Taylor Two-Bolt Neck Reset
11/4/10 – This article was featured in a previous FLGR Newsletter. Sign up for the free Newsletter by typing in your e-mail to the left and pressing Go.
Note: This is Taylor’s old neck joint used prior to 1999. A reset of Taylor’s newer neck joint (called the “NT” neck joint) can be found Here.
|1. Taylor Guitars have always been manufactured with bolt-on necks. Prior to the introduction of their current neck joint in 1999, Taylor used a two-bolt neck joint with the fretboard tongue glued to the top of the guitar.||2. High Action on this guitar is making it tough to play. The truss rod and nut slots are all adjusted correctly. The action is 4/32″, which is too tall for the owner of this guitar’s playing style. He wants his action at 3/32″ as measured from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the 6th string.|
|3. The Saddle Protrusion or amount of saddle that’s protruding above the bridge is 5/32″ on the bass side and 3/32″ on the treble side. This means that if I lower the action by sanding down the saddle, there won’t be enough saddle protrusion left to achieve an adequate break angle beneath the 1st string. This means the guitar just won’t work right unless it gets a neck reset. Guitar’s with flat bridges, as opposed to guitars with radiused bridges, actually require a little less saddle pro- trusion at the e strings so the protrusion isn’t too high at the d and g strings.||4. (XZ)/W A mathematical formula for determining the amount of material that needs to be removed from the heel of the neck will help me quickly and accurately change this guitar’s neck angle. This simple to use formula, developed by Stuart Berg, requires me to take a few basic measurements from the guitar.|
|5. W= distance from neck/body joint to saddle.||6. X= Distance from the bottom of the fretboard to the heel-cap.|
|7. Z= the distance that the neck has pulled forward as measured at the bridge. Since I want to maintain the current saddle protrusion, Z= 1/16″ which is the amount I would have to lower the saddle to get the action where the customer wants it. You can see that the completed formula indicates that 19/1000″ must be removed from the heel cap to realize the desired change in this guitar’s action.||8. Scoring the Heel Cap with a razor blade gives me a visual indication of how much material I will have to remove as I adjust the heel. The feeler gauge acts as a .019″ thick spacer between the guitar’s sides and the heel cap.|
|9. Removing the Label that covers the neck bolts is pretty quick with a heat-gun.||10. A Taylor Two Bolt Neck has two bolts that go through the neck block and tighten into threaded inserts in the heel of the neck. The fretboard tongue is glued to the top of the guitar. I’ll leave the fretboard glued to the guitar top but I have to remove the 2 bolts to do the reset.|
|11. Adjusting the Heel is pretty quick and easy with some 80 grit sandpaper. Masking tape protects this guitar’s satin finish as I pull the sandpaper out of the joint. I put the sandpaper in the joint a little deeper as I go to ensure that I’m sanding the heel to the correct taper. I’ll stop sanding when the paper just starts to cut the inner- edge of the score-mark on the heel cap.||12. Low Action has this guitar playing a lot easier. The action is now 3/32 from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the 6th string and 2/32″ from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the 1st string.|
|13. The Saddle Protrusion has not changed.||14. The Neck-Heel and sides of the guitar show no sign of repair.|
|15. All Done. Leaving the fretboard tongue attached to the top of the guitar actually made this repair faster.|