I have a 1920's Vega Style N that needs the action adjusted. The neck is straight. The action is high. Shaved down a 1/2" bridge and tried to shim it initially. Got 1 business card in the top joint by the head and that did not lower it enough. The neck is nice and tight fit to the rim now, but the action is still too high.
From what I have been able to gather, the neck needs to come off and the lower part of the heel needs to be relived a bit, and the screw/tailpiece holder hole needs to be opened up to allow the adjustment to work without bending the dowel stick.
My questions are, is the neck removal is simple as it sounds, and with patience sanding a bit, refitting and sanding a bit and refitting get me adjusted, or should this go to the luthier.
I do not have much invested in it, and have years of amateur experience working on electric guitars and basses, basic mandolin setup.
Any input is appreciated.
Typically with a neck reset, in addition to the heel being re-shaped, the dowel is removed from the neck, the hole plugged, then re-drilled at the appropriate angle. I find this to be a bit of a stressful operation, but have done it successfully with Vega a couple of necks. There are repair shops that specialize in this if you prefer.
It can be problematic lowering the action on an old Vega by trimming the bridge since they are typically starting out with a 1/2" bridge to begin with. I have shimmed a couple of mine with good results. I made one custom shim that I fit to the heel profile with a cut out for the dowel stick.
I need about 3/32". How mach adjustment can be reasonably done without re-drilling the dowel stick?
So I took it all apart and smoothed the heel at the bottom with 150 grit sandpaper , smoothed out the square hole area where the dowel fits in to the tail of the rim with a file, and put a slightly thicker shim in the neck area. It helped a bit. Everything fits snug. Not exactly where I want it to be, but better. I have some pretty heavy strings on it and may try some mediums.
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