Gibson Gospel Neck Removal
The neck needed to be reset. The angle of the neck prevented the guitar from having proper action on the strings. The bridge had been taken down to a low level but was no longer low enough. The first step in a neck reset is to remove the neck.
In order to remove the neck, the glue in the dovetail joint must be softened with steam to allow the neck lift free of the neck block. Typically the fingerboard extension needs to be freed in order to remove the neck. On this guitar, the fingerboard extension was already loose. Here the 15th fret has been removed to provide access to the dovetail pocket.
The first of 2 holes was drilled in the slot of the 15th fret. This gives access to the dovetail pocket.
A string is inserted into the hole to verify that the hole enters the pocket and not just into the neck block or the dovetail joint on the neck.
No, this is not an attempt to make the guitar into a grasshopper sculpture. Both holes have been drilled and a string is inserted to each hole.
Using the trusty Mr. Coffee Expresso machine to create the needed steam (you can see it on the left), here I am monitoring the progress of the steaming. I am wiping away all the extra moisture from the guitar to prevent any damage.
Here you can see the fingerboard extension is clearly off the soundboard. Also, the neck is starting to release from the neck block.
A little persuasion from a clamp helps loosen the dovetail joint. The steam has done its job to soften the glue. A few more careful pulls on the neck and it will come apart.
As expected, the neck comes off with virtually no damage. You can see the softened glue residue on the neck and the dovetail pocket.
A clamping caul is placed on the fingerboard to keep it from warping from all the steam. The neck is allowed to dry overnight to take out the excess moinsture introduced in the steaming process.
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