Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Removing Regal Tenor Guitar Neck for Reset

Time to remove the neck from the Regal tenor.

First order of business is to put the guitar into the Crawfish Instruments™ neck removal jig.

Somewhere around this blog I wrote about making it.  I'll link to the post if I can find it...ah, here it is.

You may have noticed I clamped the jig into the fantastic guitar vise.  This is the bottom view.

While I was positioning the guitar into the jig, I was also heating up the neck removal steamer (aka Krups cappucino) maker.

Viva L'Italia: This weekend was the Italian GP at Monza.  I had just watched qualifying and was working on the guitar.  For some reason I found myself humming Il Canto degli ItalianiIronically, my friend who belongs to this guitar, also owns a Fiat 124 Spider.  (Although I believe hers is a later model sold in the U.S. as a 'Spider 2000.' Same car, different name).

After about 10 minutes, we have steam!

I paid a whopping $10 for my little Krups machine, used, from Craigslist.  What a bargain!

The hose and needle are from that guitar supply place that shall remain nameless.

Stick the needle into the hole, then turn on the steam.  I also stuffed clean rags into the guitar body just in case any moisture gets in there.  (It did not).

After a few seconds of steam, I crank the screw that drives the hunk of wood under the neck heel upward.

Then after maybe 20 seconds or so of steam, I keep cranking slowly a bit.  Then a bit more steam and cranking and...

...pop, off comes the neck.

I like using the neck jig because you get controlled, gradual pressure on the heel, but I think on a lot of these older guitars you could just apply steam and gently wiggle the joint apart.

In any rate, the neck is off.

The dovetail is a bit of a hack job.  Definitely not a super clean job like...a Martin.

Note all the shims on the dovetail.  My guess is this was done at the factory, as I don't see any signs that this neck has been off the guitar since it was made.

The guitar body part of the joint.  I'll chisel off all the old shims as part of the reset process.

Note the difference in the finish between the part of side covered by the neck and the side that's been exposed to light for 80 years.  You can really see how the lacquer ages and yellows over time.

If you get a close look at the edge of the guitar sides, you can clearly see it's solid wood, not laminate.  Whoo hoo.

One thing that sometimes happens when using the steamer is that the steam will make the old lacquer blush and turn white.

I may not have seen this much blush if I had drilled a second hole to release more steam.

Fortunately it's simple to remove those white marks.  Just wipe a small amount of denatured alcohol on a rag and voila! they are gone.

Now to trim the heel to allow for the correct neck angle.


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