Half an hour here, fifteen minutes there and five weeks later I get to take it into the studio. My broken Gibson Flying V from Gumtree.com is finished.
The neck crack was tricky, with the neck clamped to a bench I had to spring the headstock back to inject glue into the “greenstick fracture”. I put in four mini dowels as well and it’s taking high tension without any fuss so far. I also dowelled where the previous owner had hammered in a rawlplug as the strap button had come loose. Good grief.
The refinish was a slog, the original patchy cherry red glue/wax coating was horrendous to remove and I left a square of it under the scratchplate to remind myself of why it was all worth the effort. A sealer coat over a mix of light and dark grain filler (gives a little ripple to flat wood I think) followed by a little amber tint to make the laquer look a little vintage and then the laquer itself, 40 or 50 thin coats of nitrocellulose with more wet and dry sanding that I ever hope to see again in my life.
Some dings I left unfilled, it would look wrong, it ‘s a ten year old guitar and has had a life before me after all. But, the finish looks good so far, it buffed up really well (manually using Meguiar’s excellent M205 polish, tired…) and the little amount of laquer sinking into the wood is just right.
New tuners, Kluson Deluxe repros by TonePros, which means vintage looks with hi-tec sealed titanium inners, they make the tuners that came with the V look like the tin openers that they really are. I fitted chrome pickup covers and witches hat knobs for a 70’s vibe, the mini block fret markers are on for the same reason too. They’re currently fancy stick-ons from the US to see if I like the look, them maybe I’ll start sawing into that ebony fretboard with a sheet of mother of pearl. Or maybe not. I fitted new pearl side dot markers, but that’s only drilling a few 2mm holes.
Found a great product to clean and lubricate all the electrics, Caig DeoxIT. Makes WD-40 look like hitting something with a brick to fix it, the volume and tone pots are silent and smoother than when new.
It sounds good, very edgy and that slim neck is so easy to play. A little more set-up time and it’ll be total joy instead of just a joy.
It’s easy to seek out hobbies that are totally different from your job, using tools might be the last thing I’d think of for relaxation, even heading to the hills is a mix of business and pleasure these days, but this was brilliant fun and I’d do it again. Better too, as I’ve re-learned and learned new stuff doing this.
Still, I’ll wait and see if the laquers stays on and that neck break stays fixed before I get too pleased with myself and launch into something else.