Bacon Grand Concert 5 string

Correct severe neck "bow"
Peg head  going toward the back
"Warp", is when the neck is pulled forward




Obvious built in bow...

Straight edge telling the tale...

What needs to be attempted

Razor tip is pointing at the multi laminates
It appears, that this has not been removed because in the Bacon style they all run up under the peg head overlay.the nut slot as you see is not thru the Pear wood.
So when it is laid up , the peghead overlay is a part, it is steam bent to make the angle, all one piece one Pearwood, blackened to look like ebony, but the older it gets the browner it gets.
So what I do, is slice that laminate in the nut slot to make the fingerboard a separate entity, you do not want to try and lift it all by heat or steam, it can go bad quick on Pear wood
The other solution is saw thru that, the maple, the next Pear wood laminate and take it all of in one piece, also can go terribly wrong.
I have made these necks, and took apart ALL the laminations on them, I know how it can go. Just count the lam's in the horiz. and vert. , you can see just how little wood they could get away with using, basically scraps held together with prettiness.

That is where I want to separate



Well..that went awful.....welcome to my world

You will feel very squeamish at the onset, like when you go into an off camber curve wrong and you know you have to recover.
I have faced this scenario many times. 

And whoever did it must have steamed it loose because the lower laminates have "cupping" meaning they were wet and curled upwards
You will see it in the pics what I mean
Laying it up wet may have caused the backbow, that is a reasonable guess.
All  is hidden until you delve into these babies.

Just know I think that  for what I was facing, the outcome was "Fair"

The Pear wood was degraded and its like powder when you barely scuff it, you can see how much is around me working.
The wood also had a huge knot in it by the 5th peg.

So a razor knife all the way up both edges to break the seam, and a hot knife, not a heated finger board, to work up thru the hide glue.
 You can see I have it loose to where my seam knife is across at 10
I can feel the Pearwood giving way in the center, and am already suspecting cupping.

At 3, a big pop...
That part just let go , I have it already loose at the nut and  its just luck of the draw.

Snap crackle pop, thats the wonderment of Pearwood.
That inlay liked where it was

That is a big knot in the wood,   swirly grain.
The 5th peg area had already been repaired once, I had to work thru something other than hide glue there, took a chuck out, Ill replace it
 Having fun yet?

Fuzzy pic , but showing the cupping, the flat bar still has room to slide a razor blade up the center no prob

After running a flat scraper up the neck, you can see the clean edges and dirty center, all that laid lower in the cup, why the knife could not get all the way under laminate
Got the other inlay off the neck and stuck under the board for a look.

Warning- more graphic photos

Hell, no one sees this view of the fret wire, you should be thankful I ruined it for your viewing pleasure
OK, enough fun, now to re-invent the wheel .

Acrylic saves all Luthiers
Black and clear, using up old bottles, doesn't matter
Even crosscut file erodes Pearwood quick

Hitting low spots

Good to go, will dress up the sides now

Coming around to the top, filling the lows and filing the highs

Ready for a dye coat

Not bad. once its really done it'll be good to go

Fret slots will be rebuilt to proper with, another process
May be able to get by with this binding, will see, probably not.

Laid back on for a look.
I think its bedtime, that was one major hurdle, there are more to come

TRUSS-carbon rod

Using my 1/4" forstner so I do not have to jig up
I can clean the remainder out with dremel router
Rod will be glued in, with tension on the neck so that it builds back in a slight forward bow. too flat, must have some relief.
Secret method of tensioning the neck during glue-up to achieve a good result.
It's called "Howard's Hole"

Glued and cured, and autographed.

Straight bar tells the tale
"Nailed it"

Before there was huge gap on both ends and contact in center
Now, closed down on the ends have to force card stock under

Same on the other end

One card thickness in the middle will go thru

The fingerboard still shows the original backbow, the Quarter slides easily in
Thats how bad it was
This will pull out when I glue and clamp

Cutting a new laminate for the install

Will add assembly glue on both sides, and tape to center, then clamp flat

.030 shim under the board about center, to keep a tiny relief in it

Pulling the frets down to the heel.
The remainder will be left original.
No one plays down there anyway, and this will help facilitate picking over the heel.
The work it would take to change them and repair the damage from that effort is now worth the $.
Many times this procedure is done by Luthiers, partial fret jobs are nothing new.

Stew Mac 147 wire.
I need some height to get the leveling done.
This is a special situation
Fingerboard degradation ,fragile thin shell veneer inlay both inhibited the pulling of all inlay, leveling the board, re-cutting cavities and re-installing inlay.
So I have to obtain my "level" in the fret wire leveling process.
147 is tall enough for this process.
Note to DYI's:
Fret wire comes with machine oil from the MFG process still on it
It must be cleaned with a solvent like acetone, to remove this film and micro cuttings.
That is the amount of oil from 2 24" wires.
You cannot get a glue bond in the slot with this residue still on the wire.

Pressing the frets into new slots, widened to relieve compression

Sealing with #10 CA

This is the draw cut saw I use for slot widening
Since the binding was usable and would have only caused more grief by removing it to re-slot, I slice thru it, and then fill the ends with white CA and paint over them with white lacquer.
This is conservation, not restoration....big diff.

Will have to cut a 7/8 fret for the slot where the "Pip" goes.
Bacon put the pip at the end of the wire, not behind it

That takes a special saw to do this well.

Moving down the board, dye and end trimming, beveling ends.

Installing a Galilith Pip

Tools and chemicals used in the process

After leveling, starting to dress the ends and polish wire.

Ready to seal binding cuts and hide that work.
You can see I am keeping the neck braced, to ensure that any latent curing will not pull on it.

Fresh coat of finish added to the thin finish.

Ready to fill cuts and hide the work in white lacquer

Adding some Brown tint to the laminates first to blend that back together

Slots are filled and sanded, ready for spray

White, with 1 coat of clear, things looking better, now for the other side.

Now for 4 clear coats, and the fitting of some 20s Grover small Pancake tuners and a geared 5th peg that is coming from Smakula
I'll set it up with the orig friction 5th for now, and utilize the MOP buttons on the Grovers.


Tuned to pitch, will re-cut the nut slots with correct gauge files
Installed a Kit Kat Bridge
Heavy gauge strings, I want power.
Starting at 5...

Great neck angle can now benefit from a flat fingerboard.

Winship tailpiece is simplistic but provides a good amount of downforce without alot of weight.

Now under full tension I have a flat plane neck, with a TINY amount of relief.

No mo back- !!
I will let it settle in while the geared 5th peg travels to me and tweak it.
It's already fretting up and down very well and I cranked the head down where it needs to be and it is barking.
What a challenge, and I am feeling like we might have won many battles and even the war.
Thanks for looking,