Sep 2017

New neck for Gibson Les Paul

This guitar came in for repair after the neck has been badly split open at the back by an incorrectly installed truss rod on a previous repair. The already battle worn fretboard needed to come off to do this and the extent of the damage in this case unfortunately meant the simplest solution was to replace the neck.

Al measurements of the existing neck as well as profile templates were taken, enabling the new neck to be made with exactly the same shape as the original. The fretboard was heated off and retained for reference, and the old neck tenon was chiselled out of the mortice joint.

One of the hardest parts of a job like this is making a perfect fitting tenon that retains the correct neck angle and offers a perfect fit along 3 edges to the body. Refine this fit too many times and the scale length is going to be affected. Any error to the work following this fitting (of which there’s quite a bit) and it’s back to square one.

The original peghead veneer of these guitars is made of fibre, so they don’t respond well to attempts to heat them off. Best solution here is to bandsaw the existing one off close to the join and shave the back down with a cabinet scraper and sanding before transferring to the new headstock.
Once the veneer and new fretboard is on, the final shaping of the neck and headstock can take place.

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