A local college kid was selling it on Craig’s List. He said he had it for years and didn’t play it anymore and was moving back home. No serious structural issues but filthy and needed a major cleaning and some careful TLC. This guitar has been played but not abused; a little neck wear, aging tuners and a few body scuffs.
The first 2 frets have some divots, 3rd thru 5th have minor divots, I measured the height of all the frets and the rest of the frets are between .027" & .030" high. Not terrible, I couldn't see replacing the first 2 frets and taking them down to the level of the low old frets, so he elected to wait on the complete refret.
Yesterday I removed the neck. I started with scoring the corners of the heel and fretboard.
Then removed the 15th fret and drilled the steam holes, using my new 3D printed drill jig.
And injected steam into the neck joint. Not without the usual fight, but it wasn't too bad, a 7 minute steam session (it was sort of loose but not ready), more cutting into the heel corner, and another 2 minutes of steam and the neck released.
BUT!! Some odd things happened. The joint must have been very tight and there was lots of hide glue. Some chunks of the neck dovetail stayed stuck to the neck pocket dovetail, far more than I've ever seen.
And, the bottom black purfling didn't separate from the body even though I had cut into it, it always separated with the steam. This caused a little damage to the black binding and side.
As usual, some of the top was stuck to the bottom of the fretboard, that was immediately removed (while it was still hot & wet) and glued & clamped back to the top.
Then I cut out most of the dovetail tear out and glued it back to the neck dovetail.
This morning I filled the fine cracks of the neck dovetail repair with superglue. There's a small chunk missing, but that's in the upper half of the dovetail and doesn't matter.
After some sanding. The end of the dovetail (with the odd symbol) will be sanded lower later as the neck heel is sanded, required so it doesn't hit the back of the neck pocket and keep the neck from seating.
I have some salvaged black binding from another FG, so I glued down the loose wood and replaced the damaged binding. This will be covered by the heel but it needs to be there to preserve the height for sanding.
And I glued a couple of small pieces back to the heel area on the sides and sanded.
And undercut the heel in preparation for sanding the neck angle.
I removed the damaged black binding, glued the displaced wood, and glued in a piece of salvaged binding. Also glued a small piece of side back on in the heel area, sanded the side heel area & top fretboard area.
After. The black binding with be covered by the heel (except for the edge) but need to be there for the thickness.
Also undercut the heel, sanded the dovetail surfaces, and got the neck joint back together.
Then I fixed the steam holes and a couple of chips in the 15th fret area. I was having a tough time getting the fret back in when I notice it's one of the thicker frets they used for 2 years, the best I can measure the fret tang is .032"!!! And the fret retention is the usual crushing on the end AND diamonds on the sides!! Was finally able to open the slot to approx. .030" with .025" & .030" saws, chamfer the edges heavily, start tapping it in, and crushed it in the rest of the way. I wasn't able to get it completely flush, but it's very close, it will probably have to be leveled. I forgot to take any during pictures.
The 15th fret is the one after the dot.
Checking the fret level, I find the 15th fret is high, but also the 14th fret is a bit high. The typical 14th fret hump. They will need to be leveled.
The frets are leveled, crowned and sanded to 600 grit. Well, most of them. The middle ones are pretty good. This was done just to get the high ones down so when the action is lower there's no buzzing. And 95% of the divots are gone in the first 3 frets. Added bonus!
I pull sanded the heel a bit, then made a saddle & nut (1.44" CSG). Installed the strings and tuned to "D" in the neck jig. The neck projects .01" below the top of the bridge and the action is 1/8" low E & 7/64" high E. Right where it should be at this point.
Pardon the mess. There's those Hershey Kisses again!!
Tonight I took .015" off the bottom of the nut, and another .03" off the bottom of the heel. The nut is still a little high. The action is a little over 3/32" low E & a little under 3/32" high E, with minimal neck relief. Should get it set tomorrow.
Tonight I sanded another .02" off the heel, clamped it in the neck jig, and tuned it to "D". The neck projects .07" above the bridge, the action is 5/64" low E & 1/16" high E. DONE!! I glued a shim to both sides of the dovetail and sanded them to fit the joint. Then glued the neck on with fish glue!
Today I finished the nut action, loosening 1 string at a time, file the slot, tighten the string and check until it's done, then used a small file to relieve the nut slot edges. Then sanded the excess off the top of the nut and sanded all over. Then I removed the tuners one at a time, tightened (3) of them in the nut vise, lubed them, filed the screw holes with Titebond using a small plastic syringe, and replaced (2) missing screws. Then oiled & cleaned the fretboard with Howard Feed N' Wax and 0000 steel wool.
I tape a small piece of thick plastic behind the nut to prevent gouging the headstock with the nut file.
I'm waiting for the glue to dry in the screw holes before stringing it up. The tuners felt like crap, some where tight & gritty, some where loose, they should be much better.