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Trying to prevent neck warping after the nashville floods

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JohnThomasson, May 9, 2010.


  1. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Supro, Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Source Audio, Pigtronix, & Fishman
    I am one of the guys that had gear at Sound Check in Nashville where so many people lost gear to the flood. Unfortunately today was the first day we could get in there and so my basses have been wet for about a week.

    I had three fenders in there and they seem like they are in pretty good shape right now. I took them apart today to let them dry. They are drying at room temperature with just a fan to move air over them. Two were on stands and the water just came up to the level of the pickups. The necks are dry but they were in a really humid room all week. The other one, my favorite of course, was on the stage flat in a gig bag. It actually looks like it is in the best shape of the three, but I fear the neck warping. Is there anything I can do before I take it to someone? Should I lightly clamp it fingerboard side down on a table. I'm going to take it to someone this week, it's just everyone is so backed up right now and I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to stop it from happening until I can get it in to someone.

    thanks
    John
     
  2. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I would clamp them to a straight surface as they cure. Even the straightest grain will release some growth tension after being wetted like that.
     
  3. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Oh jeez man, I really feel for you. I know there was massive loss of life and lots of major tragedy, but trauma is personally defined. I'd probably move quickly to the depressed stage of loss after experiencing something like that.

    I've never had to manage a soaked neck before, but my instincts say the same as mikey. Take everything apart and let it dry out on its own. With the necks, I'd back off the trussrod and clamp it fingerboard down to something straight and immobile for a good long while. I'd probably let them sit a month - but I don't know if that's overkill or not.

    Electronics can take forever to dry out; my daughter dropped our cordless phone in the toilet and everything worked except the screen and the intercom buttons. 9 months later, everything started working again...
     
  4. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Supro, Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Source Audio, Pigtronix, & Fishman
    It's crazy that they don't look that bad considering how long they were under water and the condition of some of the other guitars in the same room. I have pictures up here. The oldest bass lost even more of it's finish once I wiped it with a cloth. It kind of helped that they were two reliced custom shop Fenders and a '66 that was already beat to hell.
     
  5. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    If you can keep an oven at 50°C for a day you can drive off the remaining moisture for the body and the pups. The neck I would leave clamped for a month as Beej stated.
     
  6. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    I'd say put the electronics in a baggie of rice, absorbs the moisture, may even help those pedals. This sucks, good luck.
     
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Place them in a small room with a de-humidifer or turn on the A/C. Most A/C units and heat pumps have de-humidifiers built in.

    Riis
     
  8. ckngumbo

    ckngumbo

    Jan 26, 2009
    If you remove the pick guards on the older stuff Ilike your 66) be sure to screw it to something. Just a few weeks release from the way it was mounted can let them deform a bit.
     
  9. thats very sad news. remove and give all the metal parts a spray with wd40 to prevent them from rusting further, especially the bridge adjustment screws and also the strap button screws you don't want those to get weak enough to break! and the pots/solder joints too.

    Ensure that the drying is gradual, wood doesn't like abrupt temperature changes and keep the neck straight.

    Good luck!
     
  10. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Supro, Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Source Audio, Pigtronix, & Fishman
    Hey Guys, thanks for the advice. I went ahead and took the '66 P and the jazz bass into Corner Music here in Nashville so they can give them a once over. It appears that I'm am really lucky. They had to reset some frets on the jazz (the one completely under water for bit) and rewire the P bass but they were amazed about the condition of the basses compared to others they have seen that were underwater at the same place. They are playing like champs now!

    I'm obviously going to keep them in a controlled environment for a while. I'm in Florida for a run of outdoor shed dates and knew that was the last place they needed to be. I might have to replace the pickups in the '66. The composite boards on the outside of the pickups are starting to warp. That bass already had new pots and refret, so it wasn't all original and the sunburst finish was already in bad shape. It was already a player and not a collector. Now there is even less of the sunburst in the area between the bridge and pick guard. I'll post pictures when I get back on monday.

    I'm am so freaking happy! I love that Jazz bass. It's the one in my avatar if you didn't look at the pictures.
     
  11. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Builder,mcdcustomguitars
    My best guess would be. Once removed from the body, loosen truss rod completely and clamp the neck (with 6 - 10 clamps) to a thick glass table with frets down and all clamps at the same pressure. Let dry at normal humidity for a week if possible.
     

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