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Projects: various 2022 projects

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Hagstrom J-45
This Hagstrom suffered an unfortuate accident but was already ailing because of massive bellying of the top. These guitars were very well-made - especially earlier examples like this, before they switched to a bolt-on neck. But they had no bridgeplate and a very light fan-strutting system better suited to a classical rather than the tensions of a steel-string dreadnought.

Whilst there was the extra access to the top I decided to re-brace it with a more typical bracing pattern. A conventional maple bridgeplate was also added. I was then able to begin repairing the top damage. As there was a lot of damage to the sunburst all over the top, including where a J-160e style pickguard had been rather roughly removed, a refinished sunburst was decided upon before regluing the bridge. After a setup it now plays very nicely with a low action - although given the amount of work done it will take some time to open up fully.

Hagstrom J-45

Hagstrom J-45

Hagstrom J-45

Hagstrom J-45

Hagstrom J-45

Hagstrom J-45

1967 Gibson J-45
Couldn't resist adding these pics, although I should have taken some 'before' shots. This 1967 J-45 had a hole punched in the back, about 25mm wide with considerable splintering of the wood. After repair and some airbrushing with matching lacquer it was almost invisible.

Fylde neck reset
It's extremely unusual to see a Fylde that needs a neck reset, but this very early guitar had seen a lot of use and a considerable amount of abuse! I've taken the necks off loads of Martins but was unsure about exactly how this neck was attached. As can be seen, the truss rod extends through the top in a way that is unusual. (More recent Fyldes, by the way, use a bolted on neck system, so are quite different.) It made loosening of the fingerboard extension tricky, and it was also necessary to prevent condensation from getting into the body cavity whilst steaming the neck joint. I asked Roger Bucknall for advice before starting and he told me that the dovetail was under the '14th and a half fret' rather than the 15th on a Martin. I could have drilled through the fingerboard and repaired with wood and glue filler, but rather than leave visible repairs I considered removing the heel cap to gain access to the dovetail. In the event, however, I was able to remove the 15th fret in the usual way, and then drill at an angle to access the dovetail cavity. I could then use my steam jet as normal. All then went very well with the neck reset, and the owner (who has had it from new in the late 1970s) was very pleased.