Forever Bound Art

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Ahh, the smell of sweet music

In Antique Repair and Service, Clocks and Time Pieces, Guitars and Amplifiers on January 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

there was an old blokeOne of my husband’s latest jobs was to fix an amplifier that lead to fixing a guitar.  I hope the next line will be just like “The Old Lady who swallowed a fly“, or in his case, “There was an old bloke who swallowed a chook.”  At this present moment however, Mike does have two clocks backed up in waiting for attention. Can you swallow the clock along with the amplifier and the guitar?  Of course, we had to look up what chook meant.  My Australian friends are probably laughing at me.

Mischief & clock

Now of course, this is how all the projects begin.  The cats, a.k.a. our furry children, must first approve what we work on.  Maybe something like, putting their scent of approval on it?  Leaving a lasting impression shall we say?

Lady in Guitar Case

And then as you can see, Lady P (short for Lady Pavlova, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova) begins to take her nappy nap.  Mischief, the fat cat, does the same.  It’s tiring you know?  All these antiques & other people’s stuff that hold such smells?

Sacked out with the guitar

Since I should have some meat on the bone, and not entirely writing this entry about our three furry children, we will share with you the sweet sound of this guitar repair.  (The other cat Noir, rarely naps or investigates the goods.  He’s another story all on his own)

This particular guitar (owned and played by Jeff Baldori from the 60’s band, The Woolies.  He also played with Chuck Berry) was an
Epiphone Riviera Deluxe  finished in cherry red.  Pretty, and pretty beat up (Mike called it “well loved”).  As stated above, this project came directly after Mike had worked on his Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.  We love chain reactions! Plus, it’s ridiculously fun to work on musical equipment and with their owners.  The complaint per our client was that he couldn’t select the bridge pickup with the selector switch; only the neck pickup.  He said that the guitar tech that previously worked on the Epiphone told him that the switches go bad from time to time and that the one the tech put in would eventually go bad as well.  Mike couldn’t understand why the original tech didn’t offer to put in a good switch (switch craft) instead of constantly replacing inferior switches.  So that is what he did.

This process is fairly intricate because the switch has to be brought out through the F hole of the body of the guitar.  Fat fingers not recommended. After the switch was extracted the wires were desoldered from it and the new switch soldered to the wires.  I must brag at my husband’s meticulous soldering technique.  I am always amazed at how perfect his joints look.  Switch was then reinstalled going back through the F hole.  That darn F hole :-).  Test that new switch and then “see how they run”!

guitarrepair1 guitarrepair2 guitarrepair3

The next step was to clean all that DNA off the guitar.  From many exciting performances there were plenty of sweat streaks and smudges all over from head stock to strap button.  Removing the Bigsby vibrato /Whammy Bar in order to begin the cleansing process, Mike decided to use 0000 steel wool to remove some of those stubborn stains.  Yes, that bad.  He then further disassembled the Bigsby and lubricated the pivot points with silicone grease.  Setting aside the Whammy Bar after reassembling it, Mike then went after the body of the guitar.  Satisfied with the Epiphone’s shine the fret board was cleaned and oiled with fret board oil. To match the tone control knobs, two new volume control knobs were installed.  Not as hard as that switch and cleaning DNA.  The Bigsby was reinstalled and then the guitar was restrung with a new set of GHS Boomers 09-46 strings, a company right here in Battle Creek, Michigan!


I photographed this grand event and partook in the wine drinking as well.  Mr. Baldori was needless to say, extremely pleased and has just finished his latest album using his Epiphone and his amplifier fixed by yours truly, Michael DeBruin from MidWest Antique Sales & Repair/Forever Bound Art.

I think it’s time for a nap.


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