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Oahu Guitar Restoration #2: Removing the Back

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Blog entry by Lemongrasspicker posted 02-27-2017 02:39 PM 1475 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Introduction Part 2 of Oahu Guitar Restoration series Part 3: Removing the Fretboard and Neck »

Video entry is here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3G8GxAHNmY

The first step on this long project is to remove the back of the guitar. The reason we are doing this is two fold, there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to both the back, sides, and top of the guitar. If we were to try to do the level of work that is required through the soundhole we would be far too tedious and would end up with a poorer result. Removing the back allows me extremely easy access to all of the components that are needed to be repaired/updated.

Removing the back is simply a matter of using heat and a little water to separate the glue joints. The problem most people run into when they try this is that they try to “cut” the joint apart. The trick is to simply force the joint apart with heat, water, and a “push” from the knife. When you try to cut the joint apart you end up having tearout. All I mean by saying cut is that a cut involves a sharp blade being forced into a cold glue joint with no heat or water. The “push” method is to use a blunt knife in tandem with heat and water to separate the joints. The push method is much safer and ends up with a better result every single time.

This guitar is not a typical “modern” guitar that you see every day. The ladder braced style of guitar was popular around the turn of a the century and there are a few makers still producing limited runs and custom runs of similar style instruments but with a much better knowledge of how guitars function and how they behave over the years. At the time that this instrument was made there was not much knowledge on how to build instruments that will last, (the steel string guitar had only been around for approx 20ish years) so as a result there were many makers who experimented with new and innovative designs (google “Larson Brothers Guitars” for some very interesting designs and features). Some of these were fantastic and sounded wonderful, others….. not so much.

This part of the repair is critical, the key is not to damage the back itself or cause undue stress to the already damaged sides. Just using simple and low pressure movements into the body with the already mentioned push method, heat, water, and patience will result in a good removal.

Part 3 is coming up soon. Thanks for reading!

20170220_122707

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker



3 comments so far

View LarsonBrook's profile

LarsonBrook

1 post in 323 days


#1 posted 02-28-2017 09:49 AM

There is no reason behind why you have to take your guitar to your nearby repairshop for a basic setup. Regardless of the possibility that you think you are not sufficiently helpful to repair your own guitar, I trust each guitarist ought to in any event figure out how to fare thee well and keep up his guitar.
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View Lemongrasspicker's profile

Lemongrasspicker

108 posts in 367 days


#2 posted 02-28-2017 02:39 PM



There is no reason behind why you have to take your guitar to your nearby repairshop for a basic setup. Regardless of the possibility that you think you are not sufficiently helpful to repair your own guitar, I trust each guitarist ought to in any event figure out how to fare thee well and keep up his guitar.
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- LarsonBrook

I have to disagree. From experience there are some people who can easily handle things like a setup. And then there are folks who shouldn’t and/or do not want to risk hurting their instrument. See this for evidence http://imgur.com/a/PxgS7

There are many jobs that are far too complex and require many different skills that most musicians simply do not currently have or do not have the time to learn. It’s easier for them and myself for me to perform these jobs for them at a rate. It keeps them in business as well as myself.

And that’s ok, and there’s no shame in asking someone other than yourself to help you with an instrument/tool that you may or may not understand.

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1266 posts in 1544 days


#3 posted 03-01-2017 03:54 AM

Thanks for the imgur link. I have to admit I don’t seek out that sort of thing and it was a real eye opener. I would encourage all players to be able to replace nuts and saddles and adjust truss rods or at least understand how these things work.

Do you plan on the same bracing or something more modern? Is the guitar all solid timber?

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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