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SG Repair

This was one of the most difficult damage repair jobs I have ever run into. The original break was bad enough, but work was complicated by a previous misbegotten attempt to do the repair with Gorilla Glue, and the neck rake was set too low so that the lowest possible setup, with the bridge all the way down to the top, was unplayably high.

Apparently whoever did it was so discouraged that they didn’t even clean up the excess glue. Joinery with Gorilla Glue cannot be separated with any solvents and heat knives make little headway even where the joint is accessible. Here the glued parts had to be separated by drilling them out leaving very little original wood in the area.

On the upside, the necessary repair resulted in greater strength in the neck-to-body joint area than did the original construction.

SG repair 141 The poor thing as it came into the shop.

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SG repair 232 What remained after drilling apart the glued seams. Note how the end of the neck, with fragments of the body attached, is hollowed out with little original wood remaining.

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sg repair 333 View of the area after initial gluing together of the major parts. Notice how you can see right through the body in places to left and right of the neck. The first reinforcement piece has been added to the back. Repairs were made using high quality epoxy glue.

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sg repair 434 The next step was to mill out the area to an evenly shaped space. This left barely any wood in the area and even with the new piece glued to the back the connection between the neck and body was very weak.

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sg repair 535 View of the milled out area on the treble side, bass side similar. Had to handle the instrument very carefully at this stage to avoid losing ground!

 

 

 

sg repair 51.15.1 At this point the very fragile assembly is clamped with the neck rake (here being checked using thread) properly set before gluing in new parts to reinforce the area.

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sg repair 636 New wood is glued into the area. Note that the two pieces nearest the neck left and right of center have their grain oriented at right angles to the wood in the body. This is what produced greater strength in the area than in the original construction.

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sg repair 737 The new wood area is milled for the neck pickup and wiring channel.

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sg repair 939 With all structural repairs completed a trial string-up was in order.

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sg 10.110 This proved the neck rake allowed plenty of room for adjustment to low setup –note the space between the top of the body and the bridge elevation adjustment wheel with very low string elevations over the fingerboard. There is enough room in the elevation adjustment to lay the strings right down on the frets. Also note that there is sufficient difference in height between where the strings’ ball-ends are secured in the tailpiece and where they rest on the bridge saddles to provide firm seating of the strings on the saddles for good sustain and tonal clarity.
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sg repair 11311 Sanding the repaired area of the back.

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sg repair 12312 Airbrushing to blend the finish.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA13 A tough job completed!