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Framus Parlor Neck Reset Gone Wrong

barefoot

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This is not my finest moment. Troubles with my heat blanket on a stubborn, vintage Framus arch-back parlor guitar neck with ugly yellowish goop from an amateur reset gone wrong. I thought it was just yellowed wood glue but it's something else I never ran into before; it has qualities of old, fractured hide glue combined with an acrylic sort of toughness. After several failed shorter attempts to heat the neck up to workable warmth, I put the heat blanket on half power and ran out to grab a sandwich for a 10pm dinner. No problems anticipated because my heat-blanket timer only goes for 15 minutes.

When I got back out, my backyard shop smelled of burnt wood and, after a quick survey, I realized, with horror, that I must have hooked the temp slider with a piece of clothing or something, because it was not at half power the way I thought I'd left it, but on full, which can go up to about 500F. The heat blanket had slipped to boot. There's a dark burn about 2" in diameter where a pick guard would go. Half the bridge is burnt, saddle melted, part of the rosette binding melted, the last seven frets of the fretboard are scorched and cracked, along with parts of the neck and heal, and several other areas of the top finish next to the fretboard are toasted and crazed. Other than that, it has no problems.

Or should I say HAD no problems. I almost never give up on a guitar, so I went to work. I popped the 12th fret, drilled down about half way and hooked up my espresso machine, which I use for steaming. Three bouts of steam, prying and a rubber hammer, failed to create even the slightest movement of the neck. What the hell? Nothing in my 22 years of radical luthery had prepared me for this neck from hell. Most of my work is on classical and flamenco guitars, and better steel-string acoustic guitars. I'd never touched a Framus guitar till now. Tomorrow I will stop at the store and pick up a vibrating cutting blade for metal and remove the neck--which SURPRISE!--has some strange flat steel connector in the dove-tail joint to keep it in place FOREVER. I can't even postulate how it got inside the dove tail without revealing something about how it was engaged. I had determined to replace the neck and defeat most of the BAD problems so I could at least try and play it before I painted it black and put it out by the campfire, or some such fate. Now I'll have to use that neck, cut of and remounted as a bolt-on, replace the fretboard and bridge and saddle, refinish the top.... I must have done something very bad as a kid to merit this guitar.
Mea culpa.
They shoot horses, don't they?
 
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DLJeffs

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My coach keeps telling me there's nothing we can't fix but it sounds like you're getting pretty close to that limit. Almost to the point it would be easier just to remake a new neck. Chin up, stiff upper lip and all that.
 

JerseyHighlander

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Sounds like that rat bastard Murphy has been around. Also sounds like the previous repair was done with Gorilla or some other polyurethane glue.
Step back, breath, ponder and take it a step at a time is all I can offer. The sky is still up there, haven't seen any locusts, this too shall pass.
 

Arn213

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Too early for condolences on this guitar- the recent trend of setting wood on 🔥 did escape my mind (for a second) based on the going trend (verbally).

I am curious what this thing looks like. Familiar with Framus, but not on a parlor with an archtop back.

The steam works well with tite bond types and hide glue. If it is epoxy, it will take sometime (I mean sometime) for the the steam to take in effect and when it works it will soften eventually, then it will turn into a powdery substance- try drilling on the 14th fret and steam there (then slide up to the 13th fret and steam there too). You can try acetone as someone suggested prior that.

If none of that works- please do not saw off the neck where it is attached to the body just yet. That should be the last option. Since the fretboard is crack and need to be replaced, how about cross cutting the fretboard from where it is connected to the body and use a flush cut saw to remove the fretboard from the butt end from the top end of the soundboard- this way it should expose the joint so you can work on it to get it out. You can work the steam injection, use a very hot knife (or solder tip) to loosen the joint. If it is epoxy, it you hit it hard enough with the correct tool, it will weaken the joint.

If any of that doesn’t work, then use a flush cut saw to saw off the neck from the heel joint and turn it into a bolt-on conversion. Probably the best thing for it as it probably needs a neck reset. Good luck.
 

barefoot

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Yeah, I think it was probably Gorilla Glue--my first experience with OLD G. glue. That stuff is awful!!!
So when drilling at the 12th fret (yeah a 12-fret neck) and several penetrating steamings didn't work, I tried hot knives and such and rubber hammers and such and that didn't even budge it. I finally did saw it off at the heal and what did I find, but a bolt that had been put into the heal but not through the neck block, so I didn't find it until the cutoff. Some idiot repaired it earlier and made that mess! I'm going to put it back on as a bolt-on conversion. The top isn't as bad as I first thought. I think I can save the bridge--got the melted saddle out cleanly. Sanded away the burnt surface but still plenty of bridge left. Will sand and French polish the scalded top spots and put a pick guard over the burnt area, which is mostly cosmetic and still strong. The fretboard might be saved yet. About to go out and face it now. I am nothing if not persistent. Doesn't that go before success?
Thanks for your handy answers gentlemen! And you are all that!
 

barefoot

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Yeah, I think it was probably Gorilla Glue--my first experience with OLD G. glue. That stuff is awful!!!
So when drilling at the 12th fret (yeah a 12-fret neck) and several penetrating steamings didn't work, I tried hot knives and such and rubber hammers and such and that didn't even budge it. I finally did saw it off at the heal and what did I find, but a bolt that had been put into the heal but not through the neck block, so I didn't find it until the cutoff. Some idiot repaired it earlier and made that mess! I'm going to put it back on as a bolt-on conversion. The top isn't as bad as I first thought. I think I can save the bridge--got the melted saddle out cleanly. Sanded away the burnt surface but still plenty of bridge left. Will sand and French polish the scalded top spots and put a pick guard over the burnt area, which is mostly cosmetic and still strong. The fretboard might be saved yet. About to go out and face it now. I am nothing if not persistent. Doesn't that go before success?
Thanks for your handy answers gentlemen! And you are all that!
Oh, originally I was just going for a neck reset, so that's been fitted and ready to go--not perfect, but it will pass muster.
 

DLJeffs

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I'm a little confused... there was a bolt in the heal but it didn't go into the neck block? So where did it go and what was its purpose if it wasn't securing the neck?
 

barefoot

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It was in the heel, but didn't go through the neck block, so I don't know what the purpose was. Very confusing. Had to add some thin wood to the area between the heel and neck block. It didn't come out very pretty, as I had to overwork it to make the neck tolerances pull together and the heel had broken and needed regluing but didn't want to hold, so I did it again. Bottom line is that the heel fix is quite ugly but the guitar will play I think, in tune even. About to go out and string it up when I'm sure the fretboard glue is dry. That would be today, 4/28. I have a friend who loves funky guitars that play, so he will probably want this for his collection--Framus parlors aren't that common. Will get back about this when I have it strung up. I only did the work to find out how it sounds. It's no prize and most would think it was a waste of time, but I'm stubborn and was determined to hear it.
 
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