What is your level of guitar repair/maintenance capability?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by rebelwoclue, Feb 11, 2015.

What's Your Guitar Maintenance Level of Competency?

  1. Expert: Luthier/builder- I can do it all.

    24 vote(s)
    11.8%
  2. Above average:: Mods, wiring, partscasters.

    102 vote(s)
    50.2%
  3. Average: Setups and minor modding stuff.

    55 vote(s)
    27.1%
  4. User & Abuser: I change strings and give everything else to my tech.

    20 vote(s)
    9.9%
  5. Novice: Can you just change the string that broke?

    2 vote(s)
    1.0%
  1. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    CHICAGO, IL.
    Sadly, it's virtually nil for me....short of changing strings, I take my guitar in to get worked on for just about everything.

    Been telling myself I need to learn some basic stuff so I don't have to rely on others, but I've been playing since the 70's so I don't expect to really change that habit.
     
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
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    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Thanks to the helpful folks in the Tele Home Depot, in the space of 4 years I went from "you can adjust the bow of the neck??" to scratch-building, including pick-ups--I even cut my own flatwork and polepieces for the last ones.

    Haven't fabricated a bridge or a truss-rod yet, though. I might need to do a bridge someday, because I'm interested in making a fan-fret neck, but I don't think I'll ever make a truss-rod.

    I'll never pay a guitar tech again.
     
  3. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Location:
    R.I.P. 2019
    I've put together an Esquire from parts, but shopped out the finish work and the final set up. I can polish frets, but don't mess with them otherwise and I shop out nut work. Basic set ups, maintenance, intonation, no problem. I often do wiring repairs and set ups for friends. So average to above average. I know my limits and when to take it to a pro. I don't want to break something that can't be fixed.
     
  4. JazzboxBlues

    JazzboxBlues Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,252
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2014
    Location:
    Crook County IL
    I've only been playing for a short time and originally wanted to only play them and do nothing other than replace strings, even though I'm capable of more. Well, with the last string change I tackled some intonation which was more than I said, I wanted to do. Now I'm kinda looking for a 50's ES 175 or maybe even a 350 with an excellent body and no electronics. I really want a vintage hollow body, but lack the funds for a complete one.
     
  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Dec 3, 2009
    Location:
    Coolum Beach,Australia
    I haven't build a neck from scratch, yet..... I've done pretty well all the rest...:)

    I was soldering in my dad's workshop in primary school days... that's the easy bit...:)
     
  6. Deckard

    Deckard Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,668
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    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I can do a full set up; neck relief, string height, radius, intonation. Can also slot a nut if needed and can shim a neck. Just enough to keep me in trouble.
     
  7. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,141
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    Dec 31, 2005
    Location:
    Luddite Island, NY
    I turned a Squier standard tele into a nitro relic , top-loader esquire that blows the mind of anyone who plays it. I would say my skillz are pretty tight.
     
  8. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,494
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    Aug 28, 2013
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    Wiring, setup, hardware. Not equipped for fret level or dress.
     
  9. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    320
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic USA
    Yes, that plus basic cosmetic refinish (drop fill dings, overspray w clear to preserve a signature and wet / fine sand etc).
     
  10. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,616
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    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    Probably a little below "average". I can do set ups and very minor modding, but I really like a trust my tech and would rather hang out with him, and then get back to playing.
     
  11. brewsterallen

    brewsterallen Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    343
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Road Eyelend
    Build 'em, mod 'em, then mod 'em again.

    It's a addiction.

    really.

    i got it bad.

    I think I have like 5 builds going right now in the shop.

    In have parts all over the place.

    a shoebox full of pickups, not cheap pickups. Duncan, Bill Lawrence (Bill not Wackoff). TV Jones

    I have 2 body blanks glued up.

    One body rough cut 6, no 7 necks.

    help me......
     
  12. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,963
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    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    I did everything I needed for years. Went crazy with the modding for awhile. Then I got bored, then I started to hate it. Now I do work if I have to on the road. If I can wait, I wait til I get to the tech shop that sponsors me and have them do it. With the sponsorship/endorsement agreement, I pay dealer cost on parts and materials, and no labor.

    It's a godsend. I'd much rather ride than wrench, so to speak.

    Used to work on cars, too. It was fun, at first. But when you have to do it all the time, because you can't afford another option, you grow to hate it. Now I drive new(er) cars and let the guy who chose mechanics as a vocation earn his money when something needs doing.
     
  13. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    10,532
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    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Wiring, soldering, precision layout, measuring, adjusting, no big deal. So assembling a partocaster or doing a setup isn't really a challenge. I know how to use the tools.

    Here's the challenge at my skill level. I give it my best shot and it's pretty good, not great. I take it to Tony Mellichampe (Mellecaster of Desperadoville) and when he's done ($75) it's like a different guitar, one of the best players I ever had. The difference is that Tony has been doing this for a living for many years and is really, really good at it.
     
  14. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

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    9,961
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    Apr 10, 2010
    Location:
    .
    I am proficient at breaking things accidentally

    but stubborn enough to try to fix things

    then they break worse

    I panic

    kind person then rescues me, then no waves until the next catastrophe.
     
  15. timmer114

    timmer114 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    523
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I wouldn't call myself a Luthier by any stretch. I Love doing electronics, truss rod, intonation, and since I started doing my own fret level and crown (thanks Ron Kirn!) I feel like I could probably do a re-fret if I had the tools.

    Ron's tutorial inspired me to buy some good tools for doing my own fret work and setups, I'm finding that with the right tools and a little guidance I am getting very comfortable with DIY tele work.

    The real deal are the guys and gals that can build a complete tele from raw maple and ash. Or guys like MuchXS that build the amps. I never tire of them build it from scratch threads. Some very talented craftsman in our wonderful forums, and I appreciate all the knowledge they pass on to us.
     
  16. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I make part of my living building guitars from scratch (necks too) & doing guitar service work, although I've dialed way back on service work so I can ramp up guitar builds. The other part of my income comes from antique & fine furniture repair, restoration & refinishing.

    Bob
     
  17. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Location:
    Ottawa Ontario Canada
    I would never bother winding my own pickups but I've built 5 electric guitars so far including one as a test bed out of 2x4s. I seem to have stopped when I built my last one. It's all I need to make me happy. It's not perfect but it's perfect for me. Everthing came clear after a few builds. I have no desire to work on other's guitars or build to sell. I just wanted it my way at a prudent cost. When I am worthy of a factory high end guitar and cash presents itself, I'll shop for one in the acoustic line. I'm pretty sure I'm done with building but the experience comes in handy for sure and the tools required to build one get used from time to time when I buy used ones and fix them and give them to this kid or that.
     
  18. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    978
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Right now as a beginner to the guitar, I put down novice. But I've done a bit of electronic hacking and have been trained as a gun smith by the Army, so I will probably dive into whatever I need to do.
     
  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    20,509
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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    There's no category for your guitar tech down at the local music store.

    That's where I would be, all manner of electric guitar repair including refrets, made some bodies, and some acoustic repair, but far from a luthier.
    I haven't worked as a tech since '98, but have almost as many parts as working guitars, and put together a few new combos each year.

    I used to get excited about modding, but now I just want my guitars to play and sound great, without needing maintenance.

    Experimenting and learning and taking risks is fun, but now that I know that what I want from a guitar, and it's really very simple, there's nothing to figure out about the instrument except in the playing.

    It's funny, they're pretty much all Esquires with three saddle Fender bridges, and when I put one together the intonation is near spot on, maybe requiring 1/4 turn on one or two saddles with the strobotuner.
    I've probably played a guitar for a whole year before checking the intonation.

    Just because I'm lazy doesn't mean I'm not in tune!
     
  20. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    5,725
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    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    I can do a set up, change the nut, can now do pick ups etc, due to now being able to use a soldering iron. I suppose I can do pretty much all I need to do. If something came up that was beyond my limited knowledge, then I would take my problems to my local guy.
     
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