Refret and neck reset on '62 Starfire III...expectations, opinions?

rbrcbr

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Hey everyone, just curious of what you guys think of this. I've got a '62 SFIII that I love dearly but haven't been playing much as the frets are super low and it's starting to sound buzzy, but is also in need of a neck reset (possibly). My tech had to remove the pickup shims from under the DeArmonds when I first got it to be able to get the action nice and playable without the strings hitting the pickups. It played nicely for a bit but from the start a reset was a consideration. My tech in Atlanta didn't feel comfortable doing the reset as he'd never done one with the neck joint like mine and was worried to mess up an old Guild. Seems that lots of people don't do them/like doing Guild resets due to the glue used/amount of glue used?



When I went to Retrofret last year and asked about it, they mentioned it may not even be a neck reset issue, but a collapsed top right at the neck joint area? I didn't have the guitar with me so they couldn't evaluate it, but told me it's fairly common. Anyone else had to deal with this? When I look at mine, it does look almost like the heel of the neck is sitting in a sunken part of the arched top, but maybe it's a trick of the light. If this is the case, is there a fix for this? Humidifying?



I got a quote from a local shop that was recommended to me from another tech on the west coast who is experienced in working on Guilds from working at the factory previously - the quote was pretty damn expensive and honestly feels like a lot to put into a guitar that I already have a bunch of money into.

What would you guys expect to pay for this sort of work? I was under the impression previously that some resets require refrets anyway, but I guess I was wrongly assuming that cost would be built into the reset cost. Gotta say, every price I've gotten for NYC repairs feels almost 200% the cost of stuff in Atlanta. It's wild. Either way, the work needs to be done. It's a special guitar to me and I really want to get it in tip top shape and put it to use.
 

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"Send it to Fixit" is kind of the kneejerk response around here. Tom Davis in Merritt Island, Florida.
 

gilded

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I had a '66 SF III that needed a neck set badly. And got one, too. It played great after that.

It was a complicated job, because the neck was still glued perfectly in place and the neck had torqued into the body and was in fact glued in super-tight. Also, when the neck was pulled, it took some of the shoulder laminate with it, but my SF III was so beat up, you literally couldn't tell.

Your guitar isn't beat up like mine, so there's a catch. I would take a bunch of pics and send them to various luthiers and see what they had to say.

And after you get through with that, you can figure out what kind of radius you want on the fingerboard. Hint, if you want it to be original, you're gonna have to have an original bridge and a wound G string. Oh yeah, you got a lot a head of you...…………….
 

rbrcbr

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Thanks for the input guys. I will definitely reach out to Tom at some point and see what course of action to take.

I had a '66 SF III that needed a neck set badly. And got one, too. It played great after that.

It was a complicated job, because the neck was still glued perfectly in place and the neck had torqued into the body and was in fact glued in super-tight. Also, when the neck was pulled, it took some of the shoulder laminate with it, but my SF III was so beat up, you literally couldn't tell.

Your guitar isn't beat up like mine, so there's a catch. I would take a bunch of pics and send them to various luthiers and see what they had to say.

And after you get through with that, you can figure out what kind of radius you want on the fingerboard. Hint, if you want it to be original, you're gonna have to have an original bridge and a wound G string. Oh yeah, you got a lot a head of you...…………….
I'm worried that this is gonna be the case with mine - glued perfectly in place but the top sinking and needing some serious reconstruction. It's such a well maintained guitar that I'm worried if I take it to the wrong person they're gonna screw up the neck reset and mess up the finish. It's daunting but the work needs to get done at some point, maybe in the spring...
 

bobouz

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Looks like you’re in Atlanta - You could even drive it down to Titusville!

Many folks here have shipped guitars to Tom, and from the pics we see, his work is top notch (& he’s truly a Guild guy).

Best of luck in getting everything sorted out.
 

rbrcbr

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Ah damn, need to update my profile - I'm actually in Brooklyn, New York now. It would have to be shipped out, my only concern is that the cost of shipping will equal out about the same as taking it to someone local. Brooklyn Lutherie was recommended to me and I've heard they do great work - the quote was from them - it's just a lot to shell out at the moment. I'm worried that if the top is sinking that's going to add even more cost on top of the reset/refret.
 

geoguy

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If you are in NYC, another option (although not a short drive to south Jersey) might be Curt at Old School Guitar Repair.

He is also an LTG member, and is highly experienced in repair of archtop & chambered guitars. Check out some of his work at this link:

Old School Guitar Repair
 

kakerlak

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I think a lot of the CEs, Ts and SFs were just kind of built this way from the get go. I imagine things have torqued a little, but who knows. Looks like your main issue is pickup clearance, as there looks to be a little adjustment left at the bridge. That's frustrating.

I would worry about the plywood back delaminating where it overlaps the neck heel if you tried to steam that neck off. I mean, you'll need to get the glue to release between that overlapping back and the heel, but not release between any of the plies just a fraction of an inch below. I wonder if trying to cut through that glue joint with a fret saw would be smart to do before trying to steam off the neck itself. If you did it cleanly, you'd lose a bit of wood, but with canting the neck back to a steeper angle, it might be pretty negligible.
 
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