1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Hollow body set neck replacement?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Oldsmobum, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal
    I have a 67 guild Starfire III body that I got very cheap- the reason being the neck is a mess. Someone replaced the headstock and did a sloppy job. Worse yet however, is when they did so it seems they couldn’t manage the binding route- so they narrowed the entire neck the width of the binding on each side. The width at the nut is stupid narrow as a result.

    salvaging the neck will not be easy- if not impossible. Not sure if the heel is reusable or not, there is not a lot of info online about making new set necks... Which surprises me, as there are plenty of gibsons worth making a new neck for at any cost.

    Is this something a luthier might take on? Obviously it would be expensive, but how expensive? Considering the guitar is a nice vintage instrument, and I have almost nothing into it, I’m not sure I could go wrong either way unless the cost of a new neck exceeds the price of another vintage unit.

    By sheer coincidence, my dad has a 65 or 66 starfire III, so I have all of the dimensions of an authentic vintage neck and a headstock to trace.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  2. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,576
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    pictures?
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    5,929
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    Ditto on the pictures. I did a quick search for 67 Starfire and it looks like a thin body semi hollow 335 style guitar. If it is built like a 335 the neck would have a long tenon that extends into the pickup cavity. It was probably glued with AR and is not designed to come off. Be prepared for a bunch of damage to the pocket, possibly the laminations and the finish.

    Here is what a 335 clone neck pocket looks like

    IMG_3298.JPG

    It is not a good picture but all I've got.

    Its impossible to tell you if its worth doing the work without seeing at least pictures (pull the pickup and take one of the cavity). If it was on my bench I would be looking at making a new neck, setting it to correct geometry, fixing all the other stuff you talked about (binding), probably refinishing. Your guitar will no longer be a vintage guild so it won't be worth much for resale. Finish repairs on an old guitar are problematic - the binding has aged and lacquer has yellowed.

    Would I take on something like that as a challenge - yes. Would I take on something like that as a commission - absolutely not.
     
    MickM and dogmeat like this.
  4. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,576
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    the easy way to make it a player is laminate in the wood needed to make it work right and paint it (the neck)(maybe the whole guitar)
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  5. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    2,196
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Location:
    Paris, France
    If, as @Freeman Keller said, the neck cannot be taken out without too much damage, can’t you make it a bolt-on instead?

    Like performing a « kung-fu neck reset », you cut off the existing neck at the heal, and screw a new one in place.
    I’ve seen it done to flattops that weren’t worth a proper neck reset, but do not know if it can be done to this style of guitar.
     
  6. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    2,196
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Something like this, except you would put a new neck obviously:
     
  7. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal
    This guitar is fully hollow, so it does not have the long tenon of the 335. That’s all I really know about it sadly... I took pictures of the guitar, the mods, and inside the body of what I assume is the base of the “dovetail”

    I didn’t think about this. I would still have to resolve the headstock situation, it’s a little sloppy.

    I might try something like this if it was a harmony, but it’s a very nice vintage guitar. If it was the only practical way to make it playable, that would be another story altogether.

    This is what I had envisioned- but I’ve got to practice getting necks off of old crappy Teiscos first before I would even try on this one. That’s where I was going with the whole luthier thing- it would be expensive, but how expensive?

    Thank you for the replies everyone.

    Pictures:

    F603CB01-458E-4C53-9A90-2E9E46E01AF9.jpeg 8105AF6F-CAEB-4E5A-8322-5AF6558F9D43.jpeg 392A4FAC-4CF0-4EE7-A92C-664A5D000596.jpeg 7A78DB78-0AD5-4481-9282-31B9D7A854C4.jpeg 40A1BA46-62EA-4D1D-A612-50FA299CA4C7.jpeg 3D3FC276-82BD-4248-869B-E49927077B41.jpeg
     
  8. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,576
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    seems like I saw a StewMack vid where they cut some slots in the neck and (broken) headstock and bonded in graphite rods for reinforcement. epoxy is a wonderful thing. if it were me, I'd do that and add some wood to re-profile the neck. re-do the binding, and maybe re-fret. then paint the neck, possibly leaving the body as is
     
  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    5,929
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    OK, if its really a dovetail (it has to be about the shortest I've ever seen) then the project gets somewhat easier. We steam dovetail joints apart all the time to reset them - lets assume that we can get this apart too. Then its just a matter of making a new neck of the proper length and geometry, routing the dovetail tenon and setting it. I'm used to seeing dovetails on guitars with 3 or more inch neck blocks, the reason you don't see them on thin lines is there just isn't enough vertical sides to the tenon to really get a tight fit. It is also interesting that yours seems to join at the 14th fret - I expect that more on a hollow body than a semi hollow.

    Here is a typical dovetail on a hollow body, yours is much shorter

    IMG_3545.JPG

    So, its still not trivial but it would make a good project. As I stated before, I would do it for the challenge, I would not do it for someone who was sure that it was going to come out perfect.

    The steps are pretty much as I listed before, I would plan on stripping and refinishing the body (guitars like this are finished after the neck has been glued on). Good luck.
     
  10. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal
    One thing I like about this solution is that it sounds relatively simple... As in something that I could possibly do myself with a bit of practice on sacrificial materials. However the headstock itself needs work too, some artistic liberties were taken

    742177CB-4D38-4A46-A4D7-287881D01128.jpeg

    So it at least seems like a somewhat realistic project to possibly bring to a luthier? Basically if you bring a bag of 1959 sawdust from Kalamazoo and ask someone to make it into a Les Paul, I would not expect a luthier to take that project seriously. Complete examples range between $2000-3000, and I only have about $100 into it. I could hang it on the wall for that, but even if it costs it’s actual complete value to get it going, it’s an amusing project. I also find spending 3k in steps a bit easier than going all in at once.
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,259
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Look around for Les Paul -style "kits" and use the neck in there, modified to fit your particular instrument. Then you recut the end of the headstock and away you go.

    Only one quick example this particular kit may not work but others could. This whole kit, via Thomann, is a Harley Benton Single Cut guitar kit. It's Currently listed at $111 plus shipping (shipping was $35 for 1-3 guitars but I heard it went up, probably still flat fee for 1-3 guitars, though so check out the other Harley Benton finished models, like the TE-70 Paisley Tele, SC-450 and SC-550).

    [​IMG]
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  12. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,158
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    In looking at the pictures, I can't see the dovetail at all. How can you tell it's a short one?
    The neck block picture is taken straight on. There doesn't seem to be a way to guage its depth from the photo.
     
  13. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,576
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    wasn't StewMac, but found it...
    https://video.search.yahoo.com/sear...=e56061ade5d1f308a2fe4a160284ee0d&action=view

    try that if you think it needs more strength at the crack.

    that buttugly headstock design can be repaired with a glued on piece. it's going to be all black again so you are free to laminate back some wood to re-shape the neck. you can probably get a reproduction decal for the logo. doing the binding you prolly want to farm out unless you get a new wider fretboard and go natural. guessing it needs frets.

    most of the structural repair you can do with limited tooling if you are even half hand with wood. and, you're really not out anything if you mess it up

    the really easy fix is buy an aftermarket bolt on neck & chisel a slot for it
     
  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    5,929
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    I don't think it is a realistic project for a luthier. I consider myself a luthier, I would not consider doing it for a friend or a customer. If someone gave me that guitar I might consider making a new neck for it. If that worked I would probably donate it to my school music program, I do that with a lot of basket cases that I work on (I gain the experience, some kid gets a guitar).

    I'll add that I would not consider any of the suggestions you have received from people who have obviously not done something like this.

    What I am talking about is the vertical height of the neck block from top to back. You need a certain amount of height to make the dovetail work - I simply have never seen it done on a thin bodied guitar like this one.

    The fact that is it a dovetail makes it a little easier to get apart, the lack of height means setting the new one might be problematic.
     
    ArcticWhite likes this.
  15. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal
    I see. I managed to get pictures of one with the neck removed on another forum, so this is a what the dovetail in question looks like:

    BA1EF8E8-DC2E-41D5-ACD5-81582D6A94A6.png B3143E61-A610-40EA-989F-95810CF3A137.png 941522A8-494E-4189-AE26-FD3644558C0B.png
     
  16. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    2,196
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Location:
    Paris, France
  17. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal
    That’s what I initially thought; but I wasn’t so sure this would be a project a luthier would take on. I know only enough to know that a bolt on neck and set neck are miles apart as far as projects go... And some day I might be able to take this on myself, but I have a bit of sawdust to make until then.
     
    EsquireBoy likes this.
  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    5,929
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    The probable reason that neck was removed is to reset it just like any old hollow guitar. They have one advantage over you, I'm assuming the old neck will go back on and all they will do is set the angle and over stand. One big problem you (or your luthier) will have is cutting a new dovetail that fits the old mortise but it can be done.

    If I was going to attempt a repair like that here are the steps I would take

    - measure everything - uncompensated and compensated scale, neck angle, overstand, width at the joint, f/b radius.... You have some wiggle room with the floating bridge as far as scale is concerned but you want to be close.
    - remove the fretboard. Normally if we are reinstalling the old neck we leave it on but you want it out of the way so you can see the joint
    - steam it apart. Its probably AR glue (I see no signs of hide) but most of the time that will separate. You run the risk of damaging the laminated top and back and sides with the steam, inject directly into the pocket.
    - make a new neck. If I was doing it I would start with fitting the dovetail, then progress to carving the rest of the neck. You can do any kind of head you like, any shape and contour, any kind of truss rod..... Bind it if you want, shape the head, any material for the neck and fretboard. You are constrained by some of the measurements you took in the first step but that happens with every neck.
    - assemble it, fret it, do all the setup stuff.
    - you most certainly will have damaged the finish when you took the old neck off. The lacquer on the body has aged quite a bit. You can decide whether to try to touch it up or do a refin.
    - play it and enjoy it

    When you find a repair person who is willing to take this on I would be curious what they quote you for the repairs and how they plan to do it. You don't have to publish that here but maybe a PM. Good luck
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.