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12th March 2015

Fender precision bass body rescue!

This precision bass body from a 1976 bass had suffered severe damage to the paintwork after being stored for many years inside a case. The foam lining in the case had dissolved and mixed with the paintwork and turned it into a soft sticky mess! It was not salvagable so we stripped the body back to bare wood and applied a vintage correct, but nitro, 3 tone sunburst.

Click on any image to enlarge...

Fender precision bass body restoration 1976 © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender precision bass body restoration 1976 © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender precision bass body restoration 1976 © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender precision bass body restoration 1976 © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender precision bass body restoration 1976 © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender precision bass body restoration 1976 © 2020 Guitar Angel

8th June 2014

Gibson J35 restoration

This Gibson J35 from 1936 was brought in, in rather poor shape. It had excessive bellying in the top along with many cracks around the sides. An internal inspection revealed a primitive addition of a rough sawn batten attached to the first tone bar! We also found that the top had been sanded down badly prior to an old top refinish. The paint finish looked ok but the top was just 0.5mm to 1mm in places. There was further evidence of some very poorly attempted repairs.

The customer wanted the previous "work" to be corrected and the whole guitar restored sympathetically to retain its vintage value, appeal and most importantly to regain it's vibrant lively sound.

We started by removing the back to gain access to the old repairs.

Although the top was extremely thin and fragile is was crucial to save it.

Once the binding and the back was removed we were able to see the full extent of the damage and listed what needed to be done.

The added batten was firmly attached to a damaged tone bar, this needed  to be carefully removed by paring and scraping.

The main x brace was broken.

There were a large number of cracks and splits in the sides  and back which needed to be secured and supported.

The top itself needed flattening out and a spruce veneer overlay adding to strenghten it.

The bridge plate which had become warped and repaired needed replacing with a stronger oversize one.

The bridge needed to be removed, flattened and refitted, as it too had taken on the warped shape of the top.

The guitar didn't need a neck reset.

See the full rebuild/restoration/repair process in the "examples" section by clicking here

This is what the owner had to say after completion of the work: 

"Hi Angela. I wanted to write you something that could be used on your website so here it is.

'The restoration work on my 1930's J-35 has been nothing short of miraculous. Having sent it to you for a diagnosis on a bellying top, you told me that you had discovered broken X-Braces, back  cracks, side-splits and a top that was in places no thicker than 0.5mm. Over the course of 3 months, numerous emails and step by step pictures, you have rebuilt a fragile and damaged guitar to it's former glory, retaining both it's originality (where possible) and most of all, it's sound. Your care and attention have been second to none and you have returned to me a guitar that is stronger than ever, fit for the ages and well on it's way to making it's 100th birthday. I cannot thank you enough for restoring this old box of wood and strings and for giving me back the chance of hearing it in its fullest glory. Thank you genuinely isn't enough' "

The youtube clip features the fully restored guitar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQy3RD7_3OE

Click on any image to enlarge...

Gibson J35, 1936  poorly attempted previous repairs, worn bridgeplate © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson J35, 1936  needing extensive restoration work © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson J35, back removed © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson J35 binding © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson J35 bridge removed © 2020 Guitar Angel
mahogany cleats to reinforce body cracks on Gibson J35 © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson J35 restoration and repairs completed © 2020 Guitar Angel
1936 Gibson J35 restoration and repairs completed © 2020 Guitar Angel

29th March 2014

Ovation legend rebuild complete!

After making, bracing and fitting the new top, we repaired the binding and the headstock edge. The rosette was also damaged so this was repaired too.

The whole guitar has had a nice thin silky smooth nitro cellulose tinted lacquer finish and now  sounds lively and loud!

Click on any image to enlarge...

Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild nitro cellulose lacquer © 2020 Guitar Angel

12th February 2014

We like a challenge!

This rather sad looking Ovation legend from 1987, has in its life been very badly "repaired" a few times. The best course of action was to completely dismantle the guitar and start a proper rebuild.

We removed the neck and parted the top from the shallow bowl, then made a new spruce top.....

Click on any image to enlarge...

Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
Ovation Legend rebuild © 2020 Guitar Angel
ovation new top © 2020 Guitar Angel
ovation shallow bowl © 2020 Guitar Angel

19th January 2014

Gibson Les Paul top refinish

The owner of this Gibson Les Paul wanted the thin faded and rather orange peely top stripped and refinished in clear thin nitro cellulose, which really shows off some superb flame!

We set it up to our usual standard and this is what the happy customer had to say:

"Just wanted to say a big thank you for your excellent workmanship! I am over the moon with the finish on the maple top and the machine heads really look the part too. I’ve had a lot of people drooling over it the last few days and I ‘ve got a gig at the Brunswick in Gloucester next Saturday so can’t wait to show it off.

By the way, don’t know if you did some setting up, but it seems to play better. Unless it’s my imagination or new strings perhaps.

 Again a big thank you, and I won’t hesitate to recommend you and am sure will see you soon in the future for any other project I may have."



Click on any image to enlarge...

Gibson Les Paul top refinish natural nitrocellulose © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson Les Paul top refinish natural nitrocellulose © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson Les Paul top refinish natural nitrocellulose © 2020 Guitar Angel
Gibson Les Paul top refinish natural nitrocellulose © 2020 Guitar Angel

8th December 2013

Martin D18, loose braces and crack repairs

This lovely Martin D18 from 1971 came in for a nut repair....However, we discovered that every brace on the back had a loose section which needed securing. We also found a hairline crack on the back too, so we glued this up and reinforced it with cleats on the underside.

We always strive to keep the inside as neat as the outside!

Always a pleasure restoring old instruments to top playing order.

Click on any image to enlarge...

Martin D18, loose braces and crack repairs © 2020 Guitar Angel
Martin D18, loose braces and crack repairs © 2020 Guitar Angel
Martin D18, loose braces and crack repairs © 2020 Guitar Angel
Martin D18, loose braces and crack repairs © 2020 Guitar Angel

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