1963 Gibson L4C (converted to 59?)

I already have a broken neck repair on this page but this is too cool so here is another!

The serial number is from year 1963, so this should be a Charlie Christian conversion? Who knows?

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Oops, this is what happens when you spend a lot of time in the baggage compartment, this guitar has been all around the world.

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Carbon fibre next.

A test before gluing neck.

A test before gluing neck.

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This has been broken in the case for at least 15 to 20 years, time to hear some jazz, yes?

This has been broken in the case for at least 15 to 20 years, time to hear some jazz, yes?

A very sweet C.Fox Sonoma guitar from the 90's

Well I am back and repairing after a medical break, thanks for all the support, :)!

This Sonoma was owned by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, they often opened for Joan Baez. They had two rare sunbursts made by C.Fox in the 1990's and somehow both guitars ended up in our area after Dave suddenly passed away in 2002. Check them and the guitars out on line, you can hear and see it in action. It has had a long life on the road and now needs a neck reset.

Bolt on neck joint.

Bolt on neck joint.

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Neck re-set and gluing back on.

Neck re-set and gluing back on.

Looks clean.

Looks clean.

Ready to play, action is now super low and fast, when it came in it was impossible to play, hence the re-set.

Ready to play, action is now super low and fast, when it came in it was impossible to play, hence the re-set.

Gibson Headstock Repair

Here is a 2013 Gibson acoustic with the typical Gibson headstock break, this particular guitar has a very thin neck and the truss rod slot is deep, leaving almost no gluing surface for a good repair. This has already been re-glued twice and failed both times after a couple of weeks. We will repair this with two maple shims and a carbon fiber back plate.

#Gibson headstock repair

 

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Not much surface to glue.

Not much surface to glue.

ok

ok

Special jig for routing shims.

Special jig for routing shims.

Special shim routing jig.

Special shim routing jig.

Here you can see a thin mahogany strip was glued between the two pieces after sanding flat to give a slightly larger glueing surface.

Here you can see a thin mahogany strip was glued between the two pieces after sanding flat to give a slightly larger glueing surface.

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two maple shims glue in.

two maple shims glue in.

Sweet! But I am going a little overboard here and am going to  re-inforce this with a carbon fiber plate.

Sweet! But I am going a little overboard here and am going to

re-inforce this with a carbon fiber plate.

The plate is about 1mm thick so I glued two maple veneer sheets to smooth out the transition to the neck for a smooth feel. Time for the amazing Glueboost and Fill and Finish. Finished photos coming nest week.  #Fill and Finish #Glueboost

The plate is about 1mm thick so I glued two maple veneer sheets to smooth out the transition to the neck for a smooth feel. Time for the amazing Glueboost and Fill and Finish. Finished photos coming nest week.

#Fill and Finish #Glueboost

Front.

Front.

Back, Lets Play! Guitar feels solid, deep balanced sound with a strong attack, maybe because of more solidity?

Back, Lets Play! Guitar feels solid, deep balanced sound with a strong attack, maybe because of more solidity?

1960"s Custom made guitar, #customguitar

This came in in late November for a restoration, client wasn't sure what it was only that it was his dad's old guitar and he wanted to see if I could fix it up for Christmas for him. At first we thought it was from Eastern Europe or Italy but the more I go into the job I realized it was a custom made instrument, just did not know from where or who! It has lots of pencil markings and measurement lines inside, the  back is bookmatched and the neck and body have quite a lot of fancy woodwork. Anyway the clients brother came from out of state and enlightened us, the builder was (is?) a furniture maker from Foster, Rhode Island who also made a few guitars. After Christmas we will find out his name! Here are some photos.

Notice the bookmatched back with center inlay. There is not enough red tortoise to go around, we are trying to keep the price down so I will fill in the top and use white for the bottom binding.

Notice the bookmatched back with center inlay. There is not enough red tortoise to go around, we are trying to keep the price down so I will fill in the top and use white for the bottom binding.

Inlay carried to headstock. Check out the zero fret.   

Inlay carried to headstock. Check out the zero fret.

 

Bolt on neck in the early 60s, who says Taylor is and innovator!

Bolt on neck in the early 60s, who says Taylor is and innovator!

Gotta fix this!

Gotta fix this!

Better.

Better.

Brace on the left is the original, just too thin to keep the top flat, the new one on the right was harvested from a 1964 Harmony, used two of them, might as well keep the wood all from the same era!

Brace on the left is the original, just too thin to keep the top flat, the new one on the right was harvested from a 1964 Harmony, used two of them, might as well keep the wood all from the same era!

Gluing on new back binding, repaired the red tortoise shell binding in the front using lots of small pieces form both sides.

Gluing on new back binding, repaired the red tortoise shell binding in the front using lots of small pieces form both sides.

Had to piece together enough red shell to go around the top, using top and bottom sections.

Had to piece together enough red shell to go around the top, using top and bottom sections.

Sounds like and old Martin, one of the good ones!

Sounds like and old Martin, one of the good ones!

Mid 60s Vox 12 String

This classic from Italy came if with the bridge breaking off, the owner had no hope, lets see what we can do,,,,,

Bridge plate after removal.

That is one solid neck block!

A big mess here, the top is cracked and bowed in two directions , it has to flattened.

Making the top as flat as possible.

I am using maple for the new bridge plate for added strength. To be continued!

I am using maple for the new bridge plate for added strength. To be continued!

Here it is, actually has really low action and plays remarkably well for a 50 year old 12 string, I want to keep it!

Here it is, actually has really low action and plays remarkably well for a 50 year old 12 string, I want to keep it!

1956 Fender Champ Lap Steel

A 50s classic, this Fender lap steel came in for a restoration, with original tweed case. The instrument was is remarkable original condition, but like a lot of 50s guitars, the tuning buttons came apart as soon as I tried to tune it. The plastic is so old and brittle they need to be all replaced. 

Missing and worn tuner buttons

 

Pretty basic electronics with a telecaster pickup and Astron cap.

Looking better, tunes to a C6 tuning.

Tweed case, nice!

# Fender #Champ #Lapsteel

Jazz Bass, Fender 1974, Home to Roost! Remember, a clean guitar is a happy guitar!

Separated at birth!

Separated at birth!

This 1973-4 Jazz Bass had a custom fretless neck made in the mid 70s , (not by me) and I got the neck, pickups, and assorted hardware, cut to 2016, guess who walks in the door! Time for some work, seem the low E string sound is cutting out on the neck pickup and the strings are sticking when being tuned. Well as you can see the nut had about 30 years of grime and goo and needed a good cleaning and polishing, good as new. 

Yuch

Yuch

Aahhh:)

Aahhh:)

Next to the pickup, it turned out to be the sponge which was used back in the day by Fender instead of springs had turned to baklava! It was sticky, wet, gooey and crispy, gross. And it was apparently shorting out the exposed Bartolini pickup leads, check out the pix. I cleaned everything and replaced the sponge with Nora Lunalastik, (an orthotic material), and voila, low E is back!

This is cleaned!

This is cleaned!

Old foam and new..

Old foam and new..

The family reunion.

The family reunion.

Stella Tenor Guitar

Got a call about a guitar with a couple of loose braces, looks like seven to me! This is a late 50s to early 60s Stella tenor guitar, four strings tuned to CGDA, mandolin style. The back was so loose it came right off with a flat blade, starting today to restore this  USA made classic, to be continued...

Rosewood nut

Lots to do!

Count em, seven!

Count em, seven!

Gluing the fretboard tongue.

Gluing a kerfing patch

Gluing a kerfing patch

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All done, plays like a big mandolin, sounds like a guitar!

Yamaha 412sb slot head 12 String

You don't see too many of these slot head Yamaha 12s, but a common break. This vintage 80's 12 got dropped on the floor and sustained a cracked neck joint and a nasty ding on the lower bout. The neck block hasn't been disturbed so this will be a pretty straight forward repair, they were going to buy a new guitar, but the replacement cost will be higher than the repair so here we go.

A little sawdust and glue in the crack and some creative clamping should do the trick.

A minor touch-up here is needed, too.

Strat Ultra

Time for a full fret replacement job, 22 very old frets off, 22 new frets on!

 

A nice old Strat that needs a little TLC.

Wow, look at the grunge under these frets!

I heat the frets up first which makes them come out easier and softens any glue that may have been used previously.

I heat the frets up first which makes them come out easier and softens any glue that may have been used previously.

 

 

Looking good! That is the original Wilkinson roller nut there, still working nicely, most of these old nuts are broken or have been replaced by now.

Looking good! That is the original Wilkinson roller nut there, still working nicely, most of these old nuts are broken or have been replaced by now.