Stan Alexander from The Darts came into the workshop over the weekend. He called to collect his Michigan Jazz guitar which has been restored.
The guitar has been in Stan’s possession for many years and remained stored in his attic for several decades.
It was in a bad way:
The neck had parted company with the body
The soundboard and back were both loose
The internal bass bars* were cracked and loose
The ribs were split and cracked
The fingerboard inlays were beginning to lift and curl up
The end on the neck was split and cracked
The machine heads weren’t working
The bridge was missing
All in all it was a sad case. However, over the course of a few weeks work commenced on the old jazz veteran and the guitar was put back together piece by piece.
With the soundboard removed the repair to the ribs was made so much easier. The splits were repaired and reinforced from the inside.
The back was then re-glued to the ribs.
The soundboard re-fitted to the ribs.
Once the body was whole again the edge bindings were cleaned up and stained where necessary.
The neck was re-aligned and re-glued to the body.
The splits and misaligned holes at the end of the fingerboard repaired and plugged
The whole of the completed body work was cleaned and polished.
The new machine heads and bridge fitted.
The pick-up and electrics were overhauled and re-installed
The guitar was strung up with heavy gauge jazz strings.
The guitar played like a dream. It had a low action without any buzzing on the frets, it intonated very well and sounded great acoustically, just what you would expect from a vintage jazz guitar. And when it was plugged in to an amp it sounded fantastic.
Stan was delighted and used the old vintage jazzer at a jazz gig that evening.