Monday, 27 June 2016

Stratocaster Setup

My daily player is an old cheapo strat-style guitar made by Manhattan. I've been playing it a lot more since discovering Yousician, and its needs the setup attending to; the bridge pick up is generally unresponsive and the action is a little buzzy on one or two strings.

First I wanted to check the fingerboard radius, prior to setting the action. These radius gauges were supplied by GMC Luthier Tools and are very nice indeed. They are laser cut stainless steel and have a precise, rugged feel about them; whats more, they are made in the UK and the are supplied within a few days of placement of your order.

I use this string ruler to set the height I want.

You use these little soccket head set screws to adjust the string height on a tele or stratocaster style bridge.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Bellini Accordion

This beasty came my way recently when a friend was clearing out his loft. It's a Bellini piano accordion, 41 treble keys, 120 bass buttons. It's very grubby, as you might expect, but the bellows are sound and the case is in good shape.

Obviously missing is one of the bellows straps, which I will probably make in the workshop. The straps are in very poor shape; one of the feet is missing and the grille is dented. None of that is insurmountable though!

The bass buttons are something else though. Obviously this machine has been sitting around for a while, and much of the filth outside is probably also inside. The bass buttons are not supposed to look like this:

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

New OM Project

I built a OOO/OM cutaway for my son Tom, years ago for his 18th birthday, and I like this small guitar over the dreadnought I usually play. Inspired by the Martin OMCPA4, I'd like to build another.

Sometime in the dim and distant past I acquired some part finished items for an OM sized cutaway. I have most of the parts in a semi-finished state. I have this spruce top, with a tacky rosette and full length split... usable? maybe...

I have a set for the back in Sapele, in usable condition:

There is a matching set of ribs, partially bent

There are some nasty plywood end blocks:

I have a semi finished neck, design for bolting. It's very shallow and could be very comfortable

It's got some damage at the peg head. I might do a peghead overlay on the back as well - it has a rosewood overlay on the front already.

As I said...

I've got a couple of rosewood fingerboards, saddles & bridges in stock:

 And some fretwire left over from another project, along with a mock tortoise pick guard:

To supplement that lot I bought a nice block of spruce for the bracing. We'll split that down on the bandsaw.

I'll need to sort out some back bracing and some tuning machines & some binding & purfling; but I'm sure I have some bits and pieces in stock.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Fender Stratocaster

This is a genuine American Fender Stratocaster, with an unhappy finish. It looks like someone has covered it in stickers, and then removed them with sandpaper. It's another guitar that belongs to our friend John from the most excellent Straits Fish & Chip shop here in Sheringham.

4 hours with wet & dry, from 1500 to 2500, followed by Farecla G3 & G10, plus a dose of Autoglym and it is right as rain.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Fryer John's Tanglewood

That's not a spelling mistake. John is not of the monastic persuasion, but runs the most excellent Fish & chip shop - Straits - here in Sheringham. His guitar is a Tanglewood 47B Sundance, which had taken an unfortunate excursion from the top of a TV. Not so much of a problem in itself, but the sharp deceleration onto a hard floor resulted in some bumps and bruises...

Nice big crack in the top, at the lower bout. Lots of finish missing
We think it had hit the ground head first, since there is another ding in the corner of the machine head

And then there is this little one:

Lots of reflections and a small gouge in the finish
So there we go. Some interesting little jobs!

A look around inside produces some interesting pictures:

Those dark lines, near the lining on the extreme left of the picture are a crack in the mahogany top

Since the lining to top joint is sound, we cannot achieve anything by attempting to re-glue that joint, and we must treat this repair as a split in the top. To stabilize this we can introduce some CA adhesive from the outside. But fisrt, we must devise a clamping scheme.

Top clamped
We'll use a spool clamp, with a spacer to cause the clamp to tip into the top rather than following the top contour as it would  normally be used. This means the clamp exerts pressure just inside the top to lining joint, effectively closing the crack. Cling film stops the clamp sticking to the glue.

Here is the 'after' shot, showing the glue has penetrated the joint:

Glue penetration through the crack in the top
Next, drop filling, scraping, and polishing

Drop filling almost complete
The peghead has also had a good dose of drop fill and polish:

and the lower bout repair is finished:

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Simon's Ibanez

This is an Ibanez PF400 belonging to Simon, a friend of our in Sheringham. It had a problem with one of the volume pots which I replaced, giving the guitar a good clean as part of the strip down.

It got a new pickguard and some replacement pickup mounts in the process: