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Simple Bolt-on Neck Joint
Taylor Neck Resetting
© Frank Ford, 921/02; Photos by FF

This cursory article is intended only to point up the differences between resetting a butt joint bolted neck and a conventional dovetail. If you'd like more about the process of neck resetting, please read some of the the other neck reset articles you'll find in the Big Index.
This Taylor guitar has very high action, and is clearly in need of neck resetting to achieve the correct geometry necessary to set it up with appropriately low action.
Until the advent of Taylor's "New Tech" neck joint, the Taylor neck joint was the simplest in the industry - a butt joint secured by two bolts, which are hidden under the label on the neck block.
A hairdryer gives me just the right amount of heat to soften the sticky adhesive that holds the label in place.
Usually, I'm able to peel the label off without damage.
The bolt heads are countersunk into the neck block.
A 7/16" nut driver is the tool of choice for unscrewing the 1/4-20 neck bolts.
It's an easy enough task to reach inside and take the bolts out.
Most of the time, it's not necessary to remove the neck completely, which requires ungluing the end of the fingerboard from the top. This photo is of a different Taylor neck, and it shows the "hollow" area of the end of the heel, which contacts the body only around its perimeter.
Taylor designed the heel that way, so sandpaper could be drawn through the joint, effectively cutting the heel so that the neck would pull in closer at the bottom, thus changing the neck angle. Unlike other neck reset techniques, this simple one requires very little attention to the side-to-side neck alignment because that is held constant by the fingerboard extension still glued to the top.
Once the neck bolts are replaced, the instrument can be restrung to tension to check the angle and action quite precisely. It's no trouble to take the bolts out again and make small adjustments as the work proceeds. Here, I'm sticking the label onto that same adhesive stuff I use for pickguards.
Which turns the label back into a self-stick affair that goes right back were it came from.

And, the action is improved drastically. So, a bolted neck joint is the easiest one to adjust, and a butt joint like this is the easiest kind of bolted neck to work with. It may not have the brute strength of a mortise or dovetail, but then, we're not in combat with these things, are we?

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