I have a Gibson tube and plate archtop with a tone ring that is firmly attached to the rim. I would like to clean the pot, and if possible, adjust the ring for a slip fit. I have looked at the archives for suggestions, and have tried loosening with a rubber mallet, heating the ring with a hair dryer, and even the frying pan trick—all without success. I suspect the issue is that the ring is stuck to the lacquer, because the tube is similarly stuck. With this pot there is no protrusion of the skirt or of the inside of the ring to allow gentle tapping against the bottom of it. In fact, gentle tapping on even the tube has failed to budge the tube. Any suggestions as to what might be helpful? I don’t think humidity is the issue.
Thanks in advance for any tips or thoughts—besides not poking about with screwdrivers.
I tried the freezer trick and ruined the label inside the rim in so doing. If it has holes drilled in the rim, I'd suggest holding the rim firmly in your lap while inserting a drill bit (blunt end) or similar metal rod through a hole, make sure it's snug, and give incremental upward pulls on the bit or rod while moving to different holes as you go. This is not foolproof, you could end up with a slight mis-shaping of the hole, if undue force is required, or if your metal rod is not a snug fit, but I still think it's better than bunging up the wood or cooking your pot.
If I were faced with that problem I'd use the one thing that I know effects rim dimension... humidity. I'd move it to an artificially dry environment and give it a couple of weeks; then pull it and apply heat to the ring. Rims don't change in dimension by much in response to humidity, but if a ring has been fitted to an overly-dry rim then it's going to get even tighter when the rim returns to normal levels of moisture content.
Depending on the instrument history it's also possible to find one that's been glued on in the past. There's a lot of wacky ideas out there!