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lucky find

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by pkr2, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I have just obtained a Harmony H27 hollow body bass. This particular model came out with Dearmond pups, figured maple top in sunburst. The body is in excellent condition.

    That's the good part- now here's the bad part. The neck has a broken truss rod and the fingerboard has been removed and replaced using an unknown glue. it got pretty nicked up and has a crack in the fb plus a cracked headstock. also one missing position dot.

    No doubt the best solution will be a complete neck replacement.

    My question is: does anyone know of a source for vintage parts?

    If I can't find a neck I think that I'll build a fretless neck for it but I would really love to keep it original because it has a certain amount of collector value.

    Any suggestions? thoughts or comments.
  2. The cracked headstock shouldn't be a prob if it isn't in the transition area. I would just do a real good job of restoring the maple part of the neck and put a nice ebony fretboard on there. If you take pics of it in the "before" state and while the build takes place, you'll have provenance in case someone asks about the repair. I don't think you could do much to hurt it's value considering it's condition now. Making a new trussrod shouldn't be too difficult.

    As far as a source for something vintage like that, maybe Fat Dawg at Subway Guitars would have something. Other than that, I'm at a loss.
  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Hi, Hambone.
    Luckily the crack in the headstock is not in the transition area so that part will be easy enough.

    I'm inclined to agree with you on the neck repair. If I can find a neck,even at a later date, It would be a simple matter of replacing the repaired neck.

    I'm leaning in the direction of the ebony board but just removing the old truss rod and using carbon fiber spines to maintain straighness. i can just plane in any scoop that I need like an upright bass
    . Truth of the matter is, I am really wanting a fretless anyway.

    I found the Subway site and will contact them about a replacement neck.

    It's really a shame that someone let this bass get in it's condition. It obviously was never played much because the frets show absolutely zero wear.

    Anyhoo, thanks for the yell back. I'll probably be picking your mind some as the project moves along.
  4. Replace the fretboard and truss rod and fix the headstock, i assume the headstock still has all the logos on it and i know i wouldnt want to lose those. Replacing the neck is often a more difficult job than replacing a fretboard. I would definately put a new truss rod in and not just rely on CF rods, adjustability is a good thing. If you cant find a truss rod that fits (the most difficult part of a job like this) truss rods can be made quite easily, they are just a bar (or two) with a threaded end, some kind of anchor and an adjustment nut.

    A good way to glue on fretboards on already shaped necks is to put small stables into the neck wood, clip them off so you have small spikes, and press on the fretboard. That helps you locate the fretboard quickly when gluing but watch the staples when gluing, red glue is not good. Then i use a very large elastic band for clamping the fretboard on. You wrap it round loads of times and it provides more than enough force without needing clamps which could damage the neck. I suppose an bicycle inner tube would work as well
  5. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Sounds like good advice. In fact that's pretty much exactly what Hambone suggested and after weighing all the options I believe thats the route to go.

    Yes it does have the logo on the "plastic" laminate. The headstock has split along what appears to be a glue line but it doesnt run into any of the tuner holes or the scarf joint. biggest problem may be getting the split cleaned out before gluing it up. I'm pretty sure it would destroy the laminate to try to remove it.

    I'll use hide glue to attach the FB, provided that I can get it off without damaging the neck. It looks like it has been glued on with a Tite Bond sort of glue but with my luck it may be epoxied. I have a jointer so I can just plane it off I suppose.
    Putting the neck in the oven wit just enough heat to soften the glue line may work but I would sure love to be able to reuse the binding because new binding is going to stand out like a sore thumb. Maybe an iron and a lot of patience will loosen the board without destroying the binding but it's probably a long shot. I've done pretty much the same thing as the rubber band clamps but I've found that a bungee cord works well also.

    The neck is really bowed. probably 1/2" or so of bend in it so i may have to heat press it to get it straight enough to reassemble everything.

    I did check out the electronics and they seem to be ok other than dirty pots. I hope I don't have to change anything because it would be a bear to just pull the pots and switch out and get them back in.

    Thanks for the advice and wish me luck. ;)

  6. STAY AWAY FROM THE OVEN. An ordinary clothes iron works fine for this job. Remove the frets first if you aint using the board again, it helps heat transfer if the iron is closer to the board. It Might be a good idea to score the finish around the binding so it comes of without chipping. I cover the board with tin foil and start heating. after about five minutes you should be able to get a thin knife under a corner of the fretboard (start at the nut). Then i use a 12" metal ruler to start prying the board off. It may take about 1/2 hour or so to do the whole thing. The hardest part is starting off, once it starts coming it happens a lot quicker.

    The fretboard usually ends up curled but can be clamped and flattened if it is really needed.
  7. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Thanks for the tips, Wesz.

    Yeah, the oven thing was strictly talking off the top of my head. I wouldn't put it in the oven because I'd surely ruin the headstock laminate. I've removed a few FBs but the unknown glue that it's fastened on with has me just a little concerned. I'm sure you've tried to disassemble something that had been epoxied in place. It can be nearly impossible.

    Anyway, we'll see how it goes. :)