Saturday, 12 December 2009

Fender Bronco fretboard repair

This one is a 'real' repair, in the sense that something is broken. Its a Fender Bronco which is an instrument I very rarely see.




It is by no means a new guitar but it still gets regularly gigged and toured with NZ punk band Die!Die!Die!


 For more info on the Fender Bronco take a look at:


It spent a brief few days at my workshop between a UK and an Australian tour. The main priority was sorting out the electrics, a missing fret (!), and some set up problems. I also took the opportunity to repair a missing chunk of fretboard.







It looks to me like the neck has has an accident with a mic stand. The maple of the neck has been dented and a chunk of rosewood snapped off along with a fret. I've put a new fret in and need to replace the piece of fretboard before I can file the fret end to match the existing frets.


 I find a piece of rosewood that is a good colour and grain match and glue it into position.


I've cut it to marry up to the old fretboard but at this stage I'm not concerned about the shape of it.

 

I use Hot stuff super glue for this. It comes in a few viscosity and I've used the thicker one so it doesn't soak into the grain too much. To speed the job up I use accelerator spray which makes the glue dry almost instantly. There's no need for clamping.
 So now there's a lump of wood sticking out of the side of the fretboard I need to shave off what I don't want.



I use my old 5/8 chisel for this. I like sharp tools a lot. I sharpen most of my chisels to a much shallower cutting angle than most woodworkers. This gives me a sharper blade but it doesn't hold its edge for long. So I have to sharpen it more often. I only ever use them for shaving - never with a mallet. If I was cutting out door hinges it would be a different matter but this is luthierie.
  I use wet stones and a strop and get my chisels sharp enough to shave my arm hairs without a rash. You can spot a luthier by the bald patches around their left fore arm :-)
 

Here's the new piece after the chiseling and I've started shaping the fret end to match the old ones.


The dented maple on the side of the neck I filled with super glue and smoothed off. You can see it but not feel it. To make it invisible would simply take too long - this guitar is going to be gigging in Oz in a couple of days.

So the Bronco lives to gig another day. I do love seeing vintage guitars still out there doing it. It seems so sad to me when they get retired because they become too precious. This is Rock n roll after all.
      Glyn



………………………………………………………………………………………….
Feel free to contact me about repair work (if you are in NZ). I only check emails weekly so the workshop phone is always the best 09 307 6501.


Workshop Hours

Mon……. 8-6
Tues……. 8-6
Wed…….. Closed
Thurs …..8-6
Fri ……….8-6
Sat/Sun ..Closed

Mr Glyn’s Guitars

  21a Khyber Pass Road
Auckland
New Zealand
glyn@mrglyn.co.nz
09 307 6501, 021 912678

Monday, 30 November 2009

Neck Re-Set

A neck re-set is the usually the biggest thing to happen in the life of an acoustic guitar.
Over the years the string tension can cause the neck to change its angle to the top and make it impossible to get a lower action. The solution is to take the neck out, re-cut the angle and put it back in.
In a previous blog I wrote about an alternative technique for re-setting a neck so this time I'm going to show you the traditional method. Most of my re-sets are done this way.
 Guitars are put together with heat reversible glue, if they weren't then I couldn't do my job. The first step in the removal of a neck is to release the glue on the end of the fretboard - the part that overhangs the body
Acoustic guitar necks are usually glued in using a dovetail joint to give stability.


I gently warm the board until the glue is soft enough to slide an old butter knife under it.
I remove 14th and 15th frets (which are located above the dovetail joint)


I drill four 2mm holes deep into the joint through the fret slots.
 Into these holes I inject steam. I use a steam cleaner with an armoured hose attached and a long hollow needle attachment to blast the steam into the holes. This steam softens the glue and with a bit of effort the neck will come out.



This is a Gibson J45 with the neck half out, it belongs to a player from Christchurch.



This is the neck joint. You can just see one of my holes down the side of the dovetail. As soon as the neck is out I clean any glue off while its still soft.



Here's the body. The warmth from the steam usually softens the lacquer enough for it not to crack.




 This is a Martin HD35 I repaired for a player while on tour from Switzerland. Notice martin have sprayed the finish on the body before the neck is attached.


This is the HD35 neck.



This is a 1969 Gibson SJ which interestingly has a different dovetail shape from the 2005 model J45 I've shown above.




This one's a Guild - it didn't come out as cleanly as some of them.





This is a 1963 Gretsch archtop - note the packing in the side of the neck pocket.



And finally an Ovation - I had to remove the fingerboard first to get at the neck joint with this one.

As you can see I do a fair few neck re-sets and get to dismantle some lovely old instruments.
For me it has to be one of the most satisfying jobs - making old guitars live again

Glyn

………………………………………………………………………………………….
Feel free to contact me about repair work (if you are in NZ). I only check emails weekly so the workshop phone is always the best 09 307 6501.


Workshop Hours

Mon……. 8-6
Tues……. 8-6
Wed…….. Closed
Thurs …..8-6
Fri ……….8-6
Sat/Sun ..Closed

Mr Glyn’s Guitars

  21a Khyber Pass Road
Auckland
New Zealand
glyn@mrglyn.co.nz
09 307 6501, 021 912678

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Sheena

This year I've been getting busier than ever so I've taken on a full-time trainee. She's called Sheena Gillbanks. She's a guitarist, accordion player and general talented musician. She had no previous experience as a luthier but I was struck by her determination and enthusiasm. I get a couple of enquiries a week from people wanting to train as a luthier but she stood out.


Since she has started work I've been impressed with how quickly she picks things up and her 'feel' for the job.





















There's a lot to learn but I'm sure she's going to be a fantastic luthier.


..............................................................


There's been another (less productive) addition to the MrGlyn's workforce - Sammy the dog.







He's more of a hinderance than a help but he's fun to have around



This is Sammy in November - getting bigger. The little fella's getting quite a fan club around our part of Auckland.






………………………………………………………………………………………….
Feel free to contact me about repair work (if you are in NZ). I only check emails weekly so the workshop phone is always the best 09 307 6501.


Workshop Hours

Mon……. 8-6
Tues……. 8-6
Wed…….. Closed
Thurs …..8-6
Fri ……….8-6
Sat/Sun ..Closed

Mr Glyn’s Guitars

  21a Khyber Pass Road
Auckland
New Zealand
glyn@mrglyn.co.nz
09 307 6501, 021 912678

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Les Paul

.
There has been a lot said about the life of Les Paul recently. I'd just like to say - thanks Les




It seems like a good time to show some pics of one of my customer's guitars.
Its a Les Paul Custom that has been carved by hand into a stunning piece of art that also gets gigged.












And this is the man himself signing the headstock.






………………………………………………………………………………………….
Feel free to contact me about repair work (if you are in NZ). I only check emails weekly so the workshop phone is always the best 09 307 6501.


Workshop Hours

Mon……. 8-6
Tues……. 8-6
Wed…….. Closed
Thurs …..8-6
Fri ……….8-6
Sat/Sun ..Closed

Mr Glyn’s Guitars

  21a Khyber Pass Road
Auckland
New Zealand
glyn@mrglyn.co.nz
09 307 6501, 021 912678

Saturday, 8 August 2009

A Typical Week at the Workshop

This time I thought I'd show a typical week at the workshop - the jobs that come in, work that gets done.


I'm not going into any detail about any of the guitars although I might write a bit about some of them at a later date. I just want to show the sort of work I do and the variety of instruments that come in.


I started the week with a partial re-fret on a Guild. The player gigs a lot and the guitar was booked in for Monday morning to be ready to play in public Wednesday night. It needed the first 9 frets replacing and a new Fishman undersaddle pickup.
















The next was a handmade Strat the player was finding a bit heavy. He wanted as much wood removed as possible without it being visible. He was much more concerned with the weight than any tonal difference removing wood may cause.

I get a huge variety of guitars through my hands - this one is a classical with a split top. This was purely a structural job. I glued up the split and fitted cleats to the inside for strength.




















The next is an unusual one. Its Japanese and from the late 60's or 70's but with no name on it. It had a wiring fault resulting in only one pickup working.


This is a Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton signature model. Its first owner had left a sticker on the pickguard. With time the pickguard faded and now there's a mark. I simply had to change the plate for a new one.













A very unusual German mandolin came in with the top coming away near the tailpiece and in need of some strings and a set up.






I was asked to give a written quote to an insurance company for an Ibanez Artwood that was damaged in transit.







An 80's Carvin - in for a set up





An Epiphone casino - for a set up

























A 60's Levin. This is a beautiful old guitar and in need of major surgery. The truss rod is forcing its way out of the back of the neck. The neck also needs removing to correst a poor neck angle. Gonna be in the workshop a while.






A Corona Strat - set up







A Cort acoustic with splits in the neck




























A Strat put together from 'Realtone' parts - in for a set up























A Fina acoustic guitar in for a replacement EQ. I got a new one from http://www.guitarparts.co.nz/ for $90 - great deal








Gibson SJ200 - this one just had a minor problem with the nut.




















Jay acoustic guitar. This one had the head broken completely off. It's quite a common repair for me. These pics are halfway through the job, I've re-attached the head but haven't cleaned up the lacquer yet.








A Karina parlour guitar with some damage to the lower bout.









A very nice old K.Yairi in need of a new endpin jack socket. I prefere to use Switchcraft jacks whenever I can.







And finally a '97 Fender Strat in for a set up




So these have been the jobs I have had through the workshop in the first week in August '09. There is such a variety of work there's no way I'll ever get bored.
















………………………………………………………………………………………….
Feel free to contact me about repair work (if you are in NZ). I only check emails weekly so the workshop phone is always the best 09 307 6501.


Workshop Hours

Mon……. 8-6
Tues……. 8-6
Wed…….. Closed
Thurs …..8-6
Fri ……….8-6
Sat/Sun ..Closed

Mr Glyn’s Guitars

  21a Khyber Pass Road
Auckland
New Zealand
glyn@mrglyn.co.nz
09 307 6501, 021 912678