Easy way to adjust a vintage bolt on truss rod.

It can be a nightmare to adjust a truss rod at the end of your neck, especially if you can not get to it at all.  You can go for it and chance messing up your pickguard.  Maybe you can get lucky and remove a tele pickguard while you do the adjustments or you just have to take the neck off.  Biggest problem is the strings hoping off while you are doing the work then trying to restring your guitar with a tangled up mess. Here is one way I have found to expedite the adjustment process.

Start by putting a capo on at the 1st or 2nd fret.  This will help to keep the strings on the tuners.  As you loosen the strings (as little as necessary) give the string a little tug on the bridge side of the capo to keep the tuner side tight.   Be sure to hold the neck as I am in the photo while removing it. Then hold he strings in place on the neck while you give the rod a turn.  Then get it all back together.  If you did it right the string will still be on the tuners and all you will need to do is tune it up!

Couple ideas…..     If your truss rod nut is showing, Stew Mac make a great tool they call the Truss Rod Crank for Tele.  Check that out as well as all the other mega cool tools.          Another trick to keep the strings in place is to put a piece of thin cardboard under the strings between the nut and 1st fret and tape the string to it.

IMG_4413 IMG_4409Nothing says cool like outdoor guitar repair.  Wind in my hair etc…..

 

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Kill switch issue on the Buckethead Guitars

A while ago I had to change out the kill switch on a Buckethead guitar. Problem is the switch it comes with is a midi disco trigger button, not the best. There tends to be a lot of clicking noise when you use it.  I wanted to use the large format button so I took apart one of my favorite switches , which I can custom wire for very little noise.
I inserted the guts into the big switch.  Little tricky to keep the glue in the right place but worked great. The feel was a little different but worth it to keep the noise down.

On Buckethead’s original guitar I has to change out his smaller black switch that was giving him problems.  Problem was he was so used to the feel of that original switch.  All I could do was take it apart, clean it, make it solid and send it on its way.

I find that every kill switch has a distinct feel and it helps to find one that fits your style.

P1050541P1050538P1050539 P1050540

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It must be true. Joe says it right here :-)

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OK, says it right here !!!

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IMG_2577Tim and I (and Plek not pictured) teaming up on Joe’s 3 new guitars.  Some new frets a couple Sustainiac’s and lots of guitar loving.   It was fun to see the development of the 24 fret version of the JS guitar last year.  So much went into making it all come together, mainly Joe’s ear and feel that guided the changes.   Looks like this year you can get the Sustainiac with the guitar!  Keep and eye out for it.

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Neck Repair Trick on a Dobro

The client is on the road and needed a quick fix.

Problem is the neck was pulling off in such a way that made a simple glue up impossible.  We would either have to remover the fingerboard  and rebuild the neck joint or find another way.   The other way was to use a right angle drill and screw the neck back tight from the inside.  Luckily there was enough room to get in there.

The fingerboard was well attached to the body so we felt confident that screwing the heal back on tight would be a good fix.  In the end it looks like the neck is more secure than when it was built.

Tim happened to have the magic Festool right angle drill ready to go!!

Neck fixIMG_3339IMG_3343IMG_3344

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How do we polish frets?

We were asked recently how we got frets to look so good.  There a few methods to get to the same result.  Here are a couple.  One way is to use small fret polishing wheels that we shape to the contour of the frets and use different grits to bring the fret up to a slick feeling polish.   The large wheel works great to polish the frets and the fingerboard.  The goal is a smooth and slick bending fret and have the fingerboard not feel sticky under your fingers.

Fret polishStew mac

 

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