How to Repair Guitar Neck

Guitar's neck is the most stressed component of guitar, due to continuous tension build by strings. Cracks and bending are most common problems in guitar neck, caused by the tension from guitar strings. Do you feel that your guitar neck has developed a curve? The easiest way to verify that the neck has been distorted is to remove the strings from the bridge of the guitar. Once this has been done, take a yardstick and place it lengthwise across the frets of the guitar. If it can be placed evenly across the guitar then your guitar is fine, if not, then the neck of your guitar needs to be fixed. Here's the guide that will help you accomplish the task of repairing guitar neck. Read on.

Complexity Level: Moderate

Time Required: 2-3 hours

Resources Required:

  1. Pliers in order to adjust the frets of the guitar
  2. Sand paper
  3. Sanding bricks
  4. A tool kit for re-fretting
  5. Oil to polish the neck of the guitar
  6. A ruler for measurements

  1. Check whether the neck is indeed warped: As mentioned earlier, it is always good to check for defects in the neck before setting out to repair your guitar. Sometimes, it may be a case of loosened frets or an maladjusted bridge! This can be done by placing an yardstick along the frets. If the placement is uneven this indicates a warped guitar neck. The damage in the guitar neck can be of many types, it can be broken or warped, or even loose and excessively bent.
  2. Inspect the finger board: Quite often, a repair will merely involve scrubbing the finger board with sand paper and an intonation adjustment to set your guitar back to normal. However, if the problem seems to be deeper than this, you will need to repair the neck of your guitar.
  3. Draw circles on a piece of card by using a compass: At this level, the measurements need to be quite accurate. The size of the circles can range between 9-11 inches in radius. Carve out circles to make holes and then cut these holes in half in order to place the curve over the guitar fret board. This is necessary to figure out which block you need to make. You can also buy one of these as they are available in tools and hardware stores. Next, put the arc on top of the fret board and again at the bottom and check if they fit with the same. It is very important for these to get snugly fitted in the fret board.
  4. Tug at the frets using pinchers: For this step, you need pliers shaped like pinchers. Next, you have to pull out the frets using this tool in order to loosen them.
  5. Measure the radius of the guitar neck's convex fingerboard: Now, you have to sand the board in order to make it smooth. However, before doing this do ensure that there is enough wood on the fingerboard because the scraping can make the board quite flimsy. Sanding blocks can be bought from any tool or stationery shop.
  6. Start getting the neck ready for use: The neck and body of the guitar need to be placed evenly. If you face any difficulty doing this you can always use pieces of rags or wood to hold them in place.
  7. Use sand paper for leveling: This will even out bumps and points of friction. Use very light sand paper for this purpose. Always check with a machinist's ruler to ensure the accuracy of the levels.
  8. Add the convex fingerboard onto the guitar with sanding blocks: This will be quite easy at this level since the surface will be very smooth because of the leveling and scraping done in the previous steps.
  9. Re-fret using the tool kit: Now, re-fret the guitar using tool kit. Adjust the nut and bridge, then tune your guitar. The defect in the your guitar's neck has been fixed now.
Frequently Asked Questions:

How should one repair loose neck of a guitar?

If the neck of your guitar has been loosened with use, it will result in higher mobility in guitar movements than what is required. It is usually the first indication that the neck of your guitar is loose. In case the neck has become extremely weak, there is likely be a narrow gap near the heel of your guitar. This gap is essentially caused by the tension in between the strings of the guitar which in turn causes the headstock to get tugged closer to the guitar body. In this condition, it is quite likely that you will find it tough to tune your guitar owing to the higher string tension which pulls the neck thereby forcing it out of tune. In case, you observe any of these symptoms, it is important that you should de-tune your guitar and eliminate the tension immediately in order to prevent any lasting damage to its neck or body of.

Quick Tips:

  • Use very light sanding paper.
  • While leveling the fingerboard, make sure that it does not become too thin because this may cause it to snap and break.
Things To Watch Out For:

The neck may be ill-fitted, the frets may be either too tight or too loose, and the fret board may become too weak and flimsy because of the leveling. Any one of these problems can cause permanent damage to your guitar besides ruining any performance which you might have had plans for.

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