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a friend's Kay archtop to refurbish (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by 62 Jazzmaster, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    A good friend of mine from out of town mentioned he had an old Kay archtop that he was given when he was a teenager. I asked him to bring it down on his next visit and he dropped it off a few days ago.

    It hasn't been played in quite some time, due to a wiring problem. I said I'd get her up and running again and thought I'd post pictures as the job goes along.

    The pickups work, but the switch seems defective and the MacGyver'D string ground will be done in a stealthier fashion. I'm not sure if I have a matching knob for the missing one, but I'll hunt through my parts boxes in case I do.

    Anyone know the model?

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  2. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    Looks like she's been thru the ringer. Cool pickups
     
  3. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    It needs a good cleaning, that's for sure.
    My motto for this type of job now is: First, do no harm.
    I learned that one the hard way. :(
     
  4. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You have a foundation to build on, so good luck bringing her back to life. A friend of mine brought me an old 1957 Harmony Checkmate to "fix" one time. When I opened the case I found a beautiful pile of kindling. He had borrowed it from his mother (her late brother's guitar) and left it out on the screen porch over the winter. Needless to say, his mother was upset. With the help of a skilled wood worker I know, plenty of glue, and dozens of clamps we slowly forced it back together. I couldn't do anything about the neck, which was severely warped, and no truss rod. I told him he needed a luthier to tackle that. I did enough to get him out of trouble with his mother, but the guitar was barely playable.
     
  5. TheRumRunner

    TheRumRunner Tele-Afflicted

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    Kay Swingmaster K672 with the Barney Kessel pick-ups, very cool.

    DW
     
  6. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    thanks for the help with the model! My friend got it so long ago, he'd forgotten what the name of it was. I'm going to take my time getting it functioning again.
     
  7. tedro

    tedro Tele-Afflicted

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    love the headstock pics!
     
  8. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    I'll take some more pics once it's dusted off, I wanted to show the progress from its original state.
     
  9. TheRumRunner

    TheRumRunner Tele-Afflicted

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    DW
     
  10. Strat62

    Strat62 Friend of Leo's

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    That is just so cool, and thanks for the video-the sound is just awesome!:)
     
  11. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    I owned a Harmony Rocket that had the exact same headstock shape and tuners, except it had the Harmony logo silk screened on it. Those tuners are probably the originals. Grovers, IIRC.
     
  12. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    That's a nice one. Block inlays, good tuners and all.
    It's not electric but I did a similar revival of the dead with my dad's 46 Silvertone. It was in pieces when it came to me.

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    Good Luck!
     
  13. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    A little bit of progress, got the first step done in getting at the wiring. This guitar must've got damp a few times, most of the screws and nuts are very rusty. I'll have to go buy a set of better quality precision screwdrivers, as one screw is very stubborn and my screwdrivers don't have a secure fit. I don't want to damage the head of the screw.

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  14. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    Well, we forgot to take pics, but it's back together and working properly again.

    The pot code is 1376218, 137=CTS, 1962, 18th week.

    The finish is very fragile and we're tempted to re-finish it like we did to my Harmony H-59 Rocket, but that would remove just about all the mojo. ;)

    I'm still looking for a matching knob to replace the missing one, so for now I've got a temporary set on. Still doing a little fine tuning on the setup and will replace the strings, as this set is too short to properly wrap the D string.

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    It looks like the Kay logo was sanded off at some time in its past, pity. :(
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  15. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the tip!
    Those are close, except they are chrome over cream, this Kay's are gold over cream.
     
  16. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    Nice job! I bet she kicks butt when the amp is right at the point of breaking up.
     
  17. TheRumRunner

    TheRumRunner Tele-Afflicted

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  18. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 That would be a shame for sure, this one oozes mojo! Your friend is lucky to have such a fine looking guitar. :D
     
  19. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    The finger picked stuff was OK, but I wanted to hear him cut loose on some AC/DC riffs and some bluesy lead lines like Hubert Sumlin or Johnny Winter stuff. Brian Setzer style Rock-a-billy would have been cool as well.
     
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