Would you believe that I'm still waiting on parts for the Jazzmaster project? The irony is that the things I'm waiting on should have taken a few days to get here, but it's been 2 weeks.
Anyway, I started on a new project.
Well, after playing it recently, one of the tuning pegs went belly up. The pegs have a molded plastic square that engages the post. The plastic wears over time, to the point where it just slips. So I decided to get some nice new Waverly tuners to replace all the tuners with.
You can see how much the neck is underset in the picture on the left. I measured the distance between the top of the bridge and the bottom of the straightedge at 3/32 of an inch.
The action is really too high, it's hard to play, and so I'm going to reset it.
I know what you might be thinking: why reset a ukulele neck? With nylon strings, high action can't be too bad, right? Well, it's bad. And the main issue is actually that a reset will raise the level of the strings above the top and let the bridge drive the top more - for more volume and tone. And we like tone!
First we heat up the fret over the dovetail - in this case it's lucky fret 13.
Lookit all that green gunk. The fingerboard was covered with that stuff originally - it's even down on the tang of the fret and in the fret slot!
Here I use my Crawfish Instruments fingerboard extension heater to loosen up the glue under the extension.
I'm saving the 70 year old rosewood chips to refill the hole later.
It took a little time - about 3 30-second applications of steam to loosen the neck. Once I could start to feel it 'swivel' in the joint, I cranked up some pressure with the screw under the neck heel.
The neck popped right out. Looks like a Martin guitar, only smaller.
The craftsmanship on this joint is beautiful There was actually very little glue used on the dovetail - it was mainly held in by the very fine and tight joint. Really wonderful.
The body is a light as a feather and the bracing is a work of art. I'll post some pictures as I move along. I always get a charge out of the great workmanship, and I have lots of respect for the craftsmen who put these fine instruments together when I work on them. Not a glue drip to be seen!