View Full Version : Removing a fretboard from the neck

03-17-2015, 10:30 AM
Used titebond to glue the fretboard to the neck and it slid a smidge during clamping. Is it very difficult to remove with a hot knife or some other method? It bugs me and I would like to fix it.

03-17-2015, 10:33 AM
Heat gun , flat iron , infra red lamp, all these will work with a thin bladed tool ...eg: an artists pallet knife or similar...just take your time.
There are a few demo videos on YouTube.

03-17-2015, 06:09 PM
I just did this recently and what Ken says works. Keep in mind that there are two kinds of Titebond: Titebond I and Titebond II. T II is a waterproof glue and doesn't react to steam as easy as T I. For this reason I don't use T II anymore just in case, but T II will give it up eventually with persuasion. One thing to keep in mind is that removing fretboards with sharp wedges can be dangerous. No kidding. I almost slid a sharp dissassembly knife into my left hand. Be patient and wedge away pointing away from body parts at all times. There will be some considerable force involved and things can tend to give way quickly. Just saying from experience. I'm into sweat and tears, but not blood. Otherwise, removing fretboards is slow but a piece of cake.

03-17-2015, 10:54 PM
The tool must be thin but it shouldn't be sharp. It can dive into the wood of the neck or, depending on grain direction, cut upwards into the fretboard.

03-18-2015, 04:09 AM
Break out the clothes iron and heat it up. It will come off ok because the glue is still fresh. Just take it slow.....start by heating the body joint end until you can lift the fretboard up with your fingers. Then you can insert the tool and work your way up to the nut.
Ditto what Sven said...no sharp tools. I think a putty or spackle knife works best. 1 - 2" wide and flexible with slightly rounded corners.

03-18-2015, 09:44 AM
I use a confectioner's spatula. Long thin stainless steel blade with a wooden handle. Strong but flexible. Very popular kitchen items in the 60's, apparently, so quite easy to pick up in second hand shops for a couple of dollars.

03-18-2015, 02:01 PM
Unless it's absolutely miles out, you could possibly re-align the neck-to-body join to compensate. Assuming it's a plain, simple design with no binding or decoration, IME it takes almost as long to cleanly and safely remove a fretboard, sort out any minor damage, clean up the gluing surfaces and re-glue the fretboard as it does to make a new neck and fretboard from scratch.