Guitar repair: Baby(ing) a Taylor-made instrument!

This was the first instrument of its kind that I had the opportunity to work upon – well, not actually work, but assess and recommend changes, if any.

It qualifies to be the first instrument in its category because this is a previously loved instrument and the new owner decided to run it by me. It is always a good idea. And it was a Baby Taylor, in fact, the largest of the Babys!

And like all Taylors, it had a bolt-on neck

Structurally, it seemed to be healthy: the neck joint was nice and tight, no other joints opening, no braces rattling inside, no tuning machines ready to fall off…but there was this

The treble side of the bridge was lifting, just that much.

However, the frets and the fretwires were a bit crusty and the fretboard seemed a bit dry. What made me raise both eyebrows though was that it had those artificial plastic (micarta or something) nut and saddle in place.

So, I went about my job, snug up the hardware on the headstock and adjusted the truss rod to take out a wee-bit of extra relief from the neck.

cleaned up the fretboard, the fretwires and gave some love to the fretboard and the bridge

Then there were slight abrasions like this one

which were duly banished

All that was left to do was to string ‘er up, but before I did that, I worked on the bridgepins and gave their ends a little angle so that string ball-ends would not catch on the ends of the pins

Then I strung up the guitar with these, for the owner chose them

I told the owner to take the instrument back, play it to his heart’s content and look for things that he would like changed. After six months, if the bridge had lifted any more, we would have to take it off completely and reglue it. If it hadn’t moved much then we could risk just seating that lifting corner down.

Also, the six months would help familiarise the owner with the instrument. Once, he had got used to its volume and sustain, the change to a bone saddle and nut would surely make him go, ‘Woah!!’

Besides the nut had to go, most certainly, for the slots in it were way too deep.

Here’s the Baby, all cleaned up and ready to go home

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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