1966 Gibson ES-330 Guitar Neck Repair

Prior attempts at correcting a variety of neck issues had completely savaged this instrument’s fret board, rendering it unplayable. Examination of the neck after removal of the fret board revealed hairline fractures along the length of the neck, which were invisible from its back contour. The truss rod was seized in its channel and would not adjust . The neck was also warped backwards starting at the fifth fret. Several applications of heat and clamping eventually straightened the neck, allowing us to address the fractures and the truss rod. A new, more massive fret board was fabricated from our stock of Brazilian Rosewood, and period correct inlays were made from a stock of authentic celluloid material we had obtained at the Original Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan several decades ago. We added a .024″ veneer between the new fret board and the neck surface to restore the body to neck height ratio needed to attain good action and play-ability. A Common complaint regarding many vintage Gibson electrics has been the ultra thin neck depth, and narrow string spacing Gibson introduced during the early to mid 1960’s on specific models. The new fret board and wider binding helped to increase this ES-330’s string spacing, and also added a comfortable depth to the neck’s back profile. After the frets were installed, we carefully color matched and distressed the new binding, nut and inlays to simulate over fifty years of aging and playing wear.

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