Okay, this is going to be a long one so bear with me. I may introduce new questions to the thread as Ive got quite the list here, and a whack of pics...
Im repairing an old J 50 for a customer, and this is the list of issues thus far with asterisks by the ones im most concerned about right now, and accompanying questions:
- all the back braces are loose, as in dancing around inside the guitar loose
- all the centre joint lining on the back is loose (3 are right off, the other 2 will be removed and reglued)
* theres a nasty dent/puncturish thing in the side (bass i believe). This is one of the more difficult issues, though less structurally significant as some. The split on the inside of the guitar is much longer than out, and its very apparent that no reasonable amount of force will press the outer surface back flush
* another (maybe the most) worrying issue - the tail block is half loose. Do i inject glue and clamp it, or finish removing it and risk that delicate end grain seam between the sides?
- theres a hole from an input jack
- theres a piece missing from the back, and 5 other cracks, some fine, some not
- the pickguard is shrinking and curling, one small crack in the top as a result
* the finish is in horrid shape: checking everywhere, chips everywhere, worn to bare wood around the pick guard, the neck is blistered all over, and im pretty sure someone added finish to the top and bridge with the strings on. At this point, should i be at all concerned about the vintage when considering refinishing the whole shibang?
- the frets are way worn, like everything else
- the bridge plate is glued solid still, but doesnt appear to be doing its job. Replace?
Erm.. Thats the worst of it for now. One more question though, should i adjust the neck angle while the back is off by shifting the thing, or would itbe better to wait and remove the neck after the body is back in order.
First off, apologies to Andrew the Original Poster that this thread is going off course here, but good info is good info however you can get it!
John's point about the cost of doing the bridge shaving VS neck rest is ( I think) THE point he is trying to make Eric, A $500 buck guitar plywood axe is not a $2000 Martin or Gibson, and he certainly is not talking about doing this on a valuable guitar.
I think it is a totally legit practice if the guitar is worth $500, and lifetime wise, is closer to being in the garbage bin than it is to being actually played. And many of us have played acoustics that had bridges shaved down 20 years ago too.I certainly know that I have...
If this process can give 20 years to the active life of a guitar, that seems to me to be as legit as it gets.
What do you think Eric?
I certainly do not want to carry this thread off course so I'll try to bring it back around to the subject guitar. A '53 J-50 properly repaired is at least a $2,000 instrument without considering this ones sentimental value. With that in mind I'd be doing a reset along with the other repairs. I've never done a back slip reset, but I have restored one, done on an old rosewood Martin, and after that experience would recommend that type of work only on a cheap guitar. I have to say my perspective comes from years in the vintage trade and others experiences may be quite different from mine. To each his own.
So not to be rude Eric, but did you see the point of not doing a neck reset on a guitar that is worth as much as the repair? That was what I was trying to get across my friend.
I follow, and under the circumstances you are referring to, I never would recommend a costly repair, but this guitar is different in my opinion. My comments are regarding the guitar in question only. Honestly I can't remember the last time I thought you were rude?
This thread hasn't really gone OT. Everything is relevant and everything suggested thus far is a viable option.
I think the subject of 'to re-set or not re-set' and the other repair aspects have been extremely well represented and described by all responders.
I think the 'advice' portion of this thread has simply run it's course. It's now time for Andrew to review the thoughtful and expert advice he's received. Then he'll decide what path he wishes to take, in accordance with his customer's wishes.
Besides, the quicker he gets to work, the sooner he'll be able to post pics of the completed instrument and probably have all of us drooling (again, in my case).
Best regards to all,
Kerry: I'm with Eric. You? Rude? I've never witnessed it. I'm afraid you'll have to live with the reputation of a "great guy', my friend.
Eric: I had the same $2K-$2.5K value in my head also...for the repaired instrument. It's a pity. Prior to late 2008, it would have been valued at double that figure. Whatever the value...someone's going to end up with a very nice & cool guitar :)