Let's Repair a Broken Guitar! #3: Not Much to Report, Just a Couple on the Bench.

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Blog entry by Dallas posted 03-03-2014 05:51 PM 2308 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: How to Re-Repair a Les Paul With a Broken Headstock Part II Part 3 of Let's Repair a Broken Guitar! series no next part

A few weeks ago I bought a pallet load of broken guitars. Most were real junk, you know the kind, Walmart, Costco, etc.
In amongst the junk were a couple of Epiphone SG’s or at least enough parts thereof that I could build one.
I found a decent straight neck, a body that was pretty good, a set of electronics and pickups and 6 matching tuners.
I was really surprised that the neck didn’t have a broken headstock also but hey, I’ll take it!

The worst part was a deep gouge about an inch from the jack plug.
{edit} Hmm, a shop helper got between the guitar and the camera.

It didn’t affect the sound, but it looked terrible and actually encroached into the electronics router hole where the pots and switches go.

I suppose I could have put in some sort of patch, but I’m not really that good at making the patch disappear when finishing.

After playing this guitar for a week or two I had a friend ask me what the difference was in the different capacitors that come installed in some guitars, (well, all electric guitars that I’ve messed with lately).
I wasn’t sure how to describe the differences in the sound even though I used the same words that are one about a million web pages. Some how words just don’t translate.

One night while playing this SG I had a thought…. how about building something like a ‘Varitone’ switch that has a number of capacitors but removes the original tone potentiometers.
My idea was to use a rotary switch with 2 poles and 6 positions, install a set of 3 different capacitors on each different set of poles and wire the whole mess up to the two tone knobs.

I chose .015uF, .022uF and .047uF caps for each pole. (The only ones I had, LOL)
All was soldered up and I used a couple of alligator clips to hook it temporarily to the tone pots. It worked like a charm!
Replaced the alligator clips with permanent solder joints and that part is done.

Now comes the wood working part:
Remember that gouge in the front of the guitar body?
Well, I figured that instead of trying to fix the gouge, I would simply use it to my advantage.
There isn’t much space in the routed hole for an extra switch, but the hole for the plug had plenty of room.
I installed the switch in tat position and drilled a hole at the gouge for the plug jack.
It is still kind of tight, and I need to find a smaller knob. The chicken foot knob is just too large for the available space, even after modifying it with a hack saw.

This little Epiphone will end up as a good test bed for people who want to zero in on their own sounds.
Even though the parts are a mish-mash of stray parts, it does work pretty good and is probably the only one like it! Bwahahahahahahahaha!

Next up on the bench will be this nice little Yamaha Acoustic/Electric. Model # FX370 C.

All of the electricals work well, and after tightening up a couple of the tuners it holds tuning nicely.

The big problem is that someone sat it down really hard on the end against something that was sharp enough to break a hole next to the jack.

I’ll have to do some learning before I’m ready to try to repair this one.
Stay tuned!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

2 comments so far

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3123 posts in 3415 days

#1 posted 03-04-2014 12:23 AM

Man Dallas you do great work. Looking forward to see what is next.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3599 days

#2 posted 03-04-2014 02:18 AM

Thanks Lee. I am learning as I go, lot’s of internet reading, always taking the advice I read with a grain of salt, (I’ve found some completely wrong information about some repairs I’ve made).

I doubt if I will ever be a real Luthier, but at least I’ll be able to fix my own equipment, and after working with an old Navy electronics tech for a few years, I can do most of the simple jobs needed on a guitar.
I would like to learn more about fixing real electronics like amplifiers and PA systems.

The problem with the Yamaha guitar is that the break in the base goes through to what is called an ‘end block’, a piece of wood about 2X4X1/2” where the pieces of the sides are glued together.
If it does I’ll have to use a dental pick or something to lift that broken piece up and glue it in place then fill and finish.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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