1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Refurbishing a "Road Guitar"

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by notta, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    The guitar i'm going to be working on is a mystery. it was found on the side of the road by a freind of a freind of a guitar player in a show I sound teched for recently. the guitar was handed over to me to repair a minor issue, then I purchased it for $20, thinking it would be a fun project once school gets out.
    At first glance, it looks like a Gibson Les Paul, but it is not. For one thing, there's no hole for the truss rod on the head stock. closer inspection reveals no truss rod adjustment in the neck pickup pocket either. this is a set neck, so either there is no truss rod, or it's in the neck without any way to adjust it. second of all, it has a metal nut. so having established this not to be a real LP, i feel no shame screwing up and utterly destroying this guitar shaped peice of wood. that being said, i aim to turn this into a playable guitar, so lets run over the problems
    • binding broken off on one side of the neck
    • pots not working
    • metal nut that fell out when i took off the strings
    • neck coming loose
    • binding broken around body
    • missing strap button
    • broken toggle switch
    so, lets get to work.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. wright4000

    wright4000 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    101
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Oxford , Maine
  3. gnatp

    gnatp TDPRI Member Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    How nice it is to read about someone restoring a guitar, instead of destroying it to look like they play it a lot.
     
  4. SpeedIntensity

    SpeedIntensity TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    Location:
    Quebec
    I'd love to find a guitar at the side of the road. Damn Canadians are too frugal, that's the problem.

    Except for shoes. Lots of shoes on the road. And always one shoe, not a pair. Why? Anyway, I digress. You will have great fun monkeying with this guitar, keep us posted with lots of pics! It's a learning experience for some of us.
     
  5. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    when i first got this one, i thought about stripping it and refinishing, but for now i'm trying to leave on the finish it has. i'm also considering sanding the neck down to meet the fretboard
     
  6. mlp-mx6

    mlp-mx6 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    719
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Is there a serial number anywhere on it?
     
  7. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    it's also worth mentioning that i'm also not currently planning to fix the chips, dents, scratches, etc unless they prevent me from repairing the guitar. I feel like they give the guitar some character, so if you were hoping this to come out looking brand new, sorry, i'm just not that skilled, or ambitious
     
  8. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    no serial number. my guess is that it's from the far east made with the intent to be sold as a Gibson at Gibson prices.
     
  9. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    I started to take the guitar apart further today, unfortunately, I didn't have a whole lot of time on my hands, but I got started. the fretboard was already loose, so i took a flat head screw driver and carefully lifted it up the rest of the way.
    [​IMG]

    when I got it off i found that there is a truss rod in there! kind of. there is a semi truss rod channel routed out, with a metal bar in there.

    [​IMG]

    hmmmmmm, perhaps finish it? route it out the rest of the way and install a proper truss rod?

    the cover for the jack is made of plastic and cracked, so I took it off to throw away, and it fell apart once the screws were out. hmmm, no real surprise there I suppose. also started striping the broken binding off the neck, nothing fancy, just my finger nail. comes off a fret at a time.
     
  10. Jimmy Rocket

    Jimmy Rocket Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    749
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Ayden, NC
    I think it would definitely be a good idea to go ahead and install a working truss while you're in there. The hard part is done already. ;)

    Looks like a fun project.
     
  11. oramac7891

    oramac7891 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    3,276
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    I would try to install a truss rod and make it right.
     
  12. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    so i have decided, after deliberation, that i am in fact going to route out the rest of the truss rod channel and install a proper rod. i'm going to go with a stewmac hot rod, but while thats on order, i'm going to start stripping the binding off the body and finish taking it off the neck. A lot of the binding comes off easily, but for what isn't seperated from the body, a good sharp pocket knife will do the trick. pics later, right now i'm at school taking advantage of our set building shop and a lenient teacher.
     
  13. MSquier

    MSquier TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    55
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chatham, NY
    Cool project, looking forward to more pics as you go along. Now it makes me want to go take a walk and look for guitars.
     
  14. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    In order to make my life easier, i decided to take all the hardware and electronics out and off. the first thing was the knobs, which were held onto the solid shaft pots by small screws. [​IMG]

    next was the bridge. it's a tune-o-matic and stop tail, so taking it off is pretty straight forward. put a flat head bit onto the hand drill and take the stoptail and its studs out. then take off the tune-o-matic. the problem is that the screws for the tune-o-matic are just threaded rods. so I either use pliers or my hand to take them out. or, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. in this case, necessity means laziness. so since i've already got the drill out, why don't I try tightening the chuck around the screw and taking it out that way?
    [​IMG]

    and it didn't destroy anything, so I did the other the same way. yay for technology. once I got home from school, I decided to forgo my basement for the great outdoors since it was absolutely gorgeous out today. everything I took out got put into it's own individual baggie, cause I'm organized. sometimes. my soldering iron is just a very basic one, not a nice Weller like I have at school or the similar one Celeste uses. after sitting holding the iron to a pot for ten minutes waiting for it to heat up enough for the solder to melt, I suddenly realized that i was replacing all these parts since they didn't work, and that i have wire cutters. needless to say, the job went quicker after that. Genius that I am, I put down the baggie for the pots and the jack on top of the soldering iron while it was cooling. needless to say, it melted
    [​IMG]
    next i took out the pick ups and the toggle switch, pretty straight forward.
    [​IMG]
    then I finished by taking out the tuners. these have, i think been replaced with the grovers they have now. except for one which i think is stock. why one stock one? i'm not sure. idk if you can see in the picture, but there are holes for a second screw
    [​IMG]

    before i packed it in for the day, i decided to deal with the binding. I also decided that instead of stripping it all off, i would flatten out the ends so i could match it with new binding. i opted to go with my second sharpest knife for the job of shaving the binding, since the sharpest seemed...... a tad large.
    [​IMG]
    next up, figure out how i'm going to route out the channel for the truss rod. i've never done this before, so i'd appreciate suggestions.
     
  15. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Location:
    Champlain Valley, VT, USA
    I'm watching...glad you're not going to refinish...it looks good.
    I will say that the neck wood looks like mahogany.
     
  16. eMGee

    eMGee Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,644
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Location:
    Between Fullerton and Bakersfield
    Hey Notta,

    Hard to tell from the pic, but I think the tuners are mounted on the wrong sides of the headstock (assuming the left side of the pic is the neck side).

    eMGee
     
  17. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    eMGee, i thought the same thing. I was kind of curious to see if anyone else would notice.
     
  18. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    2,666
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Reading, Massachusetts
    Sheesh. The five Grovers alone are worth more than the $20 you paid, even if they're mounted on the wrong side (I think they are, too).

    This is fascinating. Dare you to finish the entire job using nothing but your kukri knife... now THAT would be a build thread.

    Routing out the truss rod channel is usually done while the neck is still square, but you should be able to mount a temporary piece o' scrap that will allow you to run a guided router alongside the neck (or the neck alongside a fence in a router table) pretty easily.
     
  19. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    i'm actually more wondering about routing out the adjustment access on the headstock. right now i'm planning to follow preeb's example from his '59 build thread
     
  20. notta

    notta TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Silver Spring Maryland
    my girlfreind wishes me to note that the kukri was a birthday gift from her. i do not feel this is relevent, but she's hanging over my shoulder and It will make her happy.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.