I've taken the neck off to get better access to the top frets and find that the body recess has been attacked by a woodpecker!!! Consequently I've admitted defeat and told my friend he can have it. He is much more skilled at wood stuff than me and will be able to rout it out flat the fit a suitable shim. My tool kit of a bread knife and a hammer won't cope with that so I've taken the opportunity to make someone very happy! Thanks everyone for the advice and the encouragement. I really appreciate all your replies and will be on the lookout for another project or maybe a completely new build. Maybe, just maybe. Now to de-gunk the Laney to see what's what.