I love projects like this.  Ones where I have to stop and think, problem solve, analyze, take Xanax. I'm kidding, I don't analyze.  This is a 1962 Gibson ES 335.  Quite possibly one of my favorite electric guitars of all time.  I want one so badly, but, the idea of coming up with $20,000 for a guitar is just a touch out of reach for the moment.  So for now, I have to live vicariously through my customers.  This guitar has been modified dramatically from original already, so please don't freak out.  The neck was replaced in 1964 (when it was still just a tool, and not a lusted after piece of history) with a much slimmer profile.  The nut width is currently 1-9/16".  This is getting pretty small, and the profile is REALLY slim.  I can't play a neck this small.  My hands are just too big, and it makes for a very clumsy feel of playability in the fretting hand.  The customer feels the same.  So, here's the plan:  Remove the current neck.  Keep the 60's block inlays, the "Gibson" logo, and the "crown" peghead inlay, all to transfer to the new neck.  Fabricate a new neck to 1964 specs (rounded C profile, 1-11/16" nut width, 2.062" EOB (end of board), brazilian rosewood fingerboard), inlay all the original inlay pieces and logo, color match the new neck to the body, and none will be the wiser.  Easy, right?  I dove in yesterday afternoon, and managed to get the neck off, the fingerboard inlays removed, and started laying out the dimensions for the new neck. If all goes according to plan, I should be spraying finish by mid next week.   Stay tuned!

The neck pocket (mortise/tenon) revealed.  The small hole drilled on the right is where I'll be injecting steam to loosen the hide glue bond.  It's on the right due to the fact that the shim is on the right.  The bond will break more easily and allow for steam to flow in on that side first.

Separating the bottom of the fingerboard from the 4deg. angle shims on either side of the tenon. I know, "huh?".  Trust me, it's the way you do it.  The 4 small holes will allow me to inject steam quickly and uniformly along the mortise/tenon seam.  We're not keeping this neck, so I feel ok about drilling more holes than I may on a normal 335 neck reset.

Ready to start injecting the steam.

Bingo. That was easy.  And I'm not being sarcastic.  These can be scary, and every neck-to-body joint behaves differently.  I haven't taken off nearly as many 335 necks as I have vintage Martin dovetails, so this one had me a little on edge.  It was a very well fitted and solid joint, and I was fully expecting it to give me trouble.  Nope. 

A little cleanup and it'll be ready for the new neck.

The neck removed, and the block inlays removed, and set aside for later use.  

Laying out the design for the new neck.  Day 1 complete.  

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