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Repairing And Restoring Guitars
By Woodshed
What's your dream guitar? Is it a Gibson Black Beauty Les Paul? A Builder Select 1961 Stratocaster? Or maybe a Tobacco Burst Les Paul Classic 60s? These are the sort of a player will dream about, but will so rarely be able to afford. However, if you're willing to put in some work, buying spare parts and damaged bodies and restoring can be a relatively inexpensive way of getting your hands on your dream guitar.

Finding Parts

In the days before the internet, finding spare parts for your project guitar was a nightmare. Luckily, the internet has made this part much easier. No matter how obscure the part you are looking for is, there'll be someone, somewhere in the world looking to sell it.

The first place to start your search is Google. Type in the part you are looking for. Be as specific as possible.

The Body

Don't be tempted to strip the finish of the guitar. Even if it's chipped and scratched, it will be more valuable than a refinished guitar. The great guitar makers are very particular, and secretive, about the make up of their finishes. There's no chance of you being able to recreate it.

The Neck

If the neck of your guitar is cracked or warped, it is possible to fix these problems. The most likely place to find a crack is at the base of the head stock. One option is to pour hot clue into the crack, clamp it and hope for the best. A more thorough, but nerve-wracking, approach is to break the neck of completely. That may seem scary, but it's the only way to ensure that the glue travels all the way into the crack.

The neck of the guitar tends to be the part that gets grubbiest, so it will likely be in need of a good clean up. Give the fingerboard a going over with a toothbrush and wood cleaner, soak the neck in boiling linseed oil, and buff up the frets.

Other Parts

Again, less than perfect originals are preferable to brand new parts. Original frets, knobs, tuning pegs etc. can often be restored. When they are beyond saving, it is usually possible to find original spare parts for sale on line.

Adding Parts

You may want to add non-original parts to the guitar such as a whammy bar. This will reduce the vaule of the guitar (since you'll be drilling into it). So only do this if the instrument is for you only and you have no intention of selling it.

Restoring an old guitar, as well as being a great way to get your hands on a classic instrument at a knock down price, is a very fun and reward thing to do.

You can find a great selection of Fender guitar spare parts here: And Gibson here:

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