Acoustic guitar or Jaws?!

So, what do you do when you get an instrument in this condition: The owner doesn’t wish to spend too much, is quite alright with however it looks, but wishes for it to play correct?

For the record, it was a well-loved Fender (FA)100, one that had managed to gather some dust as well.

Besides the ‘big problem’,

it had other issues as well.

The nut and the saddle had seen better days and were in dire need of replacement

The bridge was lifting everywhere along the far extremity

as a result of which, the action on the instrument was a mile high.

I worked first on the bridge, glueing and clamping the bridge tight to the top. Why I chose to do it first out of all the problems, don’t ask. It just seemed the right thing to do!

And while I had to leave the instrument clamped for a few days, separately, I worked on the nut and saddle. Needless to say they were both plastic and the bone I replaced them with would serve the owner much better.

I then looked at how best to close the big mouth the instrument had opened up. While much of it fell into place under force, there was the battered section of the top that refused to sit in place. Different methods employed to straighten the battered area, to make it sit in line with the top failed.

I stuck what was willing to be stuck and filled the rest with thick viscosity cyanoacrylate glue. Any glue which is thick will take that much longer to cure and this was no different.

After it had cured completely, it was as hard as a rock and the instrument was structurally sound again.

I admit that this is not a very flattering image but I swear, in person, the guitar looked better. In the meantime, the glue under the bridge had cured too and the clamps were pulled off.

All that remained to be done was to pop in the nut and saddle, throw on a fresh set of strings, and…LET THE PARTY BEGIN!

P.S.: And I hope I don’t have to write each time that I cleaned the fretboard, nourished it and the bridge with oil, burnished the fretwires, etc? Take it for granted that I did!

Amit Newton

An experienced guitar tech with over 10 years of experience working on acoustic Gibsons and Martins in the Gulf region. There is nothing that cannot be repaired; the only consideration is the price at which it comes. And yet, if there is sentiment attached, no price is too high! WhatsApp/Call me: 7080475556 email me:

2 thoughts to “Acoustic guitar or Jaws?!”

  1. Another brilliant read. The passion and love for the instrument really shows with the detail oriented and structured way of working with the instrument.

    PS: Could you please write about the tone woods of the guitars from time to time as well. If there is a particularly good one or if the case is reversed and one that should be avoided.

    1. Thank you, Jatin! Glad you enjoyed the read.
      I have written a few times about tonewoods. Here are a few that deal with woods:

      Before I started writing the blog, I had written a weekly column on guitar maintainance. There too I had written about tonewoods.
      Let me find that piece. I will mail it to you.

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