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First off I am a total newbie to guitar repair, so if I say something that seems stupid, it probably is.

 

 My Brother died about a year and a half ago and my niece finally sent his two guitars to me.One is a late model Alvarez , the other is a mid to late 60s Royal jumbo western.

The Royal needs a lot of repair to get it playable and I am wanting to semi restore it.

It has a loose brace in the bottom part of the guitar, the bridge was partially pulled off leaving most of the bridge intact, the saddle which is completely worn down. The fret board needs replaced, it has two major cracks in the back towards the bottom round corner, the tuning machine is junk because of loose worm gear / peg gear connections, The nock (?) is needing replacing as well.

There's probably a few more things I haven't mentioned but I am wanting to do the simpler things like the bridge / saddle / nock / tuning machine myself.

Right now I'm looking for measurements on the distance between the fret board and the saddle, and bridge so I can get started in removing the old one and replacing it with a new one.

I hope this is the right part of the forum for this. If not, a suggestion as to where to post would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks y'all .

RonGEDC0041.JPG.d1873ec4f81c0b23730b4ddd4bbb0671.JPG20200714_115327.thumb.jpg.d7c9f1acb87f7c211d75bb972e55756b.jpg

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Today I'm still working on cleaning the sound board binding. It's pretty slow going but progress is being made.         Ron

I guess this is morphing in to a rejuvenate thread. I thought  I should have a better neck rest for working on this Regal. I had been just resting it on a 4"X 4" piece of wood that was actually

From the Jerry Rosa cookbook, a simplified idea of the box using only two strings. The "trapeze" can be wound from a wire clothes hanger. @MiKro,sorry for stealing your illustration.

Posted Images

2 hours ago, RonMay said:

Right now I'm looking for measurements on the distance between the fret board and the saddle, and bridge so I can get started in removing the old one and replacing it with a new one.

Can you not measure what is already still left attached to the top and use that as a reference, or has the bridge been removed before and re-glued in the wrong position?

The normal way to place a new bridge would be to measure along the treble side of the neck from nut to 12th fret and double this distance. You could potentially add perhaps 2mm to this distance to give yourself a little more leeway to approximate better intonation. The leading edge of the treble-side of the saddle goes at this point.

The rest of the bridge still needs to be placed perpendicular to the centreline of the neck, and centrally located to ensure the outer strings don't start diving off the sides of the neck. The angled saddle should assist with guaranteeing intonation is correct across all six strings, provided the high-E is placed at the nut-to-12-fret-times-two distance (plus a hair), provided the rest of the bridge is positioned squarely on the top relative to the centreline of the neck.

 

2 hours ago, RonMay said:

nock

Not sure what you mean here. You'll have to provide us with a picture of what you're describing.

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6 minutes ago, curtisa said:

Can you not measure what is already still left attached to the top and use that as a reference, or has the bridge been removed before and re-glued in the wrong position?

The normal way to place a new bridge would be to measure along the treble side of the neck from nut to 12th fret and double this distance. You could potentially add perhaps 2mm to this distance to give yourself a little more leeway to approximate better intonation. The leading edge of the treble-side of the saddle goes at this point.

The rest of the bridge still needs to be placed perpendicular to the centreline of the neck, and centrally located to ensure the outer strings don't start diving off the sides of the neck. The angled saddle should assist with guaranteeing intonation is correct across all six strings, provided the high-E is placed at the nut-to-12-fret-times-two distance (plus a hair), provided the rest of the bridge is positioned squarely on the top relative to the centreline of the neck.

 

Not sure what you mean here. You'll have to provide us with a picture of what you're describing.

I misheard what was being said in some videos. Nut would be the right term.

I'm going to have to have the fret board replaced so maybe I should wait until that's done.

Would that be the right move? I found the information you gave me on stewmac's website with the bridge / saddle calculator.

Thanks so much for your help.

Ron

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The fretboard doesn't look too bad on the image. Are you sure that some wood dust and glue wouldn't do? It wouldn't take long to try and if it fails nothing has been ruined regarding changing the fretboard.

I'd recommend you to watch some of Jerry Rosa's guitar fixing videos to get some ideas. This might be a good start:

 

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1 minute ago, Bizman62 said:

The fretboard doesn't look too bad on the image. Are you sure that some wood dust and glue wouldn't do?

I agree. On first glance I can't see an issue with the fretboard that would warrant total removal and replacement. Some closeups of the damage would help.

Fretboard removal isn't a trivial job, particularly on an acoustic instrument where there are plenty of fragile components nearby (binding, top, finish, braces etc) that have the potential of being damaged along the way. Should a fretboard replacement be required however, ideally you'd replace the fretboard with one of the same scale length and dimensions. This minimises the amount of extra work required in re-locating and gluing the bridge and/or reshaping the fretboard to match the existing neck and/or reshaping the existing neck to match the new fretboard.

Depending on your circumstances (money, tools, skills, value of instrument, access to professional help, availability of a ready-made one etc) this may help steer your decision as to whether to repair what's already there or scrap the existing one.

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I didn't know that wood dust and glue was a thing. I'll do some research and find out how to do this. this would surly save me some time  and money.

I have watched Mr. Rosa and I actually contacted him through his website and he's one of the best I've seen online. I got sort of a semi quote from him as to the cost and that's why I'm trying to fix the things that I think I can.

I'll find out how and see if I can do it.

Thanks for your insight.

 

Ron

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Posted (edited)

I have also been thinking about the cracks.

I have watched Mr. Rosa fix them and thought maybe I could also try that.

I could use a 1/4"  fine all thread rod with a 1/4" coupler to make an adjustable tool to brace up the body while holding the cleat in place.

Something like this:

All thread rod and coupler for brace support

Both are shown on the second row.

It's something for me to think about.

Ron

Edited by RonMay
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Oh, the fretboard looks quite worn out but not cracked. The "fingerprints" can't be filled, they're too shallow for that. Since you've watched Mr. Rosa I'm surprised that scraping with a one sided razor blade wasn't the first tool to suggest! Getting it all flat as new may not be possible but just getting all the gunk off will make a huge difference. Let's say change it from worn out to caretakingly loved. And since, as I've understood, the wear is caused by countless hours of your late brother having played it, a lot of the sentimental value would be lost if you replace parts instead of fixing them.

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I quite agree Bizman62 .

I think the razor blade is the way I'm going to go.  We both contributed to it's wear. It's been out of service for about 20 years. That was the last time I played it. I don't know how much my brother played it after he got it back from me. The sentimental value not only because he played it , but it's the one I first learned on when I was about 13 years old or so.

Thank you !

Ron

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Aww... There's some beautiful history involved, then. The more so replace only parts that are really beyond repair and do a good maintenance job to restore playability.

I've got an old parlour guitar whose bridge cracked pretty similarly to that of yours. I wanted it to be glued because of the hand carved heraldic lilies at the ends. It's still intact after some 20 years! The luthier used some self cooked bone glue which he claimed to be the best for the job. According to what I've learned from several places that used to be among the best alternatives before Titebond was launched.

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Posted (edited)

I started cleaning the fret board this morning and the safety blade is working fine. There's still a little bit of low finger spot low place, but it looks tons better.

 

before then after

Regal fret board resize 500.jpg

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After I am finished I will need to condition the board. Is mineral oil ok to use, or what is best with out paying for "fret board cleaner and conditioner" sold online or in guitar shops?

Edited by RonMay
label photos and additional question
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I'd probably steer away from mineral oil. The term itself is fairly broad and can be used to describe things like paraffin oil or baby oil, neither of which I'd want anywhere near timber products. Your best bet is to get something specifically designed to be used with timber as a conditioning agent. Furniture oils and polishes (provided they are silicone-free) should be fairly easy to find that will work just fine on a fretboard. Even foodsafe oils for chopping boards and the like are probably OK.

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curtisa

The only mineral oil I know of and know where to buy it comes from H.E.B.

Here's what it says about it.

"For the relief of occasional constipation (irregularity). This product generally produces movement within 6 to 8 hours. A lubricant laxative, that is odorless, tasteless and colorless. Active ingredient: mineral oil 99.9%. Inactive ingredient: mixed tocopherois (added as a stabilizer)." 

:D:D:D:D Talk about off label usage.

At least no one could say that I play like s#%t.

 
Ron
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Good old Boiled Linseed Oil is most likely one of the best. At least it has been used for centuries without issues...

Vegetable oils will go rancid, paraffine oil (the clear stuff used for chopping boards and making babies vomit) won't dry.

As with any oils, apply plenty until there's no dry spots, let sit for some 15 minutes, wipe everything off. Wait another 15 minutes and wipe off any drop that has sweated on the surface.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I guess this is morphing in to a rejuvenate thread. :)

I thought  I should have a better neck rest for working on this Regal. I had been just resting it on a 4"X 4" piece of wood that was actually the sawed off top to the privacy fence around the back yard.

I made a radius on one side and then covered it with some old indoor / outdoor carpeting. I think it will work ok. :)

 

Ron

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I believe the fret board is done. I have some luthier tools arriving today and in it is some of the things I need to freshen up the frets. That will be the next step in this project.

I also fashioned a scraper out of an exacto-knife to help clean up the binding. I tried it out on a small portion and it seems to work fine.

 

Ron

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4 hours ago, RonMay said:

I believe the fret board is done.

I believe it too. It looks like a much loved yet well maintained one instead of a Sahara-dry collection of Valleys of Doom.

The binding also looks like gently aged. Good job at making your memories alive!

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