Guitar shop

The Takamine

by larry on September 2, 2012

in Guitar shop

A retired couple here in our little town decided to open a second-hand shop and sell a lot of stuff they had acquired over the years. My wife being a very curious creature wanted to see what was in there and as it turned out it wasn’t all dresses and blouses as I had feared but some really interesting man stuff as well and leaning against the wall atop of one of the counters was a dreadnought sized guitar. It had been played very little and then put away to collect dust. It was a ’76 (Martin Lawsuit) Takamine with a couple dings in the top and when I tried to tune it up, I saw the bridge had lifted and was soon going to pop off so I back off the strings while the owner was telling me the story about trying to be a rock star and giving up early on. It was pretty grungy with lots of dust in side and out but we settled on a fair price and it had a new home with lots of company. I started on it right away popping the bridge off, cleaning and polishing it up, gluing the bridge with animal hide glue and installing a bone saddle in the bridge. For those who don’t know about guitars a Takamine guitar is made at the foot of the Takamine Mountain in Japan. Starting in 1962 it is one of the oldest  manufacturers there and a cheaper way to go for your first guitar and thousands of them were sold here in the states.  Now from a distance they looked exactly like a more expensive Martin the oldest and most sought after instruments of its kind in this country. It looked like they took a Martin apart and copied it inside and out right down to the gold lettering on the head stock. Sometime in the 70’s Martin filed a lawsuit against them and won, so they had to change their design. But many people who play still swear by them and they are still in demand. I tuned it up and just as i thought it had a very good tone.So now I have this old Tak with very few miles on it so if you or someone you know needs an old cheap guitar that looks like a Martin well drop me a line and we’ll talk…… linman@kc.rr.com ……Larry

Steel String Update

by larry on July 19, 2012

in Guitar shop

OK; I know… I haven’t been spending much time in the shop, so it’s going pretty slow. It should have been finished weeks ago, but hey I’m retired and I ‘ll do what I want to do when I want to do it. That said I have been redoing some things I didn’t like because in the past I would tell myself that it will look better when I put the finish on but usually that didn’t satisfy my idea of the finished product. So this time I’m redoing anything I don’t like. I’m using a natural stain on the walnut wood body of guitar, then added walnut stain to the catalpa wood neck but didn’t like the look so after it dried for a couple weeks I sanded it all off and went back with natural and got a better color. I found some sanding marks here and there after sealing the wood  and went back in and sanded it all off and and re-stained it and filled the pores with dark wood filler. So now it’s almost ready for the lacquer finish. I’ll put a few pics of the finished guitar in the next installment….

Steel String Update

by larry on June 26, 2012

in Guitar shop

This is the raw Guitar without the finish…. Next I will give it a couple coats of sealer; dark filler another sealer then about 6-8 coats of nitrocellulose. After it has been rubbed down to a good shine I’ll make the bridge and saddle with bone pins, install the tuners and string it up and see if it sounds good.

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Steel string Classical

by larry on May 31, 2012

in Guitar shop

It has been awhile since I posted a progress report on the steel string I’m working on so here are a few more pictures of the Guitar in my shop. The body is ready to be sanded and finished while the neck will have to be carved to it’s final shape and frets installed but it’s coming together nicely after a major stall on gluing the fret board on. For those who have followed so far, you’ll remember I wanted to use hide glue and it took three try’s to get it right but I think it is ready to be shaped and finished now.  The trouble came when I didn’t warm the wood properly and have all the clamps and cauls ready to go after I put the glue on. You only have less than a minute to work with if you don’t prepare the wood first by putting a couple of light bulbs set close to the work to warm it, if it is a large peace like the neck. I had to remove it after the glue dried and again just before it dried because it wasn’t straight enough to suit me. But the third time was a charm and it’s ready to go with a good joint. The angle has to be set for the strings to be the right height and this is a trail and error kind of thing so I had to bolt and unbolt the neck a number of times to get it right. Next I’ll shape the neck, install the frets, make a bridge, install the nut and saddle, spray it with lacquer and add strap buttons, tuning keys and strings…….IMG_1636

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