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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:43 am 
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First name: Chris
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I've been repairing guitars now for 41 years. Lots of folks thank me for my work. Some think I'm great. I have much experience... part of it is admitting my failings. This is one of those times.

Over a year ago, I took on a neck reset job for a beautiful old Heritage flattop. The action was really high, and the neck seemed to be on crooked, as in rotated slightly in the dovetail. I could see no other problems.

I removed the fingerboard over the soundboard to get at the neck joint for steaming the neck out of the body. Steam didn't work. Adding vinegar to the joint didn't work. I had that neck jacked to the max pressure trying to persuade it to come out of the dovetail. No penetration of the moisture.... what's going on here?

Turns out the neck had been superglued in. At the bottom of the dovetail there was a solid inch of superglue pooled in the void, soaking into the head block. It remained rock solid and crooked. This is the point when I should have handed the guitar back to the client, and congratulated him on his new flower pot.

No need to discuss all the methods I used to remove said neck, or the various efforts at re-attaching said neck multiple times. Did you miss the part where it's been over a year? The last 4 months I just looked at the guitar, silently hating it. Pretty sure the feeling the mutual.

2 weeks ago the wife of the client called me, and asked me about the project. I told her I hated it and hadn't touched it in months. She brushed it off, and asked me to TRY to complete the job in time for Christmas. She wanted to surprise her hubby. So.... because she asked nicely, I gave it one more shot.

I've worked at least 2 hours a day on the thing since then. I've added wood, and removed wood. Added parts, and removed parts. I've glued it and screwed it. I even went to a machine shop to use a milling machine to make accurate cuts on weird setups. I've sprayed fresh lacquer to make it all look nice. No dice.

In the last 2 days, I've come THIS CLOSE to smashing this thing to kindling at least 3 times. I don't think welding it on would hold it. I know what I'm doing, and what I want this thing to do.... But it's been cursed with a terrible spell that I cannot break. I give up. I'm done with the sweat, the cursing, the bleeding, and the mental anguish. I put it back in the case, and I never want to see this thing again.

I quoted $350 to do the job. Kiss that goodbye. I should have told the client it was stolen from my truck, and then tossed it in the river 2 blocks away. I'M DONE WITH IT.

Now back to my regularly scheduled program of success and happiness.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: dpetrzelka (Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:44 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:20 pm 
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There's a test like that in Star Fleet Academy.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:07 pm 
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First name: Chris
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According to Picard: "You can do everything right, and still fail".... or something similar.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:03 pm 
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This is the “no win” sinario...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Have you tried super glue?

Sorry, couldn't resist. And I feel your pain.

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These users thanked the author mountain whimsy for the post: rlrhett (Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:42 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:00 pm 
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Major suck. I haven't had a similar experience but have come close enough to get pretty nervous a time or two.

So what did you do? Only thing I could think of would be to tell them it just couldn't be a guitar again, too messed up then offer to make it look nice to hang on the wall.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:35 pm 
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I'm still waiting for the wife to return my call....

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:39 pm 
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Good luck

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:50 pm 
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That is a tough situation. Hope she is understanding about everything.

On the other hand. Who in their right mind superglues a neck? Previous repair?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Quote:
Who in their right mind superglues a neck? Previous repair?


It came from Guitar Center..... Need I say more?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:09 am 
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Koa
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Chris Pile wrote:
It came from Guitar Center..... Need I say more?


You need not. You have my sympathy for the whole situation. I really hope it turns out well for you.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:00 am 
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I feel for you but at the same time so glad someone else caught this one..... ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:27 am 
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Well, the client's wife just called and offered to pay me anyway.
I demurred.
I had photo documentation of the whole process - was looking forward to posting if it all worked out.
DELETE FILE.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: SteveSmith (Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:03 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Yikes! This is another perfect example of why repair work scares the crap outa me...

Better luck next time Chris. I hope you pour yourself (if you drink that is) a fine single malt when this thing leaves your shop. You deserve it!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:14 pm 
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The clients wife picked up the guitar around 11AM.... I shed no tears putting it in the car for her.
I don't drink, so I busied myself in the kitchen and whipped up a couple pumpkin pies from scratch.
The house no longer smells like failure, but like spicy, creamy victory!

Merry Christmas, OLF!

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: DanKirkland (Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:49 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:31 pm 
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I don't drink either, pumpkin pie would be in well order for sure!

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"There's really no wrong way, as long as the results are what's desired." Charles Fox

"We have to constantly remind ourselves what we're doing....No Luthier is putting a man on the moon!" Harry Fleishman

"Generosity is always different in the eye of the person who didn't receive anything, but who wanted some." Waddy Thomson


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:33 pm 
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I do and there are some good pumpkin spice ales to sample for the season....


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Chris Pile wrote:
The clients wife picked up the guitar around 11AM.... I shed no tears putting it in the car for her.
I don't drink, so I busied myself in the kitchen and whipped up a couple pumpkin pies from scratch.
The house no longer smells like failure, but like spicy, creamy victory!

Merry Christmas, OLF!


Merry Christmas to you too. Pumpkin Pie is a truly great way to enjoy a victory. Glad it worked out in the end.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to find that dingbat at GC that did the superglue job and slap them.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Gads... I can’t say anything more...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:29 am 
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Quote:
Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to find that dingbat at GC that did the superglue job and slap them.


Pretty sure I know who the culprit is.... But I have no proof.
He's gone now, and there are 2 more idiots in his place.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:58 am 
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I hear you Chris. And it's not just repair either. I'm having a nightmare of a time right now building a guitar. I posted a thread on the main forum about it. This guitar has taken me over a year to complete because the dang thing is cursed. Believe me I had thought about smashing it and just refunding the deposit. But the guy I am building for is nice guy who has tremendous patience so I keep going. I've literally lost nights of sleep because of this dang guitar and I mostly do this for fun, not bread and butter.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:12 am 
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First name: Chris
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I do believe that guitars have a will, and it is my job to persuade them to be a better guitar so they can make beautiful music. Sometimes - they don't want to listen.

I frequently point out to my clients that guitars are made from wood that used to be a living tree. And that wood still reacts to humidity and barometric pressure just like when it was alive. Some of the trees must have had a hard life, or just don't want to make music. Maybe that tree would have been happier as furniture?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:07 pm 
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Chris Pile wrote:
Maybe that tree would have been happier as furniture?


Or as kindling? Sorry to hear that thing sucked the life from you for a year. Have a Merry Christmas brother! It sure sounds like you deserve it.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Quote:
Or as kindling?


That's the last choice if it can't be recycled into something more usable than sawdust.

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