Main Street Music - Repair blog
When I remember to take photos of anything interesting or if taking them isn't going to get in the way of the job too much and they turn out good enough photos, then I'll stick something up here.
Friday 21st October 2016
Been a while. But it has mostly been standard repairs, set ups and fixes. There's only so many polished frets you can show. Though frets is what you are getting today
We have a Squier Thinline Tele in for a full refret. Which can be overkill if the player only uses part of the neck regularly. You can mostly partially refret, changing only the most work frets them milling them down to match the remaining originals. Saving time and work for yourself and therefore money for the customer. But this one shows wear all over and trying to mill down every last bump might leave almost no fretwire to recrown and polish. So a full refret it is.
Friday 24th June 2016
Here's an interesting one. This strat was taken into another shop for a set up, which took 4 weeks.
So... the first mistake was the stringing. You can't really see from the photo but the '9' from this set was put on as the 'B' string and the '12' as the high E. So one was over tight and one too slack.
The intonation is 90% guess work. This took 4 weeks to do.
Including truss rod tweaking, intonation set, fretboard clean, properly blocking the trem and re-string this took considerably less than an hour.
Keep on rockin' in the refurbs.
Tuesday 8th March 2016
More frets. Just to illustrate one point. Protecting the board while doing fretwork doesn't always mean taping it off.
In this case a well played Telecaster has fingerboard lacquer that has started to crack and in places, mostly over the position dots, it has started to lift. There's always a danger in taping off a board in this condition that the tape will pull off the loosest chunks of laquer and just make a big problem for yourself.
So... fret by fret you have to use a stainless steel fretboard protector to give yourself some safety.
The big bummer about this is that it makes the job so much longer. You also kind of loose a hand as one of them has to hold the protector in place. For every fret. For every grade of wet and dry used to polish the frets. Every one of them. Over and over.
Old neck break!
While looking for something else I found these pictures of an older repair.
This was a Takamine mini that had already taken two nose dives and snapped the head off before this third smash. On both previous repairs they hadn't even tried to smooth over the break lines after glueing and the front of the headstock looked terrible. The glue joints themselves were perfectly fine, each held fast when the next break happened. They were just cosmetically ugly and ergonomically rough.
A broken headstock is a pretty horrific looking thing if it happens to your guitar. But it's not that hard a fix, apart from a lot of thought, effort and three handed dexterity.
The really tricky part is smoothing over the smashed and jagged edges of the broken lacquer afterwards. This is potentially the most expensive part of the job if you were to want it hidden. If you wanted the finish to hide the break or blend into the existing finish.
While we don't have a paint shop or spraying facilities to do any finish work the wood can be sealed and a smooth, clear lacquer applied over the fix. Or amber lacquer if we have it, or you're prepaired to pay for the can of... whatever.
In this case the previous two fixes had to be smoothed over as well. I'm pretty sure that the front of the headstock was still and awful mess after this but can't find the photos of that
Friday Feb 12th 2016
Brand new Gibson frets. O.K. level wise, but gritty and dull.
Thursday Feb 11th 2016
Blocking a Floyd. Why? Because they're awful. And you only get to work on them after some idiot, usually "My-Mate-Who-Knows-All-About-Guitars" or "My-Guitar-teacher", has had a go at it and declared it "busted".
Wednesday Feb 10th 2016
Some cosmetic work.
Tuesday Feb 9th 2016
Here's some more fret work for you.
Part of a bigger job involving two of the most craptastic things in the world of guitar: A Floyd Rose and EMG pickups. Good times!
Saturday Feb 6th 2016
Part of a bigger job, here's some fret work for you. Shiny!
There was a time when light fret work, a bit of levelling, re-shaping and polishing, was about dealing with high frets. These days frets tend to be pressed in to place and you can end up with the odd fret or two just a bit lower than the rest. A softer spot in the wood or a little too much pressure at that point and there's an inconsistency.
A high fret you can take down to the level of it's neighbours. If you're lucky its one fret getting milled down and re-shaped. Then a clean and polish for them all.
With a low fret they all have to be dropped down to it's level.
A metaphor for modern life.