Removing Fretboard From Neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Robert Spencer, Jul 30, 2013.


  1. Robert Spencer

    Robert Spencer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    Prince Of Wales Island Alaska
    How do you remove a fretboard from the neck? The neck has a crack ( fully acoustic body) & I want to use screws to bind it back together. Doing so from under the fretboard will not show but should be strong. Thanks & Take care. Bob
     
  2. boristhespider9

    boristhespider9

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    Sep 9, 2008
  3. Robert Spencer

    Robert Spencer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    Prince Of Wales Island Alaska
    Thanks boris. What kind of glue (epoxy) is used to reinstall it?
     
  4. boristhespider9

    boristhespider9

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Sorry, I don't know. I didn't do the work. However, if you send them an email or write a note on the blog on that page, I'm sure they'll respond.

    I won't say whether that is my bass...
     
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  6. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    Lotsa steam and prayers or curses, whatever works better for you.

    There's some forum report of somebody removing the skunk stripe from a neck with a steamer.
     
  7. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I did this once with great success. I referenced a Carl Thompson video where he used an iron, no steam, just dry heat. Once the glue is loose you separate the board with a chisel or wedge, then just keep moving down the board til it comes off. The whole removal process took about 20 minutes, and was curse free!


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    Regarding your repair, everything I have ever read would indicate that a good glueing, Titebond wood glue, well clamped and set for 24 hours, is the best and strongest fix. Screws sound like a bad idea to me. Titebond for the new fingerboard as well.
     
  8. Tedward

    Tedward Supporting Member

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    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    southern california
    I agree with jbtbj that screws are a bed idea. Glue will hold better than screws anyway. I use an iron with good results to remove the fret board. Just go slow and make sure the glue has heated enough to become soft. If you find yourself trying to exert a lot of force with the blade or the fret board or neck are splintering it's not hot enough. Remember when doing guitar work patience is a good friend.

    Tedward
     
  9. Robert Spencer

    Robert Spencer

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    Prince Of Wales Island Alaska
    The crack isn`t wide enough to get glue into or I would prefere that approach first,
     
  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member

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    Professional Luthier
    Yes, screws are a bad idea for repairing a crack. The metal expands and contracts at a different rate than the wood. In a short time, the screw will either be loose and do nothing, or it become overly tight and cause the wood to split, perpendicular to the crack you are trying to repair.

    Instead of a screw, drill a straight small hole and glue in a wood dowel. That will be stronger and more stable. Even a little 1/8" birch dowel has a surprising amount of tensile strength, for keeping a crack from spreading. There's another advantage too. After you drill the hole, pour it full of glue up to the top. Then, push the dowel down into the hole. The hydraulic pressure will actually force the glue out sideways into the crack itself, where you couldn't reach it. After it's dry, trim off the top of the dowel that's sticking out.

    My favorite glue for a repair like this is a hard marine epoxy like West Systems or Systems 3. But you can also use hot hide glue or one of the woodworking glues like LMI's Instrument Makers Glue or Titebond.
     
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

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    I'll just add that don't use a chisel. Go to an art store and buy a paint spatula. As you iron, you can lightly heat the spatula with a torch and its so thin it will slide in the gap easily, speeding the process. Also you'll notice in the pic that the wood is now warped. The spatula can be used to apply heat directly to the glue so the wood won't warp from the iron heat.
     
  12. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    In regard to 96's comment recommending a pallette knife above, for fingerboard and acoustic bridge removal try a frosting spatula. Typically ten to twelve inches long and an inch to an inch and a half wide, they allow great reach at an extremely low angle. Another plus is that the blade has ten times the mass of the small pallette knife so it holds a lot more heat energy. Between the two, it saves some time and keeps the part straighter. Thinning the blade tip on a belt sander makes initial insertion into the glue line easier. It is also a good idea to warm the workpiece in advance of the procedure.

    You can find one at a flea market for a dollar or so. If you pay attention, you may be able to find one with a nice rosewood handle.
     
  13. Robert Spencer

    Robert Spencer

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    I think i`m going to go with Bruce Johnsons approach. I was thinking about it last night and had just about determined that i would use either a dowell or pins glued into a predrilled hole lined with glue. Bruce confirmed that approach when I read his message this morning. It will be either one 1/4" dowell or two 1/8" metal pins (brass or aluminum). welding rod. The idea that the dowell forces glue into the crack is a bonus I had not thought of.
    96tird it took me a long time to figure out that your user name was your bass not your car. LOL! Thanks & take care, Bob
     
  14. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member

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    Robert;

    Use the wood dowel. The glue won't stick to the metal pins well enough to take any tensile load as the wood expands and contracts. As soon as the wood moves the metal pin will just be sliding in the dried glue. The whole point of the pin is to put a tension-bearing "strap" across the crack, so that it can't spread open further. The glue will sink into the surface of the wood dowel, making a much stronger bond. And the wood will expand and contract at about the same rate as the wood around it.
     
  15. Robert Spencer

    Robert Spencer

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    Thanks again Bruce. It will be a wood dowell. Take care. Bob
     
  16. Robert Spencer

    Robert Spencer

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    One more question for Bruce. Obviously with the hole filled with glue most of it will have to be squeezed out when the dowell in inserted. What to use to clean it up before it sets? Thanks & Take care. Bob
     
  17. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member

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    Robert;

    That depends somewhat on what glue you are using. But, surprisingly enough, it's often better not to wipe up the excess glue. Before gluing, wipe some wax (I use Johnson's Paste Wax) onto the surrounding finished areas that you don't want the glue to stick to. Use masking tape to make up a dams to keep the glue away from other areas.

    Then, when you glue it, resist the urge to wipe off the excess while it's wet. Let it dry on the waxed areas as a blob. It's much easier to knock the blob off. Just push on it with something, and it will pop right off in one piece, with no harm to the surface underneath. If you try to wipe it off while wet, you'll end up with a thin film of glue that's much harder to remove.
     
  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'm following this with great interest as I have a similar situation...almost. I want to replace the existing fretted fingerboard but have no pressing need to salvage it. Installation of a new FB is beyond my scope so I'm hoping to defray some expense by doing as much as I can before sending it off. I own an iron and can definitely come up with some type of non-scarring wedge system. Is this realistic or should I walk away?

    Riis
     
  19. boristhespider9

    boristhespider9

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Look at the photos in the second post and you can get an idea of the scope of the work.
     
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm optimistic and pretty good at following directions. May be a stupid question, but....do I have to de-fret?

    Riis
     
  21. Robert Spencer

    Robert Spencer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    Prince Of Wales Island Alaska
    Thanks Bruce. As before your knowlege has saved me from doing the obvious and creating my own disaster. IOU. Take care. Bob
     

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