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Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

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  • Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

    . . . well, destroy it a little more anyhow.


    So little background on what happened. I had the strings off my acoustic and was adjusting the truss rod with a big allen key. My wife called me for something or other upstairs, I left the guitar on the couch (with the allen key still in the guitar). From upstairs I heard a huge crash a few minutes later and went down to check what was going on. My acoustic was on the floor face down and my son was crying. I was like OK . . . hopefully no biggie. I lifted it up, and everything looked OK. Then I saw the allen key on the floor . . . with a bit of metal still stuck on to it. The bit of metal was the truss rod adjustment screw, with a chunk of the rod itself broken off inside it. Which seemed like an insurmountable problem - I called up a couple places, but they said they wouldn't try to replace a truss rod in an acoustic for under 600$. And that even for that they couldn't guarantee anything. Given that I bought the guitar 20 years ago for 250$ it just didn't seem worth it.

    So after some time spent yelling, pouting, and then accepting what had happened . . . and a trip to the music store looking for a replacement guitar . . . I was about to throw out my beloved acoustic yesterday. I was standing in front of the garbage can sadly staring at my guitar when I decided - what the ****. Nothing to lose now. How hard can it be to DIY a truss rod replacement?

    So, I grabbed some box cutters, a paint scraper, and the iron. And a couple beers.

    I knew that the truss rod had to be under the fretboard, so I'd have to take the fretboard off to get to it. So, the first thing I did was knock the nut off with a bit of scrap wood and a quick tap of a hammer. So far so good, came off easily. Then I chugged a beer to steady myself. Next was carefully scoring all the way around the fretboard where the binding meets the guitar with an exacto blade (to break the finish - which went up over the binding). Then I had to loosen the glue that holds the board onto the neck and body.

    I stuck the iron on the fretboard for a while until it got extremely hot. I carefully took the sharp/thin paint scraper and started prying the fretboard off the neck. It was slow going. I'd heat up the board, pry a bit, heat up the board, pry it a bit . . . I was close to giving up after the first 15 minutes because it didn't seem like it would ever work. It was very tough/slow going where the neck meets the body because I didn't want to scratch the spruce top. But after a couple hours (and more beers - followed by some terrible vodka coolers because we ran out of beer) the whole thing came off quite nicely!

    There's actually very little tear out from the wood beneath, the frets and binding are still in good shape:


    Measured the old one, and ordered an exact replacement truss rod from stew-mac for 20$ (apparently it's the Martin style truss rod, but the longer 'electric guitar' version). Since it'll take a couple days to come in, I was worried that the fretboard might warp being off the guitar, since it's summer and kinda humid so clamped it to a level I had lying around:




    Yes, I'm sure that I've ****ed something up . . . and it's still going to be an uphill battle to get this back together properly but I've gone from 'NO HOPE' to 'Holy ****, you may pull this off you bungling idiot'.



    I figure that popping the new rod back into place and gluing the board back on will be pretty straight forward. Not sure exactly how best to fix the area between the binding and neck. I guess wood filler, sand the finish off the neck, and refinish the whole thing? Open to comments from anyone who actually knows what the **** they're doing to tell me how I've ruined everything or maybe point me in the right direction.
    Last edited by GuitarStv; 08-03-2019, 11:26 AM.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Originally posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  • #2
    Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

    What do you mean about fixing the area between the binding and the neck?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

      The binding had the finish go up and over it before, so there will be a break in the finish after regluing. Might not b a big deal, but I figure it will need some filler/sanding at least to get it smooth again.
      Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

      Originally posted by Douglas Adams
      This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

        Gotcha….. The quick fix would be super glue fill with medium or heavy viscosity, then level and buff - but that's not an easy fix for a noob. Why don't you get it back together first and post pix?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

          That's the plan! It'll be a few days for the truss rod to come in.
          Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

          Originally posted by Douglas Adams
          This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

            Great work so far, I’m sure that you’ll get around the finish problem once it’s back together. I’ve never attempted such a job but I’m sure patience is going to be your best friend, I hope it all works out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

              Wow! Beer or not, I don't think I would be brave enough. I admire those with the skills/balls to attempt this stuff.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                What have you got to loose ? 20 bucks and a weekend?

                Cool
                EHD
                Just here surfing Guitar Pron
                RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
                SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
                Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
                Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
                Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
                Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
                GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                  Originally posted by ehdwuld View Post
                  What have you got to loose ? 20 bucks and a weekend?

                  Cool
                  That's kinda what I figured. I owe the old girl that much at least. She has been singing for folks for 50 years.
                  Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                  Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                  This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                    When you go.to put it in.
                    You dont plan on gluing the whole thing in do you?

                    Now would be a good point to put in graphite rods
                    EHD
                    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
                    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
                    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
                    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
                    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
                    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
                    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
                    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                      Yep. I'm going to put it as close to the way it was before as possible, and then glue everything back in.
                      Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                      Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                      This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                        My favorite part was the beers. I lol'd. Dang, and I thought I had it rough with doing my first acoustic setup between yesterday and today. Sanding, restringing, more sanding, more restrining...OOPS messed up the piezo, fix that, more sanding... Baby stuff compared to what you're doing. I can't wait to see the pics, and I most certainly wish you the best outcome possible. That is a cool thing you're doing, and sharing. I love stuff like this.
                        My songs....enjoy! (hopefully )

                        http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=652921
                        or for older stuff too, but slower downloads
                        http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=301569&T=7414

                        Originally posted by DankStar
                        700 watts is ok for small clubs, but when you play with a loud drummer or at a medium-large sized venue, you really need 1,500-watts at least. no one should be left alive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                          Originally posted by 75lespaul View Post
                          My favorite part was the beers. I lol'd. Dang, and I thought I had it rough with doing my first acoustic setup between yesterday and today. Sanding, restringing, more sanding, more restrining...OOPS messed up the piezo, fix that, more sanding... Baby stuff compared to what you're doing. I can't wait to see the pics, and I most certainly wish you the best outcome possible. That is a cool thing you're doing, and sharing. I love stuff like this.
                          Still plenty of ways for me to ruin this before all is said and done. :P If you don't get any more posts in this thread in a week or two things went south and I'm having a good cry in my basement.
                          Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                          Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                          This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                            This is funny. And to think, I just sent you a PM suggesting that my luthier friend could fix your "cheap" acoustic. I think you have this under control.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Extreme acoustic guitar surgery - watch me destroy a beloved instrument!

                              So, first question to everyone here . . . the tear out that I ended up getting was a thin layer of spruce from the top under the highest frets about a half inch wide and a little over an inch long. It's not a huge depth, under a mm of wood. Should I sand this completely off the back of the fretboard before gluing (hoping that the glue will fill in the depression), or should I just try to smooth it down and leave it in place (hoping that it will be a perfect match the hole to glue in)?
                              Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                              Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                              This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

                              Comment

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