Today I’m working on an old Ibanez USATK bass, which has got a pretty good kink near the heel. This is a fairly common issue, and it causes many of the notes in the upper register to fret out. Truss rods don’t really affect the area of the neck beyond the 13th fret very much, so there’s no real adjustment that can be made to fix this. Normally I would recommend some fretwork for this, which would just level the offending kink down, but I thought I’d see if I could do a heat press on this neck and work the kink out that way.
A heat press doesn’t guarantee perfect results, but does work really well about 99% of the time. What happens is this: I create a sandwich, with the neck, heat transferring beams, heating element, and cauls. The heat slightly melts the glue in between the fretboard and the neck, allowing the glue joint to slip a tiny amount, and when the glue cools, it leaves the neck in the desired shape. It may sound scary, but it’s actually a fairly common repair technique, and I’ve gotten some great results with it on instruments that most people were ready to give up on.
If you’ve got a neck that you think is beyond repair, don’t despair!