Enough repair stuff. Have to get back to the real reason we're here. As usual, the people that come to build instruments leave me astounded. Up top we have the Overcaster. That's because his name is Claudi. Haha. Pablo finally got the pearl work done all around his flamenco guitar, Luis winding pickups, and Sergi and I gluing up the top of his flamenco guitar.
domingo, 10 de noviembre de 2013
Oh Buddy. Bad news! Broken Truss Rod. This is an old Ibanez Rickenbacker copy. The neck is very long and thin, got a lot of upbow which someone tried to correct with a lot of force, and sheared off the nut. Fingerboard removal was hard because the truss rod extended into the fingerboard. Finally got it off, replaced the rod with a nice modern one, and glued the FB back on with some backbow to compensate for the string pull. You can see the feeler gauge spacers to hold the backbow. Came out fine. Did not have to refret it, which was fine because the whole fingerboard had a heavy coat of varnish.
After gluing on the FB, Very carefully had to level out the new maple with the neck without touching the old varnish. Did this with a variety of tools, plane, sharp chisel, and files etc. Then I was able to put back the 10" radius it had before, dots and frets. I had to get the neck perfectly straight because he wanted super low fret wire. I used Dunlop 6130. .036 height is the lowest fret wire there is. not much room for filing afterward. Drilled out the old side dots and put black ones. After fretting, ageing and varnishing. to age the wood a little, I used the old vinegar steel wool trick. The varnish was a tough one, sort of butterscotch. I couldn't get it right until I added a little white paint to the mix. Looked like coffee with milk in the jar. Later a little blending with steel wool. Owner was surprised it came out so well, and me too. Can't describe all the steps and techniques here, but I tried to give an idea.
So many complicated repairs going on. The most time consuming has been the conversion of an old rosewood tele neck to maple. I didn't want to do this at first. Seemed to me to be better to leave it original, but for a year the customer was asking for it, and when he told me he would look for someone else, I finally agreed. It's a veneer fingerboard, so I started the project by choosing an old piece of maple. Thinned it out to a little over 3mm, wet it and bent it over a 7 1/4 radius form block. The rosewood FB I removed by planning and sanding with a radius block. After rough shaping, I glued it up. Took ALL day to work out a clamping system that would close everything up. You have to be creative and patient to do these things, but with some acrylic and shims it finally worked out fine.