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  • Writer's pictureAdam Chan

A 50 years old Yamaha

Once in a blue moon, a customer would show up at my workshop with a challenging restoration job of epic proportion.

In February 2020, a 50 years old Yamaha was brought to my workshop for repair assessment. The extend of damage was rather unusual even with my experiences in guitar repairs.

It was clearly a neck angle reset job. The stubborn neck was removed after periods of struggle. I found that several critical members were detached from one another. Surface and through cracks were found as well.

There was much to do to get it back in shape. The repair processes have to be sequenced appropriately to ensure success.

It may be too lengthy to present the entire processes in one posting. I shall write the blog in parts to benefit those who are seeking to learn something from this blog post.

• Re-gluing critical neck block's parts

• Reinforcing the neck joint

• Flattening all neck joint contact surfaces

• Gluing neck to body

• Setting up after restoration

The Damage Report

See cross-section picture for better understanding. The neck block (the right angle item in black in the diagram below) is a critical member that enables the union of the guitar neck and body.

The neck block was found to be totally detached from the guitar’s top board. It has buckled and titled towards the direction of its guitar body as well. These two conditions have effectively killed the guitar neck angle.

The presence of strings’ tension has exacerbated the pitching of the guitar neck to the point that playing and tuning the guitar was no longer doable.

With the main problem explained, I shall give mentioned to related parts that were affected as well. Sections of the guitar side that was originally glued to the neck block was detached as well. Certain lengths of the binding were hanging out as well.

This guitar needs a neck angle reset badly.

The assessment of detached areas and cracked parts were captured in the video and pictures herein.

The above 2 pictures showed depressions on areas just by the top bindings.

The guitar neck block; notice the gap at its top.

A scraper was able to penetrate into the neck block where the dovetail joint is.

Video of damage inspection.

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