I apologize in advance for this document. It will be over the head of 99% of Yamaha enthusiasts. It’s meant for someone who has some guitar repair experience, or maybe someone who has some woodworking experience and is crazy enough to try one. It took months of writing and editing to precisely detail every step I did to remove the necks of (6) vintage Yamaha FG’s; FG-110E, FG-160, FG-170, FG-180, FG-200 & FG-230. I’ve completed the FG-160, FG-170, fg-180 & FG-200. Working on the FG-230. I’ve completed (1) other dovetail neck reset and (5) bolt on neck resets.
A neck reset is not a trivial repair; it requires a precise plan, the right tools, accurate measurements and calculations, attention to detail, and flawless execution. And a certain amount of interest in the unknown. A neck reset on a 40+ year old guitar brings a whole new level of unknown – the method and glue they used to attach the neck.
I’ve written a 16 page (narrow margin, single spaced, no pictures yet) guide to resetting the necks on vintage Yamaha FG’s. It lists (in detail) the tools, parts and steps required. Since I have limited experience with neck resets, someone may have a better way than mine, but mine is proven on vintage Yamaha’s. I did extensive research online and picked the brains of a few luthiers before attempting a neck reset. Yamaha FG’s, at least the 6 I’ve taken apart, are not put together with some “Asian Mystery Glue”. They used regular hide glue, but they used too much of it, including gluing the face of the heel to the side of the guitar. And the neck pocket isn’t directly below the 15th fret, it’s 1/8″ to 3/16″ toward the heel.
Speaking of luthiers, I have to give thanks to Bryan Kimsey, who’s brain must be nearly picked clean with all the questions I’ve asked him! He’s a great guy and incredible luthier, specializing in repairing vintage Martin’s.
I’m a Tool Designer by trade, so I design, detail, and build many of my tools. Along with original tools, I’ve copied or improved many things commercially made. I’ll be sharing them eventually.
The current version (v6.1.3), dated 2/5/18, is available here –> HERE