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A typical bolted mortise
Collings Neck Reset
© Frank Ford, 9/22/02; Photos by FF
Just as the other bolted and pinned neck reset articles, this one is a cursory look at the differences between the techniques used a bolted mortise and a conventional dovetail. Please read the Martin neck reset articles for a detailed discussion of the subject. You'll find them listed in the Big Index.
|This 15 year old Collings guitar has high action.|
|The saddle is as low as it can go, and the truss rod is adjusted correctly. That leaves neck resetting as the logical choice to correct the geometry of the guitar and return it to a comfortable playing action with a higher saddle for the best tone.|
|The bolts that hold Collings necks are hidden under two neatly fitted mahogany plugs.|
|By stabbing the plugs with a thin screwdriver, I can break them right out. They are a press fit, and come out easily.|
|Here's one of the bolts in question.|
|A 7/16" nut driver is the tool to remove the 1/4-20 nuts.|
This example is a neck from a different Collings guitar, and it shows the location of the "hanger bolts" that have a wood thread on one end and a machine thread on the other. If you look closely at the end of the heel, you may see the 1/2" dowel that runs vertically through the tenon to secure the bolts and strengthen the heel. If you read the Feature Article on the Collings factory, you'll see some more pictures of this arrangement.
|It's an easy reach to get in there and take off the nuts.|
|Just as with the Taylor reset, it's usually not necessary to remove the neck completely or unglue the end of the fingerboard. I can simply tip the neck forward like so.|
|Sanding strips of Mylar coated with abrasive are the perfect tool for changing the neck angle.|
|By holding the neck back against the body and drawing the sandpaper through the joint, I make tiny successive cuts, shortening the heel at its base, allowing the neck to tilt back farther when the nuts are replaced.|
|Once I'm satisfied with the angle change, it's time to replace the nuts on the bolts and insert new mahogany plugs. Collings obliges here, by providing new plugs as a courtesy.|
|All done, and looking good.|
|Now the action is back to normal|
|And, so is the saddle.|
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