It's been another busy month in the workshop with some lovely guitars in for repairs and customisations.
Some of the highlight photos below, including a vintage Hofner Verithin, a vintage Yamaha acoustic and a BC Rich Mockingbird!
We're never to busy to get your guitar/ bass to it's playing best so get in touch if you're in need of any repairs, customisations or restorations.
The old machineheads compared to the new Gotoh machineheads fitted!
This well gigged Lakewood, owned by Harbour, was recently in the workshop to have a nasty crack repaired near the sound hole on the bass side!
It also had a fret recrown and a new uprated Switchcraft jacksocket while it was in!
The crack was actually two, and had been caused due to percussive playing, the owner had previously repaired the cracks with superglue, this had held for awhile but needing sorting properly.
Preparing the inside of the crack proved a long process, as the superglue previously used had soaked through the cracks and pooled inside, creating an uneven surface, this slowly had to be worked back flat before cleats could be installed.
Due to the percussive playing style used on the guitar, we decided to custom make two cleat braces, that would be installed off the existing braces, these would give the support needed for the top without affecting it’s tone.
The cleat bracings installed, they had to be superglued in as it is impossible to use wood glue over any glue, this meant precise placement with no chance for adjustments.
The frets has worn down due to the amount of use and dents had started to form, which affects the clarity of the note. The fingerboard is masked off before the fretwork begins.
During the recrown, the tops of the frets are marked to ensure that the tops are not filed, which would affect the level of the frets. Once recrowned, the frets are hand polished to a shine, removing any tool marks in the process.
The finished frets, although the dents were too deep to remove, the curve is back in the fret, restoring a clean sounding note.
The top of the crack was glued at the same time, then once set, nitrocellulose lacquer was built up in layers then flattened back to prevent moisture seeping into the crack plus improving the visual look of the cracks
The customer had previously repaired other cracks on the top of the guitar himself using the same superglue method. These were structurally stable so were best left until they caused an issue.
With all the work complete, it was back out being used on the gigging circuit!
Was nice catching up with the guys at JJ’s Arts Academy tonight, while doing an after hours service and maintenance of their fleet of Yamaha Pacifica guitars!
Check out what they offer here: jjsartsacademy.com
The frets were heavily worn with a refret being the only solution to restore playability. The first step of the refret was to remove the old frets, then clean and prep the board for the new frets to be installed.
Once the fingerboard had been prepped, the new frets were installed using traditional methods.
With the new frets installed, the two set levelling process could be done along with fret dressing and recrowning process. The final stage is a had fret polish to remove any tool marks and bring the frets up to a high shine.
The new frets were a massive improvement over the worn ones!
Once the refret had been completed, the next step was hand cutting a new bone nut, as the old nuts slots had worn down. This led to the strings choking on the new first fret.
The guitar had a nasty crack running the length of its scratchplate, this had been caused due to the guitar being played in a percussive style. Due to the playing style of the customer, and the amount of damage, we went outside the box with a unique repair solution!
The custom repair plate was cut out of high grade spruce to fit inside the guitar exactly between its bracing. This plate supported the top along the whole crack from the inside. We left a small gap between the plate and the bracing stop the guitar being too firm, plus to mimic how a drum works.
The work was a calculated risk, as there was no exact way of knowing how the guitar will sound with the top being more firm until the plate was installed. It worked out pretty perfect with the customer getting the exact sound he wanted, plus the much needed strength for the guitar for the percussive playing style.
Once the plate was installed, the top was level once more, and nitrocellulose lacquer was carefully worked into crack, protecting the wood and the glue from any unwanted moisture. With all the work done the guitar was ready to be used by it's owner once more!
In the photos below you can see the acoustic snare plate the customer used along with 3 barrel jacksockets the customer had installed due to all the internal pickups he had fitted!
The new scratchplate didn’t fit so needed to be hand worked to fit around the bridge. As the customer wanted to use the guitar as a hardtail, rather than using the tremolo, the scratchplate was butted up close to the bridge to improve the visuals of the guitar.
The original holes were plugged before the new holes were drilled for the new scratchplate, as most of the original holes did not line up correctly.
The Seymour Duncan Invader pickup was fitted wired into the scratchplate with the one master CTS volume pot.
The new pre made bone nut shaped and fitted to fit the guitar after the original plastic one was removed.
With all the work done,the guitar was setup before being ready to collect!
The frets has worn down over years of playing!
Once the frets had been removed the board was prepared for the refret.
The new nut was hand cut from a non stained bone blank to the exact dimensions of the old one. During the process the new nut was shaped then fitted with the nut slots cut to depth once the nut was fitted
With all the work done, the guitar was then setup and ready for the owner to collect!
This ace vintage Japanese Aria Pro ll Bass was recently in the workshop to have it’s active circuit serviced and tidied with a part rewire at the same time!
This rare Epiphone Nuclear Extreme Les Paul was recently in the workshop to have it’s faulty toggleswitch upgraded to a Switchcraft Switch!
Hi, I'm Lewis, Ive been repairing guitars since 2004, I learnt my craft at Totnes School of Guitar Making!