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Sometimes guitar tops need changing, they may have collapsed under tension, they may have sustained some serious damage, they may have been sanded to thin during a respray, many reasons exist for changing a guitar top.
In this instance the top has a multitutde of cracks in the top and the bridgeplate, it has also started collapsing under string tension, the remedy is a top swap.
Time to repair approx 14 hrs over 2 weeks (glue and paint drying times)
We need to first remove the pickguard.
We use a heat source to seperate the glue from the tongue extension of the fretboard.
Using spatulas, one on each side we work the heated joint.
Until the spatulas can be worked all the way under the fretboard to the neck heel attachment.
This is where a decision has to be made, do we remove the neck completley or just the tongue section of the fretboard.
This guitar has a supportive neck block, so we can cut the board at the 14th fret
If the neck block was not supportive, you would steam and remove the neck
Attached link for steaming the neck off.
Using a saw, I remove the fretboard at the 14th.
One of the advantages of removing the fretboard and not the neck, is you do not need to do a neck reset at job completion, also no need for any coloring or paint work around the heel of the guitar
Using a piece of mdf we attach some easy to break glue, I like hide glue or fish glue for this job
Before you commence a job like this you need to know, is the neck block supported substantially by the top of the guitar, example this photo, solid neck block or is it a short block.
This configuration allows us to remove the top and leave the neck fitted.
This neck block has almost no upper area to attach to the soundboard, this is what I classify as a short block.
You have to pull the neck off to do a top change on this one.
Like so, you can see how much the top has aged exposed to natural light, which is to be expected from a guitar that is around 20yrs old.
6 small blobs is enough