Friday, 1 August 2014

The guitar with 9 lives

So a while back now, I'm talking maybe a year or two? I was given an old Gordon Smith guitar. Pretty beaten up, originally had been smashed on stage, snapping the body in twain. 
This thing had been given to another guy who managed to do a nice repair job on the body, but then did a quick poly finish and got bored with it. 
There it sat, gathering dust, until he finally admitted to himself he would never get round to completing the project, and so handed it to me. 
I've played guitar since I was about 14, so of course, the chance to have a go customising and repairing this thing with no upfront expenditures, I took it on with no hesitation!
I get this thing home and take a closer look. 
-Dents. Dents and scratches all over 
  the show! The whole thing will need 
  sanding back to bare wood and 
  fine sanded.
-Dot inlays are all sunken, some are 
  raised, some are cracked. They will 
  all need coming out and replaced.
-Frets. The frets have seen better 
 days! All different heights, string 
  indents on them. They will need re-
  levelling
-No guts, no hardware.

I would say it was a blank canvas for me to go wild at with the chisels. But it would be better described as a canvas that had been given to a child who has painted all over it and thrown it round the room, giving me the job of cleaning it off and repairing it before I can even think of creating any artwork.
It's a big job but I get on, I come up with a nice design to carve into the body, I custom make a new pick guard, I sand for days getting the old varnish off and the dents out. Replace the dots. Level the frets and polish them up then buy in a new bridge and machine heads. 

Looking good for my first customised job! It's ready for lacquer. I brush on the first two coats. 
So far so good. Do I do a third? ... Yeah why not?!
I take the brush to the guitar...
It goes on ok. I turn to reload my brush, I turn back and the lacquers turning white?! Massive white streaks!! I try brushing them off, it disappears. I dry my brow... No it's re appearing! There must be some paint in the tin I used to pour the lacquer into! 
I'm distraught. What do I do? I leave it to dry and maybe I can pick it off?
I come back the next day. It's pretty bad! I try and try, but this white looks like it's deep within the grain beneath the lacquer! 
I admit defeat, coming to the conclusion this guitar must be cursed, and the guitar disappears within the clutter of my spare room. 

Only recently have I resurfaced this guitar from it's grave of old consoles and bits of things that have no use, yet live in my house, as I'm sure one day they will find their destiny. 
I sanded down the white and reapplied the lacquer. Sanded the lacquer smooth and buffed it up with some beeswax. 
I must say it's looking fairly sexy now! As sexy as a slab of mahogany with some golden hardware can look anyway! It is currently awaiting it's guts and then (once I learn how to wire) it is complete and will go up for sale! 
Keep looking out for updates on this guitar and the birth of a new guitar which is in the making!


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