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Oahu Guitar Restoration #4: Crack Repairs and Top Reinforcement

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Blog entry by Lemongrasspicker posted 03-21-2017 01:00 AM 1195 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Removing the Fretboard and Neck Part 4 of Oahu Guitar Restoration series Part 5: An Adventure with the Bridge Plate! »

If you prefer not to read, the youtube video is here

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

For this session I started to repair and reinforce some of the bigger issues with this guitar. All guitars experience a tremendous amount of strain and pressure on the neck joint at the body. A good way to counter this strain is to reinforce the top in the area just below the fingerboard. This guitar did not have any reinforcement in that area and thus it was necessary to add some stiffness to the top so that the neck doesn’t cave the top in when under pressure.

The added lamination provides a much stronger top, the wood is about .127” thick. Some makers never bothered to even bevel the edges so they simply glued in a block of spruce and hoped for the best (not the best plan)

Here you can see the reinforcement that I added just above the first cross brace.

20170320_184441

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker



6 comments so far

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

238 posts in 158 days


#1 posted 03-21-2017 11:48 PM

Will the added brace effect the sound of the guitar? Ive played guitar for several years and know guys that won’t even put a pick guard in their guitar because it supposedly deadens the sound.

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Lemongrasspicker's profile

Lemongrasspicker

66 posts in 104 days


#2 posted 03-22-2017 12:05 AM



Will the added brace effect the sound of the guitar? Ive played guitar for several years and know guys that won t even put a pick guard in their guitar because it supposedly deadens the sound.

- JCamp

The area of the guitar that I added the brace in is a pretty dead area. If you leave it unbraced it will just collapse under pressure. The earliest Martin dreadnoughts in 1934/35 had no support other than a single crossbrace in that area and thus many of them suffered some several neck angle issues. Martin added the same kind of brace that I added in 1936 to avoid this happening. If I were to yank out the cross braces around the bridge plate area then yes that would drastically affect the sound.

Adding a pickguard is a pretty common practice, the tone difference is negligible since it’s a very thing piece of plastic that’s fairly flexible.

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

238 posts in 158 days


#3 posted 03-22-2017 12:20 AM

Ok. I’ve seen a lot of Gibson that hav a hair line crack in the wood running along the fret board. U play acoustic or u gonna hook it up to a amp?

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1201 posts in 1281 days


#4 posted 03-22-2017 10:50 PM

In the vid you mentioned the resto boys flipping out over the added brace. I can understand that reaction for a truly valuable instrument. My question is, will you refit that monstrous metal bridge or go for a more modern light weight, responsive bridge? The old bridge can just be kept in the case for future use or not

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

View Lemongrasspicker's profile

Lemongrasspicker

66 posts in 104 days


#5 posted 03-22-2017 11:31 PM



In the vid you mentioned the resto boys flipping out over the added brace. I can understand that reaction for a truly valuable instrument. My question is, will you refit that monstrous metal bridge or go for a more modern light weight, responsive bridge? The old bridge can just be kept in the case for future use or not

- Texcaster

I’ll be converting this one to a string through bridge (wooden) later on, the metal bridge idea just doesn’t work too well. I’ll keep it just cause it’s cool but I don’t think I’ll use it on anything.

And yes I understand what the majority of the “keep it original” guys are getting at. There are some instruments that were well built from the very start (lots of old martins etc…) but there are some that were a poor design from the very start, this one being an example. Those are the ones that I’m not against modding, if it results in a better instrument musically then I’m all for it.

If it’s something that is historically significant like Elvis’s guitar, then yes leave it as original as possible, but there are cases where it’s simply not logical to leave it original if the original part/design is broken beyond repair. But each instrument is it’s own case. That’s one reason I like my job (I do guitar repair/luthiery for a living), always getting something different

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker

View Lemongrasspicker's profile

Lemongrasspicker

66 posts in 104 days


#6 posted 03-22-2017 11:33 PM



Ok. I ve seen a lot of Gibson that hav a hair line crack in the wood running along the fret board. U play acoustic or u gonna hook it up to a amp?

- JCamp

The hair line cracks are sometimes the result of having a poorly reinforced soundboard at the neck yes. Sometimes it’s heat/humidity/dryness but it varies from guitar to guitar.

It’ll have a pickup eventually, for now it’ll be straight acoustic as that will keep the series shorter and more concise. I don’t want to be that “youtube guy” who talks for an hour about a single subject haha!

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker

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