Here’s a beautiful little guitar, just needs a little attention and an upgrade or 2 along the way…
The frets are rather worn for a starter….
and it came with a nice pair of Gibson pickups……
To start with, out with the old, the old nut…
off with the volume and tone knobs, so I can pull out the electrics.
There’s nothing wrong with the existing pots etc. so I’m going to re-use them…..
Before the electrics I need to sort the mechanics though. So flatten out the neck….
and tape up the neck to protect it while I’m working on it.
With that done it’s just a case of grinding everything down to the lowest point….
Having put marker pen on the frets beforehand you can see where the levelling beam isn’t yet touching.
Once I’ve got the common level the fret tops need to be rounded off again.
and then re-polished.
With the frets nice and clean…….
a good clean-up of the fretboard…..
That always leaves it a rather dry so a little lemon oil to reinvigorate it.
Back to the electrics, with the new pickups in place.
and the old electrics..
The other upgrade is the nut, I’m replacing the old plastic one with a bespoke bone one.
First grinding it down to the right thickness to fit the slot…
and then the ends to blend it in with the neck.
and of course the shape of the top….
That’s it in place, of course it needs string slots….
making sure the spaces between the strings are equal.
The bridge was a little gummed up so I pulled it apart and gave it a good clean.
With it all back together all it needs now is a full setup, starting by putting the truss-rod back to where it should be….
Next the action up at the 12th fret….
by adjusting the bridge height.
Then the action back up at the first fret. The action there was going to be very high since I only put shallow groves in the new nut.
Now’s the time to cut the slots to the correct depth..
That often leaves the top of the nut a little high..
so I’ll file that down to a reasonable level..
With all that done the intonation needs to be re-set.
And last of all, the height of those new pickups.
That’s always rather subjective though. You really have to listen to the outputs to get that right.
so there it is, ready to rock and roll… Looking, playing and sounding spectacular if I say so myself!
For anything else check out http://www.guitar-george.co.uk