Fixing Guitars

This week saw me catching up with a lit of guitar care and servicing. The square ones are easy to find, but those round to-its are a bit scarce.

The red electric guitar is a 1970’s Vesta copy of a Gibson ES-335D. It had a cheep strap on one night and it came off, there was a very big crack along the edge. I removed the back access panel and used a syringe to inject the glue into the exact line along the edge. Next I put some leather alone all the edges to protect the finish and clamped it tight. Finally I wrapped the guitar up in string and let it set for a week (very old school fixing method).

Putting an electric guitar back together takes a bit longer than the acoustic guitar folk see me busking with. This time I got the action right down as low as I’ve ever had it. I’ve done a lot of polishing and it looks quite pretty again. Although many of the frets are badly worn out and the paint could use a touch up, I am still excited about the improvement of the action. New strings is luxury any time, but this is about the bast I have had my 335 set up yet.

My Bass Guitar is also a Vester copy but of a Fender. This is called a Stage Series and I’ve had it in 1991. Although small and quite light, it is black and I am comfortable with it. After spending some time polishing it up a bit to look god, I had another go at lowering the action on it at the bridge.

It is not only the action, which is the height of the strings above the neck, but electric guitars let one adjust the harmonic length of the sting. The bridge on the Gibson Tune-a-Matic Bridge allows individual adjustment for each string. Get the tuner on the string played open, then play the 12th Fret Harmonic note and compare. It’s only a minute adjustment but it makes a difference.

While I was testing the bass, a wire was about to come off one of the pots, so I had to open it up and solder that back on. The job of soldering only takes a few seconds to do, but the setup takes quite a bit of time. There is always more polishing that can be done on a guitar, while waiting for an iron to warm up. It takes a bit of practice, but that would have cast a lot to take it to a shop to get that done. I will get the Frets on the 335 done properly though. Knowing your own limits helps.

The other guitar in the room is a new classical guitar I picked up this year, but it just got a dusting, nothing needed adjusting.


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