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I built this guitar a few years ago. I installed a homemade aluminium "U-channel" trussrod.

After a few years, the neck had acquired a significant up-bow. Adjusting the trussrod did nothing. In fact, no matter how tight I turned it, it would rattle... not good.

The plan : remove the fingerboard, change the trussrod, glue the fingerboard back on.

The plan is simple, but reality is not.

I started by defretting.

Then, I drilled a bunch of small holes in the fingerboard to make way for the steam that would loosen the fingerboard glue joint, and started ironing the guitar :


I started peeling the fingerboard off with a metal spatula and and angle caul (with a little help from a big hammer).

When I was able to remove the trussrod (which was in a sad state), I injected more steam with a piece of electrical shielding hooked to a kettle of boiling water. That helped a little :



With the trussrod and fingerboard removed, I was horrified no see this :


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The problem was actually that the steam deformed the wood. I should have waited a bit before rushing forward, but I didn't. I planed the neck flat again, and this is what I discovered a few days later :


Had I waited, it probably would have gone back to flat.

To avoid planeing again (and reducing the neck width, I glued a mahogany overlay strip onto the center line and planed that flat :


The olf fingerboard was obviously only good for burning now, so I made a new fingerboard (BTW, did I mention it was a fanned fret guitar? All the more fun!)

My new fingerboard blank was very slightly too short, so I made a small setup to glue an extension piece :



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Got the new trussrod in the mail. Luckily, it's the same length as my channel, so I only need to widen and deepen the channel very slightly for the adjustment nut :


Widening the channel at the nut with a chisel :


If the rod fits... The nut is even aligned with the former rod's adjustment hole I had drilled through the head. Could things finally be going my way? :


Slightly scraping the upper "horn" free of sanding marks :


I made a dozen angled cauls to support the neck while glueing the new fingerboard :


The angled cauls allow me to somewhat adjust the bow of the neck. I hope this setup will help me get a decent, straight glue joint :


Fingerboard glued and clamped :


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Glue joint turned out pretty nice... Not perfect but close enough, considering the neck I had to work with.

Neck is straight and the trussrod works, hip hip hurray!

After scraping and sanding the neck and fingerboard sides, sanding the top of the fingerboard with a sanding stick, 80-grit to 400-grit.


Brushing the fingerboard and sanding stick often to prevent dust build-up and premature sandpaper wear :


Cleaning and deepening the fret slots :



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Fretting :


Fixing a chip with a mixture of ebony dust and super glue :


I felt the flat triangle behind the nut was a bit strange as the neck-head transition. So I gleud a small piece of ebony veneer to make it look rather like ax extension of the fingerboard :


I had to scrape and sand the guitar top slightly as I had made saw marks while deepening the last fret slots :


I also made a new, bigger jack hole for a new jack plate :



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  • 2 months later...

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