Acoustic Guitar Repair: Vintage Epiphone Texan Neck Re-set

This lovely old Epiphone Texan was made in 1951.

The Guitar was taken into the workshop for some major repair work. It has many problems: a split in the soundboard, loose soundboard , loose bindings, fret wear, high action and intonation problems.


History in Brief

The Texan was produced by the Epiphone Company starting in 1942. After Epiphone folded, the Gibson Company produced the Texan in Kalamazoo Michigan until 1970. There have been numerous reissues of the Texan since their primary production period in the 1960’s. More here…

The Players

The Texan was made popular by Sir Paul McCartney for the recording and the live performances of the hit song from 1965 “Yesterday”. It is also famous for being the acoustic guitar on which McCartney performed the signature “McCartney Picking” in some album pieces such as “Blackbird”, “Mother Nature’s Son” (The Beatles “White Album”), “Calico Skies”( Flaming Pie), and more recently “Jenny Wren” (Chaos and Creation in the Backyard). Kurt Cobain of Nirvana used an Epiphone Texan on the 1994 In Utero tour. Also, Graham Nash used an early customized black (originally “cherryburst”) Epiphone Texan while in The Hollies and during the beginnings of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Other artists with which the Texan is identified are Tom Rush, Al Stewart, Noel Gallagher and Peter Frampton. More here…

This straight-edge reveals where the string height should be


On a budget guitar the financially viable option would be to plane down the top of the bridge and set the saddle groove and saddle lower. However, on this valuable vintage instrument such an invasive repair is not an option. The only course of action is to remove the neck and reset at the appropriate angle.

It was also noted, in the initial work-bench examination, that the neck was positioned incorrectly for accurate intonation, another reason to remove the neck.



To reset a neck on any acoustic guitar is a complicated and difficult procedure.

Firstly the 15th fret is removed

Two small holes are drilled into the slot of the 15th fret (at a slight angle). These holes will allow steam to be forced into the neck’s dove-tail join. The 15th fret is approximately situated over the space between the female part of the dove-tail on the body and the male part on the neck.

The lacquer around the heel is scored with a sharp blade, to stop lacquer break-out when the neck is removed.

The fingerboard extension is heated. This softens the glue and allows it to be separated from the top of the guitar.

With the help of this neck removal jig the neck is safely removed.

A calculation is made using the “Neck Re-set Formula”. This allows the exact amount to be removed from the heel (for the correct neck angle) to be accurately determined.

A further adjustment is made to the tenon, heel and shoulder to shorten the string length and allow for correct intonation.

Two Rosewood dowels are made up to fill the two small holes drilled into the fingerboard.

The 15th fret is replaced and a hone and re-profile to all frets carried out to remove all fret wear.

With the neck angle adjusted the neck is firstly checked for proper string alignment relative to the horizontal plane and centre line.

The neck is glued in place using reversible Hide glue.

The soundboard split is cured and loose binding reattached.

The Texan is strung up with D’Addario 12 – 54 strings.

It plays and sounds fantastic and would be a treasured addition to anyone’s collection

Follow this link for enlarged photos on flickr…



With the help of this neck removal jig the neck is safely removed.

One Response to “Acoustic Guitar Repair: Vintage Epiphone Texan Neck Re-set”

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