removing part of the fretboard to have a look, and remove the top. I bought a lovely Western Redcedar top yesterday from a local tonewood seller at a very reasonable price (so much easier than cutting my own) as I am leaning towards replacing the top and bracing.
Bob Gleason
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Bob Gleason »

If you remove the fretboard extension at the 12th fret or so, first drill a couple of locating pin holes through the 13th fret slot so that you can easily align the cut off piece when you want to re-attach it to the neck. Good luck!-Bob
Stray Feathers
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Stray Feathers »

I have been busy with new builds so have not made a lot of progress on this, but did get the fretboard removed from about the 10th fret up. It does not look like there is a tenon or a dovetail so I am expecting to have to deal with dowels. Today I learned about the Stew Mac HeatStick which does not use steam, but dry heat. I wonder if this might free up the glued dowels better? Anyone used a HeatStick? Since the fretboard end is off anyway I can drill several holes if need be to loosen up some of the glue - whatever kind they used. If it comes off I think will do as John suggested and turn it into a bolt-on neck when I reassemble it. Bruce W.
phavriluk
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by phavriluk »

My opinion, and it's only an opinion, is that once a sawn-off neck is free of the body, the dowels can be drilled out to facilitate a bolt-on reattachment. I think and that's 'THINK', that steaming dowels is an unproductive use of time. I think there's no need to try to salvage and perpetuate a costcutting shortcut.

And after retopping, if that's OP's pleasure, I think any talk about bridge doctors becomes moot, it's a whole new top with no need for shortcut band-aids like a bridge doctor. And the same for a rebraced original soundboard, the new bracing kills the bridge doctor conversation.
peter havriluk
Stray Feathers
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Stray Feathers »

Peter, I have wandered all over the place with this thread, so to do an update: I will remove the neck; my concern now is whether I can unglue the likely dowel joints, rather than just cutting it off, I'll try some things, that's why I am wondering if the HeatStick is a viable option. And I will glue a tenon/spline into the neck, and cut a mortise in the block. I will also replace the top and bridge; too much damage in too many places for a non-vintage guitar. I considered a Fret Doctor when I was still debating about replacing the top, but will not use one now (though I believe at least one medium-size builder puts them in all their new guitars). Once I get my current builds finished and sprayed and sitting to cure, I will have more time to go at this.
Stray Feathers
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Re: Yamaki 331s top replacement?

Post by Stray Feathers »

After working to finish several instruments for a show, I have finally come back to this repair. I had the upper portion of the fretboard off, but realized I would like to get the truss rod out to check access for steaming the neck joint. So I removed the rest of the fretboard, which went okay if a little slow, because of unknown but stubborn glue. I found a really useful post by a luthier named Dave Slimmer, describing a neck removal that looked like what I might be facing. He made a jig for pulling a dowel-jointed neck forward out of the body:

https://www.instructables.com/Neck-Pres ... eck-Attac/

I made such a thing, but did not extend it past the tailblock as he did; I decided to use bar clamps to hold my jig in place. Slimmer's also pulled against the end of the fretboard extension to push the neck out, but since I hade removed the fretboard, I laid a stick of wood in the truss rod slot, butted against the headstock, so the press could push against that:
IMG_8322_resize.jpg
I had borrowed a friend's steam needle and a steam generator, and set to work. I was expecting this to take some time, because of the broad gluing surface, uncooperative glue, and complicating dowels. Long story short, it did take more than two hours of repeated steaming, but it finally freed up and came away okay. It looks identical to the construction in Slimmer's example (a Fender). I did follow his suggestion to also drill into the heel cap to loosen that part as well, to reduce the chance of breaking the neck heel.
IMG_8324_resize.jpg
So I am relieved to get this done. I want to turn the neck joint into a sort of mortise and tenon and may ask some questions about that when I get there. Next step is to rout the top binding off and remove the top. Bruce W.
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