Recording King Neck Set

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Recording King Neck Set


This guitar was in deep need of a neck set. This is not uncommon for a guitar of this age


This is a 1938 Recording King built by the Gibson Guitar

factory. These guitars were less expensive than most Gibsons of the time. They still carry the skilled craftsmanship and sound that made Gibson what they are today.

It is a little hard to see, but the plane of the fingerboard in relationship to the bridge is about a 1/4" lower than it should be. This is what determines the reason for the neck reset.

After removing the 15th fret, I usually drill a small 7/64th hole about 3/4" from the side of the fingerbaord at a slight angle to find the gap between the neck dovetail and the female dovetail pocket in the body. You can tell when you hit the gap when there is no resistance in on the drill bit. It often takes a couple of try's to get it right.

I then place heat over the tounge of the fingerboard with a household iron ,being very careful not to scorch the top. I usually use some 3x5" roofing tins and pace them next to the fingerboard to displace some of the heat produced by the iron.

 Here I'm fitting a small cake spatula under the tongue to release the glue joint

Using the expesso machine, I install steam into the small hole at the 15th fret for about 2-3 minutes. Keeping a very close eye on it and checking it frequently.

This is the exposed body joint after steaming off the neck. Notice that a large splinter of wood was taken with the fingerboard . This looks much worse than it actually is. I was able to save the entire piece and relue it back into place without even being able to tell

This picture was taken after the large sliver of wood was glued back into it's place. It is completely unnoticeable.

This a typical household expresso machine that has been altered with a  hose attached to the steamer shaft.. The hose is a pressure rated hose that is able to handle the steam ( small radiator hose ) that is used to remove the neck  

This is a closeup of the wooden barrel that I made to protect my hands from the excessive heat that is tranferred by the steam

Some wood had broken away during the steaming process. I replaced the missing chips with new wood

Unfortunetly I stopped taking pictures at this point.  I assure you that the rest of the repair went smoothly

after resetting the neck to it's proper angle. When I strung it back up it was a pleasure to listen to.

Every guitar has it's own voice just like humans. Some more appealing than others.