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Steam Iron To Bend Warped Neck?

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hi guys. i have been carrying around this relic silvertone archtop guitar, however the neck is quite bent.

An old hippie at the local guitar store always has em like this, with action as good as an electric..however i dont A. have the cash for a repair B. love the guitar too much to part with it

Ive read about neck resetting, and this guy definently doesnt do that. he'll have 50 year old guitars, with PERFECTLY straight necks....well not perfectly STRAIGHT but you get my point. it wont be an angled heel, the neck has very little bow in it

a friend of mine claims the old guy simply uses an every day ordinary steam iron for laundry. He works at a competing music store i guess. Said he heats up the frets, leaving the steam gush as much as possible, moving from the 3rd to the 7th frets, back and fourth, until finally the neck is easily movable.

my friend said he did it on an 80s electric and it worked wonders. claimed he didnt remove the fretboard or anything

Now ive got a 3$ guitar to test it on with a bowed neck, hump in the body etc lol an OLD 12 string i bought at a flea market with bent neck, sprung block body hump, and a Kay classical, thats 3/4 scale. i can play it, but the neck could be straighter.

the above are my guniea pig guitars. Anyone have ANY knowledge/words of wisdom on this method?

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I've also heard this story but I've never actually heard testimony from someone who's done it, nor seen it done. Heat and steam will loosen the glue, no doubt, and this can't be all that good. I could see how you might be able to relieve built-up stress in the neck, but I can't see how you could go about a job like this without removing the fretboard and jigging everything together for a fresh glue-up.

I think this is one of those urban guitar restoration legends....one of those things you have to see to believe.

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i'd do a lot of research before trying it on anything you didn't want to take a chance of ruining. you might get lucky and find a tut by googleing it. heat can indeed temporarily soften wood and used the right way can help you straighten it. but..and this is a big but..steam can create a lot of problems. using it on the fretboard can loosen frets, loosen the fretboard as erik said, and fog the finish so that it turns white. even steaming the neck joint loose to do a re-set can do that.

no amount of heat by itself will cure a hump in the body or change the neck angle where it's attached to the body but i've had limited success straightening "slightly" curved necks without truss rods or with truss rods that can't correct the problem.

if the guitar you're working on has a truss rod completely loosen it and place a straight edge from the first to the last fret. take a measurement in the middle and make note of it. lay your guitar between two chairs with the fret board facing the floor. headstock on one and tail end of the body on the other. use a hair dryer set high or a paint stripping gun set on low. heat the neck by moving the heat source up and down, top and bottom but not staying in one place too long and not too much on the fret board. occcasionally test with a finger to see if the neck is heating up. it takes patience to effect any change. once the neck is almost too hot to touch place some weight on the guitar body. a ten pound weight or several books or a couple of gallons of paint will do the trick.

leave the weight on the guitar for several hours and then check with the straight edge again. see if it has straightened any. if it needs more you'll have to go through the process again and possibly again.

once you've gained a substantial amount tighten the truss rod again and see what you've got. like i said, it takes patience and it may take several days but most often you can make it better.

good luck..

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I've heard of this. I think Dan Erlewine demonstraits it in his advanced fretting video. I think part of the object is to slip the glue joint of the neck/fingerboard to bow the neck back, but I'm not sure. Never done this myself.

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sorry i havent replied, mailer isnt working..

anywyas, hows this to screw with ya, there is no trussrod. Its a 50s silvertone that says nothng more than "Steel Reinforced neck"

At the headstock there is no rod adjustment, and its an archtop with Fholes, so i doubt theres an adjustment inside

However, is it possible if i removed the neck id find a truss rod adjustment nut?

i havent tried anything BTW, busy with school and such. my 3$ guitar will be my soul gunea pig for this, and ill post pics and results as i go

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there's probably not a truss rod as such. steel re-inforced generally means that there's a steel bar in it that is just supposed to add some stiffness.

a couple of the answers you got were relating to a twisted neck. is it twisted or simply bowed? if it's just bowed and the action too high then my method should help some.

did you ever get around to measuring how high off of the frets a straight edge would be if you measured in the middle of the fretboard?

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  • 2 weeks later...

alright sorry im taking forever...now i need to fix this thing!

i gotta gig december 10th. Im playing for this guy whos got a pair of record producers looking at him and he needs a real guitarist...so i got the job hehe..but i need a guitar with REAL tone. Thats this thing here.

im starting to wonder if the bridge was simply made too high. Alltogether, bridge and the peice under it, i measure 2.3CM which = 0.90551181 IN

At the 12th fret, unfretted, it measures .5CM (0.19685039 IN)from string to fingerboard.

The neck does look crooked to me, however next to my usual 6 string, it doesnt seem THAT bad..yea its a bit higher but not as outrageous as ive always perceived.

I might just take it to the local vintage guitar store and ask what they think. They have those archtop bridges on ebay that allow intonation adjustments for about 15$ total, so if it isnt neck, im so going with that...but i wont keep my hopes up

I'm gonna try to get pics up asap

Does that help at all guys?

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