Pulling the neck from a recent model SG..

LtDave32

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Hey friends, I'm doing some "multi-tasking" in the shop today.

While I'm sealing a Tele, I thought I'd get to the neck fix a customer sent me.

I've got (what I think is a 2013) SG that has a whopping 4 1/2 degrees of neck angle.

That may be fine for a Les Paul, but this isn't a LP.

The result is, the owner has had to jack up the pickup through the pick guard (It 's a bat-wing SG special) like almost a damn inch to get near enough to the strings to achieve a decent output.

So he sent it to me for a neck re-set.

What I'm going to do is to put a shim in the neck pocket and re-cut the cheeks a bit to match the new angle.

Now on these model SG's, there's no easy way to heat up the tenon and get that thing out of there. The fret board must be removed in order to get at the tenon through the exposed neck joing.

So the first step is a clean removal of the fret board. We're going to be re-attaching this, so great care is taken and we don't pry up on it.

First, we cut all around the fret board and nut with a razor blade. I use a metal straight edge between the binding and the neck for a clean cut.


20210615_145254.jpg


Now the nut comes off. Be careful to cut cleanly all around it

20210615_145259.jpg


I don't have the hot iron pics, as my hands were full and I had to work quickly. Wife was at a birthday party, and normally she holds the iron, leaving my hands a bit more free.

The important thing is to take time with the iron. I have a monster 1700 watt iron I have to actually turn down from high so I don't scorch the binding. You have to leave this iron on the butt end of the fret board for a good 5-7 minutes or longer so you can get a spatula under the corners and start working it. If you wish to save the fret board, don't pry up. work it level and parallel with the board in a side-to side motion. The iron will eventually transfer the heat through the frets into the glue. Titebond will break bond at 140 degrees F, so that's what you're shooting for. If you take the iron off and touch the fret board, it's gotta be hot. Let the heat do the work, and gradually the spatula or putty knife will start working its way forward as the bond begins to soften. I use a couple of hammer taps to get it started under the board, working the knife side-to-side with forward pressure.

Keep working it under heat. This constant heating can take 20 minutes to a half-hour. Heat, work back and forth. Heat, work back and forth.

Have patience. It will happen.

And so it did:

20210615_200659.jpg


20210615_200723.jpg


Fret board came off cleanly and straight. Zero lacquer damage to the sides of the neck.

Here's something you don't see every day; the chip they put on the neck at the factory so they can track it as it travels through the shop:

20210615_200729 (1).jpg


More to come very soon, and I'll take detailed pics of the steaming operation.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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Hey friends, I'm doing some "multi-tasking" in the shop today.

While I'm sealing a Tele, I thought I'd get to the neck fix a customer sent me.

I've got (what I think is a 2013) SG that has a whopping 4 1/2 degrees of neck angle.

That may be fine for a Les Paul, but this isn't a LP.

The result is, the owner has had to jack up the pickup through the pick guard (It 's a bat-wing SG special) like almost a damn inch to get near enough to the strings to achieve a decent output.

So he sent it to me for a neck re-set.

What I'm going to do is to put a shim in the neck pocket and re-cut the cheeks a bit to match the new angle.

Now on these model SG's, there's no easy way to heat up the tenon and get that thing out of there. The fret board must be removed in order to get at the tenon through the exposed neck joing.

So the first step is a clean removal of the fret board. We're going to be re-attaching this, so great care is taken and we don't pry up on it.

First, we cut all around the fret board and nut with a razor blade. I use a metal straight edge between the binding and the neck for a clean cut.


View attachment 544171

Now the nut comes off. Be careful to cut cleanly all around it

View attachment 544172

I don't have the hot iron pics, as my hands were full and I had to work quickly. Wife was at a birthday party, and normally she holds the iron, leaving my hands a bit more free.

The important thing is to take time with the iron. I have a monster 1700 watt iron I have to actually turn down from high so I don't scorch the binding. You have to leave this iron on the butt end of the fret board for a good 5-7 minutes or longer so you can get a spatula under the corners and start working it. If you wish to save the fret board, don't pry up. work it level and parallel with the board in a side-to side motion. The iron will eventually transfer the heat through the frets into the glue. Titebond will break bond at 140 degrees F, so that's what you're shooting for. If you take the iron off and touch the fret board, it's gotta be hot. Let the heat do the work, and gradually the spatula or putty knife will start working its way forward as the bond begins to soften. I use a couple of hammer taps to get it started under the board, working the knife side-to-side with forward pressure.

Keep working it under heat. This constant heating can take 20 minutes to a half-hour. Heat, work back and forth. Heat, work back and forth.

Have patience. It will happen.

And so it did:

View attachment 544173

View attachment 544174

Fret board came off cleanly and straight. Zero lacquer damage to the sides of the neck.

Here's something you don't see every day; the chip they put on the neck at the factory so they can track it as it travels through the shop:

View attachment 544175

More to come very soon, and I'll take detailed pics of the steaming operation.
this is a good tutorial, but something curious struck me. if the pups were such a problem, how high did he have to set his bridge?
 

LtDave32

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this is a good tutorial, but something curious struck me. if the pups were such a problem, how high did he have to set his bridge?
It was high too. Very high. I should have mentioned that.

An SG should have no more neck angle than 3 degrees. All the SG templates I have sport a stamped label on them that says "2.5 degrees", though three would be fine. Maybe even 3.2.

But 4.5? No way.

I will soon be pulling the FB off a 345 that's in my shop for a new FB and different inlays. I'll try and detail the heating and removal of the FB and post those pics in here.


There is building, and then there is repairing. That is a whole 'nuther skill-set.
 

LtDave32

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This I am certain is some aliphatic resin glue, such as Titebond.

I can tell by the little bubble of it in the close-up pic of the neck-body join up thread.

You can see the little bubble right in the end of the truss rod hole.

This is good to know for deconstruction and repairs.

If it were HHG, it would take a bit more heat than Titebond to release the bond.

Titebond (by their own factory web page) releases at 140 dgr.. HHG is a bit more at 150, I believe.
 

LtDave32

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wow. you wonder how something like that leaves the factory.

I can't even imagine, Bob.

When it came to me, I checked it out carefully.

I took the strings off, made certain that the body was dead-level on the bench, then used my electronic angle-level on several points of the neck.

average was 4.5 degrees, all 'round.

I can't believe Gibson sends that out.

When I build something, I first hand-fit to make sure all angles are correct, and the joint is tight and straight.

This is before the fret board or the neck carve happens.

I guess at Gibson factory, they rely too much on machines. Shit goes wrong sometimes.

Shit goes wrong in here, but I correct it or replace it. Most of the time, the latter.

I'm going to be adding a shim to the pocket that will place the angle at 2.8 - 3.0 degrees.

This is a "bat wing" SG, and therefore there's the added thickness of the PG to consider, as the bridge studs go through it. So I can't have the bridge "on the deck", but I don't have to have it in the clouds either.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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even though i have jigs for neck angles and neck pockets, i always leave mine a hair full and walk them in without the fb on. i shoot for clearance at the bridge location depending on the bridge used, but mostly its pretty standard lp style stuff and pretty easy to walk in.
 

LtDave32

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During a build, I clamp mine up as if I were gluing it, set the body dead-level, and place the level on the neck surface.

I want to have it right as rain.

Trying to fix either a too-shallow angle or too much of one after a glue-up is too much damn work to redo.
 

LtDave32

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Les Paul DC specials, I like 3.2 degrees.

LP jr's, I like 3.0.

Why the slight difference?

LP specials are "normal".

Guys that like jr's , they like that bridge close to the deck. Something about that solid connection. At 3.0, there's still a little wiggle-room for action preference, but the bridge is pretty close to the deck.

But sometimes it's not such an exacting science. Sometimes the fret boards turn out a bit taller. Just a tiny bit. And there's taller fret wire.

So I will do a second check right before gluing, with the neck clamped up , fret board and frets installed.. I want to see just how much space I have. So I lay a long straight edge along the fret board, and I want to see that ruler end be about 5/8" off the deck where the bridge is.

If it's 3/4" off the deck, then it's more of a 3.2-3.3 degree angle. That's really just fine for most set-ups. For Jr's, I like it a bit closer.
 

LtDave32

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Important to note here that not all neck/body relationships are the same.

Why is on a Jr or Special 3.2 degrees okay, but rather high for an SG?

It's got to do with where the bitter end of the neck is in relation to the top of the guitar.

On a special, there's a bit of board overhang into the top.

On a Jr, it butts into the body and ends there.

An SG is an entirely different neck pocket with it's own requirements. The neck pocket and body relationship is entirely different. On later models (1968 and up), the neck pocket goes right up into the horns.

On Jr, the neck pocket ends at the "shelf" between the horns.

Now I'm just motormouthing guitar shit. I'll stop :rofl:
 

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Excellent job. Very refreshing to see someone with the patience and tenacity to make a wrong...right via skills and patience.
 

LtDave32

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Excellent job. Very refreshing to see someone with the patience and tenacity to make a wrong...right via skills and patience.
Thank you!
 

Maggot_Brain

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Nice work, Dave! I don't know that I've ever seen an SG neck reset so I'll be paying attention to this now that I've seen it. Thanks for sharing!

wow. you wonder how something like that leaves the factory.
Probably made it out fairly easy and never got a 2nd look from anyone. I doubt they identified a problem and then it somehow got out anyway. Then you would wonder how it got out.

But if they never identify an issue, then it's easy to see how it gets out of the factory. No one paid enough attention to realize there was an issue so it was processed like any other guitar. Packed up and sent out.

It happens. Those are people working in that factory and people make mistakes.
 

lowatter

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I'll be watching this thread intently Dave. I need to remove a neck and reset as my neck angle is way too low on a custom design guitar I built. I was shooting for a DC special style action. Note how the roller bridge is on the deck and action is slightly high. I set it with the fretboard already on(I believe) and buggered it up.
*NOTE: I do not wish to recess the bridge into the body for those that may suggest this.
I set it with titebond original. I hope to get to it soon and I'll be using this thread for reference. Thanks for all you do.
1623927473145.png
 
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pshupe

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Nice work, Dave! I don't know that I've ever seen an SG neck reset so I'll be paying attention to this now that I've seen it. Thanks for sharing!



Probably made it out fairly easy and never got a 2nd look from anyone. I doubt they identified a problem and then it somehow got out anyway. Then you would wonder how it got out.

But if they never identify an issue, then it's easy to see how it gets out of the factory. No one paid enough attention to realize there was an issue so it was processed like any other guitar. Packed up and sent out.

It happens. Those are people working in that factory and people make mistakes.

This should have been identified way before it made it out the door. It should have been identified when they set the neck. There was a good video series from 2020, I believe, on Youtube about the process from start to finish at Gibson USA. Here is a link to the "setting the neck". About 2 mins in they mention setting the neck with alignment gauges.

Capture.JPG


Strange thing is the shoulders would've been cut on the CNC and should not have been that steep of an angle. But if it was that far off, they should have adjusted or rejected that neck because it would've been way to high. Pretty shoddy if it left like that.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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I've done drawings for LP JRs and built a few JRs and SGs and they do not have a very steep angle at all. I've also measured a 65 SG and laser scanned a 62 SG. They were all in the same range >2 degrees. Some of the vintage JRs were closer to 1 degree. These were all full width tenons, unlike the newer design, so they would need to be a higher angle so that the fret board could sit on the top of the body / neck mortise.

Here is a dwg I did based on a 63 SG JR.

Capture.JPG


This only works on a full width tenon. Meaning there are no cheeks cut into the side of the neck . It is the full width of the fret board. This allows you to have the fret board sit well above the body which then can reduce the neck angle. It's all about bridge height for every guitar design. The strings need to hit the bridge at a certain height for adjustment and alignment.

Here is a dwg of a neckthrough Firebird, like a 63 Firebird V.

Capture.JPG


This has a 3 degree neck angle and would be consistent with guitars with a flat top with the fret board sitting flat on an an angled ramp carved into the body . Again it's all about bridge height. I know Dave knows all this stuff but maybe others could find it useful. Gibson used pretty much the same bridge and you would want to shoot for about 5/8" from a straight edge off the fret tops at the bridge location. As long as you got that the design could pretty much be anything.

Cheers Peter
 

LtDave32

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I'll be watching this thread intently Dave. I need to remove a neck and reset as my neck angle is way too low on a custom design guitar I built. I was shooting for a DC special style action. Note how the roller bridge is on the deck and action is slightly high. I set it with the fretboard already on(I believe) and buggered it up.
*NOTE: I do not wish to recess the bridge into the body for those that may suggest this.
I set it with titebond original. I hope to get to it soon and I'll be using this thread for reference. Thanks for all you do.
View attachment 544281
You'll need to go the other way, low.. Opposite angle.

Shoot me some PM's, and I'll be happy to walk you through it. We'll put our heads together and come up with a nice re-set for that.
 

LtDave32

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I've done drawings for LP JRs and built a few JRs and SGs and they do not have a very steep angle at all. I've also measured a 65 SG and laser scanned a 62 SG. They were all in the same range >2 degrees. Some of the vintage JRs were closer to 1 degree. These were all full width tenons, unlike the newer design, so they would need to be a higher angle so that the fret board could sit on the top of the body / neck mortise.

Here is a dwg I did based on a 63 SG JR.

View attachment 544288

This only works on a full width tenon. Meaning there are no cheeks cut into the side of the neck . It is the full width of the fret board. This allows you to have the fret board sit well above the body which then can reduce the neck angle. It's all about bridge height for every guitar design. The strings need to hit the bridge at a certain height for adjustment and alignment.

Here is a dwg of a neckthrough Firebird, like a 63 Firebird V.

View attachment 544289

This has a 3 degree neck angle and would be consistent with guitars with a flat top with the fret board sitting flat on an an angled ramp carved into the body . Again it's all about bridge height. I know Dave knows all this stuff but maybe others could find it useful. Gibson used pretty much the same bridge and you would want to shoot for about 5/8" from a straight edge off the fret tops at the bridge location. As long as you got that the design could pretty much be anything.

Cheers Peter
Pete, I couldn't believe it. I looked at it when it arrived, with its bridge and bridge pup all jacked up, the neck hanging back like a LP.

I put the guitar on its back on my work bench, which is dead-nuts level. 0.0 all day. I took my small digital level and zeroed it on the bench, placed it on the lower bout. 0.0. Then I placed it on the fret board surface in three different places. 4.5, 4.4, 4.5.

I don't get it. Other than it just slipped through the cracks.
 

Bobby Mahogany

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I'll be watching this thread intently Dave. I need to remove a neck and reset as my neck angle is way too low on a custom design guitar I built. I was shooting for a DC special style action. Note how the roller bridge is on the deck and action is slightly high. I set it with the fretboard already on(I believe) and buggered it up.
*NOTE: I do not wish to recess the bridge into the body for those that may suggest this.
I set it with titebond original. I hope to get to it soon and I'll be using this thread for reference. Thanks for all you do.
View attachment 544281
That's a nice little Rock'nRoll machine you did there!
:thumb:
 


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