Repair & Finish 40 year old project

Even if it ain't broke you can still fix it.
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2846
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Repair & Finish 40 year old project

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

First, keep it simple. Try a different set of strings. See if a different type of string sounds better.

You're saddle doesn't seem too bad. It's your call on this. A well-fitting saddle does make a difference. If you should decide to replace the saddle, make sure it's dead flat on the bottom. The slot should also be dead flat. Don't try to slant anything.

Is the saddle bone? Material makes a huge difference.

Peter is right in everything he's posted. I don't want you to think that I disagree with him.

But, this is my opinion. Lol

I would make another saddle that sits squarely on the bottom of the slot. I've had a couple of leaning saddles and it made a big difference when I replaced them. I'm also a perfectionist and that leaning saddle would just bug me to death. I also have a shop and 50 zillion saddle blanks, so i can easily replace the saddle.

Also, you mention that the slot is shallow. How deep is the slot? If it is too shallow, it will most certainly affect your sound. The best way to deepen the slot is with a router. You can do it with a small chisel, but you'd have to make sure the bottom of the slot is truly flat. That takes a flat file that's thin enough to fit into the slot.

I have a saddle jig that I use now. I didn't always own one, so I figured out a way to control the router with a rudimentary jig made from 2 lengths of wood set parallel to each other on a board with 2 more pieces to put under each end as supports. I left a gap for the bit. To get the right angle, i moved the angle of the jig.

This is by no means a perfect solution or idiot proof. But, I can make a drawing. I don't think I have any photos of it.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
PSmill
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:23 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Repair & Finish 40 year old project

Post by PSmill »

Update - Happy guitar owner tried out his new/40 year old guitar and took it home last night. He said he never imagined it would be finished, so that was really great, it actually sounds quite good, part of the brassiness is prob just the new strings, I prefer the sound once that mellows a bit.

Thanks so much for all the advice on this project. We agreed we'll touch base in a while and see how it's doing. If the saddle lean is getting any worse we can re-rout it (I did find some photos of a real rudimentary jig for that tnx). I'm more worried about it structurally than tone-wise. I asked him to release the string tension a bit of it will be sitting un-played for a while. I learned a few things, and calling this one done for now.
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MaineGeezer
Posts: 1529
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: Repair & Finish 40 year old project

Post by MaineGeezer »

The type of strings can make a huge difference in the sound, and the only way to find out what a particular guitar responds to the best is to try a bunch of different kinds.

There are some string reviews on here someplace that might be interesting to read.
Don't believe everything you know.
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When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2846
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Repair & Finish 40 year old project

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

You might want to recommend a set of silk and steel strings, in a light gauge. They're easier on the guitar. There are strings made specifically for vintage guitars too.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
PSmill
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:23 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Repair & Finish 40 year old project

Post by PSmill »

I'll check that out thanks!
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