Workshop: Thank You, StewMac

While cheap old catalog guitars (I'm talking about you Regal, Harmony, Kay, and Oscar Schmidt) often have neck joints that you can rock and knock loose with a rubber mallet, Gibsons, Martins, and their other high-profile buddies generally have dovetail joints that are nice and tight. They're the ones I have to steam-out per a typical neck reset.

Recently, though, I grabbed a soldering station and one of the StewMac HeatStick inserts and -- what can I say? This thing performs! Gone is the stress of worrying about icky finish blush from escaping steam in the joint and all you have to have is 10-15 minutes heating and a little water dropped in now and then to loosen things up.

Of course, grunge and old glue and crispy bits of wood adhere to the copper shaft, so after every reset job it needs to get wiped-down with steel wool.