Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some surgery on a quiet Sunday afternoon

Having dismantled the 'padauk' MG440 the other week and tried to glue the cracked section, I've had a go at finishing off the repair.

The 'lockdown bar' I bought to deal with the failure of the wood at the bridge stud needs larger holes drilling. I'm no luthier but the body is effectively scrap at the moment so I couldn't make it much worse.

There's no way I could ever drill the holes out accurately enough by hand so I clamped the body to my cheap Chinese pillar drill and lined it up using a 5/16 drill bit in the chuck. This was a perfect snug fit in the existing holes, so I got the body nicely centred on it then swapped bits to the 10mm one I needed.

I drilled very slowly and after about 2mm stopped to check it was still nicely centred. The first one went well so once finished I moved the body and did the same with the other hole.

With them both done, the 'lockdown bar' is a perfect fit. Sadly the drilling has broken through into the tremolo route, again emphasising that the design of this guitar really doesn't leave enough wood in the area.

Dropping the pickguard into the body showed that it should fit nicely and not need trimming down so I just reassembled and set up the guitar.

Once it was all back together the repair is hardly noticeable. The 'lockdown bar' is visible but it mates nicely with the pickguard so it almost looks like it should be there. Having strung it and played it a little, the repair has held. I'll use this as my practice guitar for a couple of weeks to make sure it stays that way.

Longer term I'm not quite sure what to do with this, I bought the pair to rob for parts (mostly the 600S tremolos) but thought fixing this one would be a fun project and it has been. However I don't really need another midrange Korean superstrat and if I leave it whole I'll still need to find a tremolo. I'm not sure I could sell it given the repair, even though I'd be upfront about it and this leads to me having yet another guitar.

Oh well, I guess there's still the other one to strip down.

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