Posted on

Heat Pressing

Heat Pressing

by Leo Bidne

Originally published as Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #43, 1977

Heat pressing is the art of forming wood to a new and permanent shape with heat and pressure. With practice, it is an effective method of action adjustment when extreme measures are necessary; when time or poor construction methods develop a problem, has a fair idea of what a “good” action is, and is familiar with such terms as “action”, “buzzing”, “truss rod”, and the numbering system of frets, etc. The term “buzzing” assumes that the string is plucked moderately hard. Applied to guitars, the art of heat pressing is to create the optimum neck shape for a fretted, plucked string. This means a buzz-free, even action over the entire length of the fretboard. Part One explains what that neck shape is, clears up some of the fallacies and old wives’ tales on the subject, and points out some common neck problems.

The Bow

Basically, a plucked string travels in a bow, like this:

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.