This was one helluva job III (the add-ons)

When you do such extensive work, like what I did on this Hobner, a little extra effort, a little something from my side, helps sweeten the deal for the customer. Plus, if there is something that does not sit easy in your eye, how can you just let it go?

After I had swapped the old, drab tuners for those snazzy, sexy things, I looked around at the guitar and decided that the old strap button was an eyesore with the rest of the flashy steel on the guitar.

So I swapped this

for this.

I looked at the headstock and in all that beauty, what stood out dirty and a blemish was the trussrod cover and the the oxidised screw holding it in place.

I cleaned up the piece of plastic and installed a shiny new screw that matched the rest of the glitz on the headstock.

Of course, the love potions – for the fretboard, bridge and frets – were mandatory

and the 12-string received these strings, as this is the customer’s preferred brand and gauge.

As I was stringing the instrument up, I noticed the nut

Not in the most healthy state but I was unwilling to pop it out and replace it with a bone nut that would have to be cut down to half its height. Let me explain. In an instrument with a zero fret, it is that fret that takes care of the intonation part. The nut merely serves to hold the strings in place so that they don’t fall off.

To cut down a bone nut just for the purpose of holding strings, I did not have the heart to do. I have ordered a plastic nut and as soon as it comes in, I shall call the instrument in and replace it.

I was still looking at the guitar, debating whether or not I should put a pickguard on it or not.

Finally, I decided to put one on because where the pickguard would go, was a crack in the top that ran the entire length of the top. The left picture shows the crack at the top, while the right photo shows the crack running right down to the very bottom of the guitar (the black line farthest from you).

Though the crack had been sealed but the pickguard would be added protection, holding things together.

I could have easily decided to throw on a ready-made, teardrop-style pickguard but that would have gone against the character of this instrument. This one was different, and thus, required something different.

So, I decided to design one, cut and fashion one by hand. But first, I had to put down on paper, what I had in mind.

After this was done, I traced the outline on the pickguard plate

continuing to make modifications to the design as I thought were necessary.

A new blade was put into the X-acto knife for a good clean cut and extra, focused light was arranged for

Once cut,

there followed the smoothing of edges so that nothing would catch on the edges.

Some sandpaper
A fresh single-edge blade

Those two things helped me get things smooth and bevelled. Installing the prepared pickguard was no big deal.

I also noticed that the name of the guitar (on its shoulder) was disappearing. So, I pulled out my calligraphy pens and my lighted lens set-up and went to work

I could have left it like that but it was not a brand new guitar, so, before the ink dried, I gently brushed it off, giving it an aged look.

The pickguard, strap button, screw and filling in the name, I did not charge for.

With this, the three-episode serial ends, and I hope that the Hobner goes on to sing many, many more tunes.


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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