Hello all, newbie here. Glad I found this site, hoping to find resources to help me on journey to restore a 1965 lg1. This was my mom's guitar that my brother tore apart 40 years ago with the idea of restoring it. He didn't get far, and it has been sitting for decades now. With the experience of building a few dulcimers under my belt, he agreed to turn it over to me to restore. The original top is gone, but otherwise it is in surprisingly good shape. I took it to a Luthier to make sure there were no fatal flaws before I embarked on this project. He thought the neck was pretty solid, and might not even need re-fretting. The biggest question I have is how to do the new top without the original soundboard as a template? How can i find out where and how big to make the sound hole, and where to place the bridge? I have the original bridge, I'll make a rosewood one to replace it. My research says the original bridge was screwed on. Is this the correct way to install the new bridge? My moms other Nylon String acoustic guitar, has the bridge glued on. Since there is no reason to restore this as original, without the original top, I am planning on doing cross bracing rather than ladder bracing for the top. My brother also gave me the sitka spruce he got 40 years ago for the top. I have that planed down, glued up and rough cut to shape. I assume the pick guard is just glued on the top, but I saw a picture of one with the guard removed and it almost looked like the pick guard had been in a routed recess in the top. Any suggestions, advice, information on resources would be appreciated. Thanks.. Cjr
The idea of you and your husband working on projects at the same time is great. Both of your will need a third or fourth hand now and then. I've found myself in the middle of something that really could have used a "bit of help" too many times.
I completely understand the reservations about neck resets but, as I pointed out earlier, if it doesn't need it, the neck will just go right back on. If it does need it, you will already be ahead in the game. BTW, it's not my intention to scare you or anything just to give some perspective, the job you have already chosen to do is every bit as complex as a neck reset. It's ALL a matter of information and practice and attention to detail.
Remember to get the whole process down so you don't make too many mistakes. You will make some anyway, it's a given. Just try to avoid making "dumb" ones as much as possible. Something that may or may not be apparent to you is that the bridge shouldn't be glued on before you are ready to set the neck again. The relationship between it's placement and the neck set are too sensitive to just assume that the bridge position is "roughly" correct. You will need to know where the bridge will go, roughly so you can properly place the bridge plate and X brace intersection/sound hole. It's all related which is why I think you need to have plans to study. The best case would be exact plans but I don't know where to find any right now for a mid '6os X braced LG. The dimensions on the plans I pointed to are close enough that making adjustments shouldn't be too hard but you will need to do some careful measurements to get the sound hole/ X brace intersection/ bridge location correct for the scale length. Double check this on your neck with careful measurement from the nut to the center of the 12 fret then double it. That the uncompensated scale length. It won't work for saddle placement but it will allow you to position the bridge plate correctly.
I can't overstate how important it is to read everything you can find on the matter. Don't restrict yourself to repair sites/books either. Some of the best information you will find will be from builders since you are, for all intents and purposes, combining a new build with a repair. The major difference is that you are not free to change thing that a builder would be able to manipulate like the scale length, neck/ body joint location and bridge placement.
Just a personal note about how I deal with the mountain of information. I really like ebooks and the internet BUT I maintain a small and growing library of hard copy items for reference. I have books, magazines, photo copies, pictures and even "hard copy" examples in the form of old parts that I can use for reference. You really can't get too much information and know how to lay hands on it quickly. In your case, you are looking for specific information about an instrument but if you continue to do this sort of thing, (it's a very virulent and you may, someday, find that you suffer a chronic shortness of storage space for "project that are waiting for attention" and such ) you may find yourself making modification to an instrument that were never designed into it to begin with. I've added X braces to a few instrument that were not originally braced in this manner and found that I was, for all intents and purposes, designing the bracing system from scratch. In a case like this, everything you can find can help you. Again, it's the details that can bite you and you it would be hard to have too much reference material.
Well, in the interest of honesty, I have to admit that it really is possible to have too many "hard copy" examples of "things" but some of them are just cool so I keep them anyway. I'm even pretty sure that I have a bridge plate and bridge from an old LG ( late '50s) that I kept for reference. Neither is in good enough condition to use again but they are still original in dimensions/design so I kept them. They have both been handy more than once in the past. Really, though, I doubt that I need to have a few dozen old, chipped up end pins or a hand full of warped shrunken old bridge pins. (I wonder if any of them will burn like old picks... could be fun!!)
I made a dulicimer once with a scale that I too directly from my guitar. It was early in my guitar years and didn't turn out so well. There was a lot of ignorance involved in that "build" that went well beyond my ability to shape and glue wood. I never would have guessed then just how many and how important the details are in making an instrument that actually plays in tune and sound decent. I certainly learned a lot about what I didn't know. I hadn't thought about it for decades but came across it in my parents house when I was home several years ago. I couldn't believe that they kept it but then they didn't have any idea that it was a complete and utter disaster as an instrument and they thought it was important to me. I suppose , in a way it was but I still can believe they kept it all this time. To quote Monty Python; "I got better."
Happy New Year, Ned, thanks for the insightful comments. Enjoyed the story of your attempted dulcimer build.... Look what I found free.. ; http://www.guittek.com/product/1940-acoustic-l-00. I'll have to look at this closer, but appears to be very close to the lg1. One thing I discovered, the scale length for the lg1 is 24.75 inches. The 12th fret should therefore be 12.375, but it isn't on this guitar. It's closer to12.25. So that presents a bit of a conundrum... My brother says he has a friend with an lg1, he sent him an email asking for some measurements... So waiting to see what he says...
Scale length can be given two ways, with and without compensation. That being said, you will be placing your bridge (actually the saddle installed on the bridge) in relation to the scale of the guitar on hand.
The distance to the 12th fret on my LG-0 is 12 5/16" (less a skosh).
Also, you shouldn't assume the bridge on that other LG-1 is placed properly. Mistakes happen, even (or especially) at big factories.
Thanks for the feedback Joshua.. I dug out the real fine ruler, and that is exactly where the center of the 12th fret falls on my LG1, 12 5/16". So what is the distance from the nut to the back center of the saddle on your LG-0? ( From what I've read, the scale length is measured from the nut inside face to the back face of the saddle at the center).. cjr
Hi Carla , I have an LG1 on my lounge , I replaced the bridge with an ebony copy 30yrs ago , if you need any measurements
im happy to help , its all original , and yes ladder braced .
Hello Len, thanks for reply. I'd be interested to know the measurements from the inside face of the nut to the center of the 12th fret, and also from the inside face of the nut to the center of the saddle at the middle of the fret board. What year is your LG1? Thanks -cjr-
It's 12 5/16 to the fret , and 24 3/4" to centre of saddle , 3 15/16 sound hole .I seem to recall it's 1962 roughly , S.N.149275 but gibson numbers dont mean much in this era.