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. …

Nashville bridge bowed

Tune-o-matic bridge as found on Gibson and other guitars was designed by Ted McCarty and introduced in the mid 1950s as the ABR-1. The design was updated by Schaller in the 1970s and the new bridge being termed the “Nashville” bridge by players as its introduction coincided with the Gibson factory’s move from Kalamazoo to …

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 …

PE-1000GC Aria Pro II Gerry Cott Signature

… you don’t see one for ages then two come along at once! Although I used to own one of the original PE-1000 guitars and wish I’d never parted with it, I can’t ever recall seeing one of the blue Gerry Cott signatures before. In  the space of two weeks however, I have worked …

Gretsch Firebird Jet refret done

When refretting this 1967 Gretsch Firebird, I noticed two small holes in the 14th fret slot and another two in the 2nd fret slot. I’ve never seen these before but imagine that they are for locating pins to ensure correct positioning of the fretboard when it’s being glued to the neck? There is not …