maintenance tip for relic owners

May 21st, 2010, 03:44 PM
Please...this has nothing to do with the heated discussion of whether you like or dislike, "relic'd guitars". As a guitar repairman with 40 years experience, I have often had to deal with older guitars, whose heavy wear and usage had caused parts to become corroded, and rusted. Sometimes it was possible with patience, to loosen and save a part, in other cases replacement was necessary. I just want to bring it to the attention of owners of the relic style instruments, that given the head start these guitars have in the rust game, if the parts are left un-lubricated, they may "lock up" much quicker than in the past, and leave your instrument unadjustable. I have already had cases of this appearing in my shop. I have seen Tele barrel style bride saddles, with height adjustment bolts firmly locked up. They were the vintage slot head style bolts, which have a history of breaking very easily if too much force is applied. I have also seen Kluson type tuners where the rust was real thick, causing the tuners to be very tight when you tried to use them. Kluson style tuners also break easily when too much force is used. I am not trying to panic relic owners, just make you aware of the possibilities. I recommend that you apply a light coat of thin oil, to all tuner moving parts, and all bridge movements too, as soon as possible after getting the instrument. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil, so it doesn't get all over your case and your clothes. Oil it from time to time, so it doesn't get dry, and stay dry for a long period of time. That's when they start to "freeze up". I don't think many of you will have problems, if you keep up with your maintenance.
Gene Warner

May 21st, 2010, 04:30 PM
Good Tip Gene....I've been seeing some of the very same thing.