Giving a ‘first love’ some TLC!

First loves are special. You may find other loves along the way but you rarely, if ever, forget your first love. (Acoustic) Guitars are much the same! No matter how many guitars you buy over the years, your first guitar will always hold a special place.

One such special guitar came to me for some TLC. That the owner thought of getting it ‘serviced’ and into playing shape, said a lot about the sentiment involved.

‘gb&a’ that was its name spelt on the label inside the soundhole and strangely the headstock carried no marking. If it ever carried a name, time had removed all evidence of it. 

There were a few problems that the instrument had.

The bridge was lifting (can you see it?)

The binding was coming loose around the waist

The plastic nut had seen better days and the instrument would sound much better with an intonated (bone) saddle. So, both of these elements were thrown out and their bone substitutes were put in.

When I did remove the saddle there was a little chit of card in the saddle slot, the thickenss (height) of which was dialled in while sizing up the new bone saddle. 

As I tried to tighten the screws of the hardware on the headstock, they just kept on turning in the slots. So, I pulled them out and found them all rusted. I filled up the holes, redrilled them and installed new steel screws.

The bridge was reglued properly and while the glue was curing, I decided to give the instrument some new strap buttons and let the rusty ones go.

However, the shoulder strap button had to be moved from the heel to its side. That left a hole at the original spot

This was filled, levelled and polished such that it all but disappeared

With the glue still curing, I turned my attention to the headstock and the rusting hardware there.

Once the glue cured and the clamps came off, only the stringing of the guitar remained.

And those are the new nut and saddle in place.

Here’s a full view of the whole guitar done.

The owner was pleased with the results and even sent me a video of him and his ‘first love’ in action.

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:

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