Official Luthiers Forum!

Solely owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:50 pm


All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:02 am 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:16 am
Posts: 5
Location: Tampa, FL
First name: Rob
Last Name: O
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
I know this is a bit crazy, but please bear with me...

Also, for a bit of background - I'm 30, have been obsessed with playing, reading about and learning about guitars since I was 9, and have spent at least 10 years reading in luthier posts on the internet. I've been able to do a nice setup since I was a teenager, and have over the years learned more and slowly bought tools.

I have successfully refretted, made nuts/saddles, refinished/finished necks/bodies, reglued bridges, loose braces, repaired top, back and side cracks, leveled frets and probably several other things I'm not thinking of at the moment. I also build and repair amplifiers and studio equipment.




I bought this '39 Kalamazoo KG-14 this summer for $200. According to my inspection, it has the following wrong with it:
Shaved bridge
fingerboard extension completely free
fingerboard loose up to the 5th fret on the bass side and the 1st fret on the treble side
a few small back cracks
two small top cracks
large pickguard crack
Small crack on the side
Loose braces on back and top
bridgeplate very eaten up

With tension on strings, a straightedge from the fingerboard is .060 off of the guitar top
at the 7th fret on bass side, I get .021 of relief
Action at 6th fret is at .192
top of saddle at 6th fret is only at .31
The finish has been completely removed from the back of the neck with aggressive sandpaper, and the back and sides have been rubbed all over with aggressive sandpaper
the top has had several shades of red paint applied and removed and does not have any clear coat on it. It does not appear to have been sanded.

Now that I have the measurements at string tension, I am a bit worried that it seems like it needs a huge amount removed for a neckset - 0.11!

Outside of this, here's my plan:
remove first and 12th frets to add indexing pin, remove fingerboard.
Steam out neck joint, remove neck.
Refret and flatten fingerboard.
Heat and flatten neck - reglue neck to fingerboard.
Refinish neck.
Heat and remove bridge, carve new bridge from BRW.
build body mold, remove binding from top and remove the top
Decide whether to repair ladder braces or convert to X bracing while it's open
repair all top back and side cracks and glue loose braces
put the box back together
refinish body
reglue bridge
reset neck
Enjoy guitar for life because it's only worth about $800 max!



Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image




My concern is that I feel comfortable doing all of these repairs individually, but am a bit worried about how they effect each other. For instance, I think it is clear the high relief probably has to do with the loose fingerboard, which means I probably need less of a reset than I have measured.
How would you more experienced guys approach this? I don't care if this takes me 100 hours, I really want to learn this stuff, and I would love to have a guitar like this to play.

_________________
Check out some of my tunes! http://soundcloud.com/rockinrob86


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:05 am 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:16 am
Posts: 5
Location: Tampa, FL
First name: Rob
Last Name: O
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Here's a little video of it tuned way down low...

_________________
Check out some of my tunes! http://soundcloud.com/rockinrob86


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:13 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 2711
Location: Victoria, BC
First name: John
Last Name: Abercrombie
Status: Amateur
Good project!
At least the glue in most of those old guitars is usually easy to deal with - no PU Gorilla glue in them! eek

If this were my project, I'd consider popping off the back vs the top. It looks like the back doesn't have binding?

Are you planning on adding reinforcement (CF bars?) to the neck while you have the fingerboard off?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:47 pm 
Offline
Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 am
Posts: 145
State: Texas
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Some thoughts.

I would remove the pickguard, usually they shrink and cause cracks in the top (this is true on many old martins as well). Once it's removed you can shellac the top in that area and use the LMII double sided adhesive to re-apply it.

I would not want to remove the top, I would remove the back and work on the cracks from there.

One thing you should definitely do is research how violins are cleated and patched, it will help you get the cracks taken care of. I've tackled similar projects and found that the methods used on violins are superior (to me anyway) than the way I've seen cleats normally done on guitars.

If you haven't done so, this would be a really great way to learn how to work with hot hide glue.

I have some methods that may help you get the back off that I've used with great success, if you want me to write them out I'd be happy to.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:13 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:16 am
Posts: 5
Location: Tampa, FL
First name: Rob
Last Name: O
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Thanks for the thoughts.

I was worried the pickguard would be ruined by removing it, but I guess it could work out...

I talked to a local guitar tech I know, who told me several things I think are important.

1st - get the box right before you make measurements to reset the neck. With loose braces, bridge issues, etc - fix the box.

2nd - don't take the top off! take the back off.


How do you like to take the back off?

How are violin cleats different than guitar cleats? I bought some small spruce cleats I saw on sale somewhere awhile back, was planning to just fix the cracks and hide glue the cleats on like normal. Googling violin cleats gives me pictures that looks like what I already do.

I enjoy using hide glue, and do when I can. I have fish glue for things I need more time with, and then titebond and epoxy when appropriate (won't be appropriate anywhere on this guitar!)

I recently sprayed my first burst for practice - actually feeling good about refinishing the top on this

First burst:
Image

_________________
Check out some of my tunes! http://soundcloud.com/rockinrob86


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:31 am 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:53 am
Posts: 1
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I just went through a very similar thing with my 1936 KG-14. It will be interesting to watch your project. I would not pop the top at all and I would not pop the back unless I first determined that fixing the cracks was not possible without it. My cracks were not as extensive as yours and the pickguard was fine. Here is what i did and the order I did them.:

1. Neck reset. the bridge had been shaved down to almost nothing. This was the most problematic reset I had ever done. The actual heel of the neck was glued to the side on the treble side. Sloppy original workmanship. It took some work with the spatula and heat gun to get it off. The dove tail was also sloppy and I had to shim it extensively. I strongly considered converting the neck to bolt on. Probably should have but I can be stubborn about some things.

2. Sanded and re-profiled the fingerboard. Filled several wear spots that made it uncomfortable to play.

3. Refret. Went normal.

4. New bridge. Ordered a piece of Brazilian and made a new one. Went fine, using the old one as the template.

5. Fixed a large side crack at the treble upper bout that revealed itself during the neck reset. Titebond and large cleat bent specifically to fit the side. Also a couple smaller cleats on either side of the large one. Also glued and cleated some minor cracks between the fretboard and soundhole.

6. New bone nut and saddle.

7. Rework the finish on the neck heel, upper bout (both sides) and upper back. Used 2 coats nitro lacquer with Trans Tint Dark Mission brown. Followed with 0000 steel wool to bring the finish as close as possible to the rest of the guitar.

If I had to pop the back, I would have strongly considered X bracing. However, that would fundamentally change the sound and I liked the way it sounded already. Who knows if it would be better or not. That's too subjective and once done, you got what you got.

If I had taken off the fretboard I definitely would have added a truss rod with access at the heel end. However, my neck is just about perfect without it.

Some might say I have destroyed the value of a vintage guitar doing this. However, I only value vintage when the guitar is playable. An old piece of crap is just that no matter whose name is on it. Unless Woody, Willie, Neil or Eric owned it. Mine don't hang on the wall or are held for "investment".

I didn't count them, but I probably had about 25 hours in this project.

I disagree with you on the value of your guitar. Once in shape it should be worth around $1500 - $2000.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CarlD and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
phpBB customization services by 2by2host.com