From Bob Gleason (Pegasus Guitars & Ukuleles, Hilo)
Shot Bag Neck Support
© Frank Ford, 10/9/98; Photo by Bob Gleason

Bob Gleason sent me this fine photo of his favorite neck support:

It's a 25 pound bag of lead shot. He uses it as a support for refret work, and says it's just the thing for those unruly, difficult to handle instruments.

I have a number of smaller bags, because I dropped my 25 pound bag and it broke! Currently, I use my small shot bags, as well as a couple of sand bags as ballast when I'm hammering in frets, or balancing a precarious instrument with a bunch of heavy clamps. A sand or shot bag placed on the top of an acoustic really cuts down the noise of refretting, and probably keeps harmful vibration to a minimum.

12/16/05 - This just in from Joshua Levin-Epstein of Waltham, MA:

You may wish to mention where to buy shot (at gun shops that cater to reloaders), as some of your devotees may not be gun guys. One probably wants to buy the smallest shot available (#9) as large shot may print through the bag and dimple soft surfaces.

One needn't (probably shouldn't) buy "magnum" or "Hard" shot. This has higher antimony content which keeps the shot from deforming. For repair purposes, this deformation might be preferable. Besides, the magnum shot is more expensive. Some manufacturers are putting shot in woven TYVEK bags. These won't break easily. They also don't rot if left on a concrete floor that wicks moisture.

Maybe I'll get another full bag for a neck support. . .

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