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Entry for July 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!


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About WillyD

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  • Birthday 11/15/1957

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  • Location
    Denison, Iowa
  • Interests
    Playing Guitars, Fixing Guitars, Playing chess, and Fishing!
  1. Could you tell me more about your guitar? Like the make and model, or at least what kind of wood it is made of. Are the back and sides rosewood or mahogany? I ask because if the guitar is made of rare and expensive woods I would hesitate before recommending a new system that involved cutting into the sides. I have seen preamp systems that mount the tone and volume controls inside the sound hole where they can be reached with a finger but are not noticeable. You still have to deal with the holes left from the old control nobs. I would not leave them open. Instead try to find some kind of plug. To move forward on that part of the project you have to answer the question: "do I need the plug to be as invisible as possible, or am I OK with it being off color." If invisibility is important to you, then find a piece of wood that matches the wood on the sides of the guitar and is the same thickness ( check lmii.com or your local guitar repair shop ). Cut patches to fit from this wood and glue them in place using a cleat on the inside of the guitar. If possible the cleat should be made of the same material as the patch only thicker, about 1/8" or so. Clamping a patch and cleat in this area of a guitar is very tricky. I would say you'll have to use two rare earth magnets to exert pressure. They can be purchased online at stewmac.com. To make the seams look good you can pile up a small mound of dust from sanding the patch wood around the seam of the patch. Then put drops of CA glue all around the pile of sanding dust and let it dry. Then sand the area flush with the sides. What grit of sandpaper you start with depends on how uneven things are, but I would not start any rougher than about 800 and work your way up to 2000 grit. Then you are ready to apply a new finish to that area of the wood. I don't know much about refinishing guitars so you might want to take a look at other tutorials for details on that part. If you don't care much about the patch matching the existing wood, then I suggest looking around hardware stores and places like that for small plastic "buttons" commonly used to cover screw caps in furniture and the like. I most often see them in black but you might get lucky and find some in wood grain. Cheers WDA
  2. Thanks for using my misspelling of the word definitely in your reply.... I caught it right off. I need to reconsider posting at nearly 3:00 am
  3. This is my first rodeo guys, but I am quite proud of the results. I have no training in guitar repair other than watching several youtube videos. I have proven here that anyone can either flip a guitar for a profit, or pick up a nice instrument for themselves to play on an extreme budget! Let me tell you the short version of the story and show you how I did the work. I picked up a new Alvarez AD60CE acoustic electric guitar from a music store for only $70.00 because the soundboard was cracked. I took it home and fixed the crack, and now I have a nice mahogany guitar that I picked up for a song! I bother to give the model number of the guitar so you can look them up online. Last I checked they sell for around $450.00 retail. The crack is now stable, but still visible so I would guess the value of it now at around $275.00. It would be more of course if I could have made the crack disappear completely. I'll do invisible crack repair in another life. I photo documented the process fairly well ( I missed a couple of shots ) but I think you will get the idea here. First off lets have a look at the extent of the damage. Here is a closer view. The first thing I did was to cut a couple of pie shaped cleats to be glued on the inside of the guitar body at the location of the crack. The cleats in the photo below are shown in the approximate location I glued them in. But before installing the cleats you have to work a little glue into the crack by hand. Just smear a generous amount of wood glue over the crack and sort of mush it into the crack using your fingers. It helps to push down on alternating sides of the crack with one hand and push the glue in with the other. Just work in as much glue as you can, anyway you can, as quick as you can. Then wipe off all excess glue with a wet cloth. Next you have the daunting task of placing the cleats inside the guitar and clamping them in place. I do not own the proper sort of clamps to do this so I decided to use 4 powerful rare earth magnets I purchased from Stew Mac. Below is a view of the cleats and two of the magnets. To place the cleats in the proper position I removed all the electronics from the guitar. This left a hole about 1 1/2" X 2" at the bottom of the guitar where I could insert a stick of mahogany cutoff I had laying around with a magnet and the cleat on it. First I placed the stick on top of the guitar with the magnet and cleat directly over the crack. Then I marked the stick at the location where it hit the guitar body. This mark would tell me later, when I could not see the cleat, how far to insert it into the guitar body. Now you can see the hole I was talking about. And I have to digress a bit back to the beginning and point out that I placed newspaper inside the guitar to keep glue from dripping onto the bottom and making a mess. Now, you are ready to proceed. First tape a magnet to the top of the guitar where you want the first cleat to be. I used painters tape so as not to destroy the finish. Take a tiny piece of double sided tape and use it to keep the magnet from slipping off the stick. Use another piece to keep the cleat from sliding off the magnet. Now we are almost ready to insert the stick into the guitar up to the mark we made earlier so it is set to be raised up and marry with the other magnet taped to the top of the guitar. But! we need to check one thing! it is subtle, but if you fail to check it now you have a 50 50 chance of really causing some aggravation! And I'm not talking about putting glue on the cleat (although duh! that would be a problem as well). Think about it and I will give you the answer in the notes section. So lets move forward. You place some glue on the cleat, insert it using the guide mark on your stick. When you raise this stick and get about an inch or so from the target area you well hear a thummmmp! because the top magnet will pull your magnet on a stick up fast until it hits the soundboard. Then just repeat for the second cleat and you are done until the glue dries. Notes: If you have not figured it out yet, here is the answer to what you need to check before putting glue on your cleats: do a dry run and make sure that the magnets are placed so that they attract each other NOT so they repel each other. You should know which side is which before you tape the first magnet to the top. But you should also do a dry run because it would be aggravating to have to flip you magnet after the glue is on. When inserting the stick into the guitar with the cleat and magnet on it, hold the stick loosely so the other magnet can pick it right out of your hand. Trying to grip the stick tight and fight the magnetic force is not a good idea. Let the magnets work for you and the alignment will be fine. Depending on the type of glue you use, work fast when pushing glue into the crack. If the glue starts to set up on you while your working it in clean up will be much harder. How many cleats to use?? I thought about (and still might) using 3 cleats. The crack is very stable now compared to before I put 2 cleats in but I sometimes think I could add a smaller one right at the bottom of the bridge plate. I say smaller one because there is not much room between a brace and the bridge plate. If you have any experience on this topic please chime in and set the record straight!
  4. Congratulations for receiving guitar of the month. There is no doubt your craftsmanship is deserving of that award and more. I only recently got the itch to do my own build, and the only way to scratch an itch like that is to get it done. Your project defiantly provides me with inspiration, and I am excited about refining my own hard tail strat design. Thanks for that! Cheers Bill
  5. WillyD

    Alvarez Soundboard Repair

    These are images taken while repairing a crack in an Alvarez AD60CE soundboard
  6. You need to have a set up done on that guitar. That involves checking the neck relief and adjustment as required. After the neck has been deemed straight and properly adjusted the next step is to check the string height or action. In cases where the action is to high the saddle and or the nut needs to be filed or sanded down on the bottom side to lower the action. The exact specification for string action can be a very personal thing. Some kolks like a high action, others may like it low. How low you can go is dependant on the amount of neck relief and string gauge etc. etc. obviously going to low will cause a buzz in the strings. All that said most guitar manufacturers publish a specification for each guitar. If not, The person doing the setup will know some basic guide lines to use depending on the type of guitar you have. Good Luck
  7. I recently picked up a new Alvarez AD60CE from a guitar shop for $70.00 because the soundboard had a crack running from the heal to the bridge. The guitar retails for around $550.00, so I got it for a song! I documented the repair fairly well with photographs and I would like to post a tutorial on how to do repairs like this here at Projectguitar.com. But, I have been a member for about 2 hours now and I have no idea how to post a tutorial. Can anyone help me out? Cheers Bill
  8. I have everything I need to write a tutorial on fixing a cracked soundboard. How do I post a tutorial?

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