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Resetting An Archtop Neck: Tips?

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Hi All,

This is my first reset, a nice but thankfully cheap '50s Kay archtop. Getting the neck off was easy: A couple of moderate taps with a plastic-faced hammer and it was out. Now comes the hard part. I'm assuming that I'll need to scrape/clean all the glue faces. That's straightforward enough.

If I press the neck into the pocket and run a straightedge over the frets to the bridge, the edge falls more or less on top of the bridge in full lowered position. I'm assuming I want quite a bit more leeway than that though, so the questions are:

1. How do I determine the angle to glue the neck back in?

2. Once that's done, how do I reshape the neck fit into the pocket? Sanding down the tongue and bottom of the heel, I assume, but any tips would be really appreciated!






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Depending on the amount of adjustment on your bridge, the neck angle you described sounds fine to me.

As for re-fitting the dovetail, it's a bit of a black art, but keep in your mind at all times that the main mating (gluing) surfaces are the sides of the tennon, so concentrate on getting these to fit tightly. I tend to get the pocket clean and straight, then slowly work on the neck with a chisel to get it to drop down into the mortise.

It's a bit difficult to give advice without actually being able to fiddle with the joint myself, but if you're not happy with how tight it is, you can always beef up the tennon by gluing a veneer to each side of it and starting fresh...

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