What a lovely guitar. It’s seen some action though, so needs a little bit of work. The owner’s decided rather than just a little TLC he want’s to go the whole hog and have some serious upgrades along the way as well…
The pickups are already out, the covers are away being re-chromed.
It’s missing a strap button so I’ll need to find one that suits the Bigsby.
Since this is going to be a long term project I’ve carefully labelled everything, right down to each set of screws. As much as I think I’ll remember which one goes where, I never will!
I’m not sure about the electrics but I expect to replace them with new bits.
The first thing then, the frets are in need of some attention. Very worn in some places..
I could dress the tops, which would take them all down to the lowest point, but then they would be very low. Upon reflection, since we’re doing so much I think it’s time to replace them all.
There’s the new fret-wire, just needs to be fitted.
So out with the old, gently warming the old wire up first, to loosen any old dirt and glue…
then gently ease out the old frets, trying to minimize any damage.
The fret-board is in good condition, but a quick level off won’t hurt, take out any shallow marks and scratches.
lastly, clean out all the sanding dust and any dirt from the fret slots.
Not much more I can remove!
The fret wire comes in foot long straight strips so first they need to be bent into a gentle curve.
Just a little more than the radius of the fret-board.
Sine the neck has a binding I need to nip off the tang at the end of each new fret.
and shape each end.
then just gently tap it into place.
Of course it’s almost impossible to get them all perfectly even, so they’ll need to be dressed to achieve a perfect level.
So that’s the neck done, next the rest of the guitar.
Starting with a nice set of re-finished pickup covers…
I made a guide so I know where to mount the new electrics..
That’s about how they all need to fit together.
Just like that in fact.
Looking good so far. That’s the tricky part anyway.
The Bigsby back.
While It’s apart I’m also putting in a nice new bone nut. Made to measure…
There it is, just needs some string slots.
that’s about right for the outside of the “E” strings.
so the rest go about there.
Not too deep, I’m just guessing at this point…
A new set of strings and it’s almost there. All it needs is a full setup and were done.
No 1, the neck relief.
just a small tweek of the truss-rod.
No 2, The action at the 12th fret.
A small adjustment of the bridge.
No 3, The action at the 1st fret.
Way too high, but then I knew it would be. Now is the time to cut the slots to the right depth….
The action’s nice now, just the height of the nut, a little ugly…
I need to take a little off the top..
Lastly the intonation and it’s almost done.
Last of all, a couple of minor parts, scratch-plate etc. and it really is done..
How about that? Ready to Rock ‘N’ Roll with the very best…
For anything else just check out http://www.guitar-george.co.uk