First Project - A rebuild
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Author:  Keith Reilly [ Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

The headstock needs work. Its a little uneven coming out of the neck. Also I don't like its basic shape, I want to change it a little. I'm going to have it pinch in a little in the middle, kind of like a Les Paul headstock and I'm thinking about doing something with the top profile although not sure what yet.

I tried to fix the curve coming out of the neck and I got them to match closer although they are still off. Since I'm going to change the basic shape of the headstock the tuners are going to be in a slightly different place. They weren't symmetrical anyway. So I plugged up all the holes. I drilled out the big holes to 5/16th so I could get a down plug in there. And the small screw holes filled up nicely with a round toothpick. I have rosewood veneer for the front so no worries their. I'm hoping the new hardware covers the plugged holes in the back completely but they may not.

I've ordered the truss rod. When that comes in I'll work on the channel in the neck. Its not dead center, its off by quite a bit. I'm wondering how much that would effect how the rod works.

Author:  Keith Reilly [ Sun May 05, 2019 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

Okay I've done some fretboard work. I've flattened out the bottom, removed any old glue. I decided to go with a compound radius board. With my new radius gauges I saw that this was already a compound radius board, but it was pretty sloppy. I didn't want to flatten the top of the board first then make the radius. It would have been right but I might not have had a whole lot of fretboard left. Instead I hit the high spots with a file, then I used the sanding blocks.

I used four different sanding blocks going from 7.5 to 16. This was what the board already roughly was. I did each block in a section and tried to blend it. Then I had a long thin straight edge that I sanded to even things out along the board. This process was what I saw on a youtube video. It made sense to me and I think it came out pretty good.

The next step is to take out the pearl inlay and put in abalone dots.

Author:  Diane Kauffmds [ Sat May 11, 2019 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

Boy, this has turned into quite the project! How far off center is the truss rod? Has it worked properly? I think as long as it's done the job for all these years without warping the neck, you're fine. Check to make sure it's in good shape. If it's hard to work or getting rusty, now is the time to replace it. You don't need it breaking down the road.

A friend gave me an old Norman "Adjustomatic" guitar a month ago. The entire neck moves to adjust the action. There was no truss rod, nor was there any neck reinforcement. Over the past 50+ years, the neck developed a forward bow from string tension. I tried compression fretting, using the widest tang I owned, but it still had a dip of over 1/8" when I put a straight edge down it.

So, I've taken off the cheap fretboard, routed a truss rod channel, installed a truss rod, and made a new fretboard (which is probably worth more than the entire guitar. Haha!) I should replace the top with a decent spruce top, but I'm not sure I want to put that much work into a beater.

Author:  Keith Reilly [ Mon May 27, 2019 6:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

The rod did not work. It was just a piece of steel. their was a nut embedded in the neck and then a screw would put tension on the rod. However the channel was flat. I'm not sure how you could control which way the rod flexed. In any case it wasn't working when i tried to use it so i got a new one. a "Two way" which hopefully will work out fine.

I worked on the fretboard some. removed the plastic inlay and adjusted the holes to be more center as best I could. The second picture shows how little i could make an adjustment but it does look much nicer now.

Author:  Diane Kauffmds [ Mon May 27, 2019 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

It looks good Keith. You're going to have a new guitar when you're done.

Author:  Keith Reilly [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

I was so busy with the new job I haven't had much time with the rebuild. I also starting doing fretwork and this is so tedious for me and not very enjoyable. Hopefully when i get more practice and get good at it i'll feel differently.

First the fretwire's tang was to long for my fret slots. So i had to make them deeper. Since i bought the fretwire from Stew Mac i figure i should get a fret saw from them to make sure the kerf is the right size. All seemed fine when i was putting them in. I masked off the entire fretboard after installing them to level them and polish them but when i was filing the sides down all the frets would vibrate! a lot. I could even see them move. The fret saw's kerf was too wide i guess. I don't know how this could be since i got the wire and the saw from the same company.

So i took them all out, that was a bummer, and did an experiment with using glue with one slot, glue and sawdust with another. The glue and sawdust fret was rock solid so that is the method i'm using. I bought new fretwire since the radius is now ruined, i read when installing them the radius of the wire needs to be more that the fretboard for a proper fit. Also since i was glueing them all in, with a significant amount of glue, it will be very difficult to remove. So i bought stainless steel fret wire. That should last a long time.

Author:  phavriluk [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

Keith, persistence and patience eventually prevail over problems. I think each of us has gotten himself into a corner he wishes he never knew existed. Doing a job a few times seems to make the difficulties more controllable.

I think you're being very well served for your persistence and attention to detail and refusal to accept poor work. But it sure can't be any fun. Like raising kids, I think it improves, but in the middle of a headache the possibility of improvement can sure seem to be faint.

Good luck to you!

Author:  Diane Kauffmds [ Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

Unfortunately, even if you use the same size kerf, simply by the installation of the old fretwires and taking them out, the space widens, because of the tang. On top of that, you're using the old fretboard, so you have older wood that has shrunk over the years.

I feel your pain! Fretwork doesn't top my list of things I love to do.

Author:  BEJ [ Fri May 29, 2020 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First Project - A rebuild

Just read this thread because I couldn't sleep, wonder is there finish to it? Folks might want to know how it turned out.

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