Restoring one of the wine crate guitars I made in my teens.

Blazer

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Well, a few months ago, I went by the old workshop where I had been building instruments professionally for 18 years until an accident at home destroyed my shoulder in late 2016. I went there to take home some unfinished projects, so I could work on them at home.

But I also rummaged through the rubbish pile, knowing that there's always something interesting in there, and pulled out THIS neck.
DSC03074.JPG

And my former boss told me that it came from a guitar which "Didn't survive the fall from the attic staircase" It has a terrible bow and there are frets missing from the fingerboard. The tuners work but are missing their buttons and the screws that hold them in place are rusted solid.

Nevertheless, I took it with me, knowing that even such a basket case could have its uses.

Last night, I was going through my pile of parts and came across the perfect body to marry that neck to.
DSC03076.JPG

This is one of the wine crate guitars I blundered together in my teens, and one of the least successful one at that. Because back then I had no concept of bracing the top and the guitar collapsed into itself, so for the last 25 or so years, I used it as for what it was originally made for; as a crate.
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Well, this is the intention, I will dovetail the neck in there and to make sure it won't collapse into itself again I did some bracing and reinforcing on the inside.
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Yeah, I admit it, this is not a good display of craftsmanship, but then again it never was. Then I noticed that there was another thing that I should reinforce to at least make this thing playable.
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So what am I going to do with this?

Well, as I said, the neck is terribly bowed and it's missing frets, so it'll be a guitar for slide, and I'll put in one of those reissue Goldfoil pickups, tune it in open G and play the blues.
 

Blazer

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Well, here's a little update.
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Just after I routed the neck pocket.
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Fits like a glove.

Time to take out the drill, my screwdriver and the glue and put that bugger in there.
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I said the neck was bowed, well, turns out it's bowed sideways as well, it's boomerang. But that isn't the biggest issue.
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Measuring up the scale length means that the bridge will have to be at the very bottom end of the body, which means that my self-made string anchor had to go.
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Mind you, seeing as how unplayable that neck is, having pitch perfect intonation is not an issue here.
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Three strings, a slide and the truth.
 

mexicanyella

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Cool! I’d be interested to hear what tuning you end up going with for the 3 strings. Will there be sound clips to check out at some point? That is a cool project.

Yeah, slide is the kiss of life to warpy unplayable-necked guitars. I have an old Angelica acoustic that was once a 12-string and it has a nice beefy neck profile, but a visible corkscrew twist-warp to the neck. I strung it with six, detuned to Eb standard and played with a Capo on the first fret for awhile, and then decided to add a raised nut and saddle and use it as an acoustic lap steel. Eventually I cut off the upper half of the headstock so it would fit in an old case I had, and just to be a nerd I unstuck the pickguard and moved it around the hole to an appropriate position for lap playing (leaving a lighter patch where it had been spared 40 years of UV discoloration).

It sounds kind of trashy, but it’s a fun thing to play on some of my home recordings. In keeping with the scraptastic nature of that thing, the slide I like to use with it is an old piston pin from an Internstional-Harvester 345 cubic inch truck V8.

At one point one of my dogs chewed up the case with enough vigor to break three strings and leave some tooth dings in the neck heel, and some deep scrapes in the finish on the top. The photo below was taken right after I decided to clean it up and make a point of playing it as long as it held together, rather than give it a Viking funeral.
6C9F0839-8B1F-447E-94CC-883102B6C3FD.jpeg
 

Blazer

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Well, here's a little update.

DSC03090.JPG

I plugged the pickup cavity because the soundholes wouldn't permit the fitting of the pickup at the proper angle, and it was driving my OCD crazy.

I still had that blue dye I used back then and matching it was fairly successful. That tailpiece is a reissue of one of those Teisco whammy bars, it's absolutely useless but looks cool. Yeah, no matter where I'll end up placing the bridge, the intonation will be totally jacked up, but for a guitar meant for slide, that's just fine.
 

Blazer

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Cool! I’d be interested to hear what tuning you end up going with for the 3 strings. Will there be sound clips to check out at some point? That is a cool project.

Yeah, slide is the kiss of life to warpy unplayable-necked guitars. I have an old Angelica acoustic that was once a 12-string and it has a nice beefy neck profile, but a visible corkscrew twist-warp to the neck. I strung it with six, detuned to Eb standard and played with a Capo on the first fret for awhile, and then decided to add a raised nut and saddle and use it as an acoustic lap steel. Eventually I cut off the upper half of the headstock so it would fit in an old case I had, and just to be a nerd I unstuck the pickguard and moved it around the hole to an appropriate position for lap playing (leaving a lighter patch where it had been spared 40 years of UV discoloration).

It sounds kind of trashy, but it’s a fun thing to play on some of my home recordings. In keeping with the scraptastic nature of that thing, the slide I like to use with it is an old piston pin from an Internstional-Harvester 345 cubic inch truck V8.

At one point one of my dogs chewed up the case with enough vigor to break three strings and leave some tooth dings in the neck heel, and some deep scrapes in the finish on the top. The photo below was taken right after I decided to clean it up and make a point of playing it as long as it held together, rather than give it a Viking funeral.
View attachment 974990
That thing is cool.

Say, are you aware of a song by Sonic Youth called "Eric's trip?"

It depends on the BIZARRE set up of a guitar they call "the Drifter" named that way because it would drift from owner to owner in a circle of people who all knew each other in the New York No-wave scene. In this clip, Thurston can be seen playing The Drifter with a drumstick, which he uses as a slide on top and below the strings.

But it's when you take a closer look at The Drifter, that you truly appreciate just how weird that guitar was.
gtr01a.jpg

No frets, a bolt as the top nut and all the electronics, save for the output, removed. As I said, the song "Eric's Trip" relied on that guitar and when it was stolen (along with all other guitars that the band was using back in 1999) it was feared that that song would never be played again.

But don't count out how loyal Sonic Youth Fans are because one of those fans generously donated a Gibson Sonex which became the New Drifter.
gtr113d.jpg

Yeah, there's NO WAY this guitar will properly intonate, but it doesn't need to.


Gah, I LOVE that song so much.

Anyway, my point is that guitars with unplayable necks still have their uses other than just slide.
 
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mexicanyella

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I think I want to form a lasting relationship with the Drifter. That is awesome. As soon as I can sit down tonight with some headphones I am going to check that song out; thanks for posting!
 

Blazer

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I think I want to form a lasting relationship with the Drifter. That is awesome. As soon as I can sit down tonight with some headphones I am going to check that song out; thanks for posting!
No problem, that "Daydream Nation" album of theirs is just pure gold.
 

mexicanyella

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The only one I’ve ever really listened to, I’m embarrassed to admit, was “Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” That one was fun and weird. But I’ve heard “Daydream Nation” mentioned by a lot of people and somehow just passed it by. I’ll check it out.
 

Full-Tilt-Tele

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Well, that 'Blue' paint on the face will keep the 'Delta' in that project for a long, long time. But, sure it's time to update with a nice vintage pickup installed...
 
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Blazer

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Well, that 'Blue' paint on the face will keep the 'Delta' in that project for a long, long time. But, sure it's time to update with a nice vintage pickup installed...
Speaking of which, I haven't documented it but I made a bridge out of maple, sanded it smooth and strung it up. I used an E string, a D string and a B-string which are tuned root-octave-fifth, but when breaking out my slide, I kept on hitting the frets so I pulled all of them out.

Then I took a piece of plywood which was part of an old pedal board I made and used that as a back, as I'm typing it down, I left the glue to cure over night.

As for pickups, I haven't made a decision yet. But perhaps I'll go with an under saddle piezo, wired into an output, since it already sounds cool the way it is.
 

Blazer

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No problem, that "Daydream Nation" album of theirs is just pure gold.
The only one I’ve ever really listened to, I’m embarrassed to admit, was “Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” That one was fun and weird. But I’ve heard “Daydream Nation” mentioned by a lot of people and somehow just passed it by. I’ll check it out.
Look up their "Goo" and "Washing machine" albums too.

Heck even the very last thing they did; "The elemental" is a very cool album. They combine dissonance with melody.
 

Blazer

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I hope your guitar playing ability is better than your building/restoring talents. That sure is a lot of effort, not only shop time, but all the postings and pics, to go through just to have it fulfill its original purpose and I hope it's destiny, firewood.
Heh, I did this one just for the fun of it, I know it's trash but hey, so what?

And as for my proper builds, yeah I am capable of so much better.
Blond tele.jpg
 

pfaust

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Well, here's a little update.
View attachment 974970
Just after I routed the neck pocket.
View attachment 974971
Fits like a glove.

Time to take out the drill, my screwdriver and the glue and put that bugger in there.
View attachment 974966
View attachment 974959
I said the neck was bowed, well, turns out it's bowed sideways as well, it's boomerang. But that isn't the biggest issue.
View attachment 974958
Measuring up the scale length means that the bridge will have to be at the very bottom end of the body, which means that my self-made string anchor had to go.
View attachment 974960
View attachment 974962

Mind you, seeing as how unplayable that neck is, having pitch perfect intonation is not an issue here.
View attachment 974978
Three strings, a slide and the truth.
Nice project. Carry on
 

mexicanyella

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I hope your guitar playing ability is better than your building/restoring talents. That sure is a lot of effort, not only shop time, but all the postings and pics, to go through just to have it fulfill its original purpose and I hope it's destiny, firewood.

This comment would be funnier if it was followed by “crapping all over your thread for a friend.”
 

bluesmain

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pine back quilt maple front body benson custom tele blues set strat headstock neck
walnut on walnut ebay neck builder superglue under hand rubbed nitro finish sperzels tung oil and true oil finish
named her MISS CHOCOLATE DROP
my first build
 

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