This Les Paul Junior has had a hard life. When it came to me for a refinish in nice thin nitrocellulose it was coated with a thick layer of yellow paint which on closer inspection revealed a history that the owner was completely unaware of. It seems that at some point in its life …

This guitar is a long-term test guitar for a UK magazine. It was dropped on its face, suffering some damage from the plain strings to frets 17 and 18. A couple of higher frets were also lightly marked but this was damage which would dress out easily. As you can see below, the damage wasn’t …

Comparing old and new truss rod nuts, old one is very worn.

For some reason known only to Fender, the US American Standard Stratocasters and Telecasters use a 1/8″ Allen key to adjust the Bi-Flex truss rod. It’s okay if the rod is working well and whoever adjusts it used a tight-fitting key of the correct size, but if not, the nut can quickly be trashed and require replacement. …

These two Vintage Gibsons came in, each needing a new nut. The mid-1960s SG Special had a nut cut too low meaning that the unfretted strings were buzzing against the first fret. I replaced this with a nut made from bleached bone. I had to use an oversize blank as the person who previously …

Unwind until the saddle is against the far wall

NOTE This applies only to the original Schaller bridge and exact copies. I often read that people find it difficult to change the saddles in a Gibson “Nashville” bridge. This bridge was introduced in the mid 70s, replacing the original ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge which had been designed at Gibson in the early 1950s by Ted …

Switchcraft coil tap switch (left) and modern donor (right)

In the mid-70s, some Gibson semi-acoustics such as the ES-335 and ES-347 were fitted with coil splitting switches, which shorted out one coil of each pickup to provide a single coil sound. I think this was a nod to fashion as thanks to disco and in particular Nile Rogers, the Fender Stratocaster sound was …

1982 Gibson Ripper Bass

Following on from the “70s Bass Extravaganza” earlier this year I have two early 80s basses in for set up this week. Gibson Grabber Bass The first is a lovely 1982 Gibson Grabber Bass. It was suffering from uneven frets and a rising tongue caused by some unwise heavy shimming of the neck with …

Fender LSR after surgery

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, or so they say. The owner of this guitar fitted a Fender LSR roller nut himself and I have to say showed some skill in cutting the wood away. Unfortunately he misunderstood how the nut should be fitted and cut away far too much wood. I tidied …

Les Paul Traditional split neck

Here’s another nasty break, this time a longitudinal split in a Les Paul neck, caused by a fall. All that was required was to glue and clamp both sides before refinishing the back of the neck using my nitrocellulose lacquers.  

Les Paul Traditional broken headstock

This Les Paul was only a week old when it suffered this catastrophic break. Unusually, the fall was so severe that it broke the fibre headstock face right across between the E tuners. Although not an easy repair the break had plenty of surface area for glue. The repaired headstock was relacquered and the …