About 1973 Dan Erlewine (check him out!) changed the future of guitar fretwork by inventing the “Neck Jig” Â The idea being when you take the strings off of a guitar to level the frets or do a refret, without tension the neck and frets change alignment. Â The Neck Jig gave us a simple way to keep the frets in the same alignment with the string off by holding the neck in position. Â We could then work on the frets or fingerboard with much less guess work. Â The more flimsy a neck is, the more it changes with and with out tension, the more of an advantage we get. Â I apprenticed under Dan and Charlie Longstreth (who is a great repairman at McKenzie River Music in Eugene) back in 1978-1979 in Ann Arbor Music. Â One of the first things they had me do (after sweeping up) was to build a Neck Jig. Â We used it on every fretmill and refret. Â Back then it was made from 4×4’s and 1″ plywood. Â I remember grinding the heads off of screws so they would hold plexiglass neck rests. I do not have a photo of my original but Dan was nice enough to share with me a few early photos. Â I have since upgraded to the new format with a few personal touches. Â Stewart-MacDonald Guitar Shop Supply has done such an amazing job of manufacturing an out of the box solution, I upgraded and passed my old one on. Â They also carry every tool a guitar repair shop would ever need. Â To date myself, in the late 70’s you had to order nut files from the Â Grobet company in Sweden. Â That was one of my jobs as an apprentice. Ahh, the good old days! We do most of our re-frets using the neck jig followed by a final mill on the Plek Machine.
Thank you Dan for the photos!!!