Neck Resets

Step 3:

Steaming the Neck

Here's the steam needle going into the neck.  I generally keep it pushed all the way in, but it's often useful to pull it partly out to let the steam hit higher in the dovetail.  I'll let this sit for a minute or so until I feel steam coming out the bottom of the dovetail.
I'm feeling for steam/moisture here.  Once I feel it, or see it dripping out of the joint, I'm confident that the heat is going thru the joint.
Keep a bunch of clean soft towels handy to catch steam escaping from various placed.  I'm holding the towel down with my fingers while applying pressure to the fingerboard with my thumb and palm.  I want some pressure on the f/b to help keep the steam in the dovetail joint.
After the steam is escaping, I'll start testing the neck.  Here I've got the steam needle in the neck and am test-wiggling the neck.  Some folks like to use a jig to press the neck out, but I've always been able to wiggle it free.  The jig can get in the way sometime, especially when wiping hot steam off the guitar.  I'm not wiggling hard, but I am wiggling.  I like to leave the steam in because it will come out the side gaps and loosen things up faster.  You have to be careful to wipe escaping steam or it will blush the finish.  Sometimes it really comes out, sometimes it doesn't.  Every guitar is a little different.


The neck is almost off.  You can see a clear gap under the fingerboard and at the end of the heel.  At this point, you'll really see the difference between hide glue and Titebond.  Hide glue by now is off.  Titebond is still stretching- you can see a little bit right under the 14th fret.
And here it comes!!
One neck in hand!  You can see the dovetail joint, truss rod, and all the good stuff.  Note the low saddle in the bridge!
While the glue is still hot and gooey, I use a chisel to clean it up as much as possible.  This step isn't necessary with hide glue, but with Titebond or other glues, you need to get the joint very clean.  I'll get the bulk of the glue off now and then let the neck sit for a week or 10 days to dry off.

Putting the neck back on