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Epiphone FT-160 12 string

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I have an Epiphone FT-160 12 string from the 70's or 80's. It has a very slight bellying of the top. You can see it in the pictures. Someone, apparently in an effort to change the neck angle, put a piece of cardboard between the neck and the top of the guitar. When they tightened the neck bolts back down they pushed the top down. The brace inside was loose even. I fixed the loose brace and put the neck back on without the cardboard, and the neck angle seems fine. I'm hoping that I can put the broken piece of the top back where it should be and reattach the neck. Hopefully it will be ok then.



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The top should be like that. That's a standard feature of most "flat top" acoustic guitars. They generally have a domed top of about 25' radius. This gives them some space to shrink with humidity changers so that they don't crack when they dry out. Instead they just flatten a bit. Once they get to a fully-flat surface due to humidity lows... if they keep shrinking more they have nowhere else to go but to split the top in places.


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  • 1 year later...

Interesting story about this guitar. I sold it shortly after I posted about it. I got it somewhat playable again and passed it on.

The other day I was surfing Craigslist and saw that this guitar was back on there being sold. So, I scooped it back up.

I have taken it completely apart and am sanding it down to refinish it. I am going to make a shim to fit under the neck to tip it back to the correct angle. I also bought a Bridge Doctor to install and help out the future desire it might have to belly worse than it is.

I find it somewhat strange that these guitars don't have a heel on the back of the neck. I would think that screwing through the neck block into the heel of the neck would be way more effective at keeping the bridge end of the neck from sinking down from the string tension. I thought about making a heel to attach to the neck and into the neck block to help support things a bit, but I think I will wait and see how it all goes back together. There is a lot of sinking that has gone on with the end of the neck. Hopefully I can get it corrected now that I have a little more experience with bigger repairs.

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