Here is a quintessential "player's guitar" by all definitions. It is a 2001 SG that has been out gigging regularly and played hard for years. It has been in the shop for various repairs.
Let's start from the beginning ...
I first met guitarist Jonathon Feinberg of the Lynn/Boston's Tigerman WOAH at a show and was blown away by the band's songwriting and energy on stage. If you ever have a chance to see them, I highly recommend catching a show.
Here's an overview:
Output jack / control cavity repair
Previous headstock repair failing
Busted strap button
And then my headstock re-repair was failing ...
Pickup gets knocked the fuck out!
Go check out Tigerman WOAH!!!
1. Output jack / control cavity repair
This SG has been Jon's main guitar since he was a teenager and it's seen a lot of action. He brought his SG by the shop for the first time after it took a hard fall at a show and split the entire lower bout through the control cavity. He was frustrated with tuning issues and the guitar fell to the ground as a consequence. The entire wing was clinging by a hair and the wood around output jack completely blown out.
The first step was removing the electronics and gluing the broken wing. Various clamps and clamping cauls were used to keep everything aligned while the glue dried.
With the broken wing reattached, I needed a solution for the blown-out output jack hole. Initially I thought of plugging and redrilling it, but figured it wouldn't hold up for very long. I suggested that we go with a custom brass control plate to cover the damage and add significant strength to weakened output jack mount. To match the vibe of the guitar, I used a combination of bleach and muratic acid to patina the brass plate. Leaving the brass clean and shiny would have looked out of place. (note that working with acids and bases is very dangerous and should not be attempted without proper protective precautions - seriously, you have been warned! Pure nastiness.).
2. Previous headstock repair failing
Here was another repair session. Jon was having issues with tuning and noticed that a headstock repair was starting to let go. The previous repair was done about 10 years or so. I used heat and steam to undo the repair so the old glue could be cleaned out. Once cleaned, hot hide glue was clamped in the joint as it looked like it would close nice and tight.
3. Busted strap button
Yet another repair, now it is in for a broken strap button screw. Actually, two broken screws as one was broken before. I'll need to make a couple different size screw extractors to get these out.
4. And then my headstock re-repair was failing ...
This time the guitar took a spill at a practice and broke apart the repair. I suspected there was some kind of contamination in the joint so I cleaned it out as best I could and used West Systems Epoxy this time. Epoxy is great for it's strength and gap filling, but it can be very messy, especially on a nitrocellulose finish. Acetone cleans up epoxy squeeze out but also dissolves lacquer. I carefully masked off as much of the finish around the cracks to make the clean up easier. After pulling the clamps, cauls and tape, I lightly sanded and buffed out the area. Hopefully the third time's a charm ...
5. Pickup gets knocked the fuck out!
The bridge pickup literally got knocked the fuck out. This time it came in just before a New Year's Eve gig. Jon was a little frustrated and punched in the bridge pickup at a show! He popped it so hard that he broke 4 strings and bent the pickup's mounting tab. Even the height adjustment screw got stripped out.
I flipped the pick guard over to find the pickup's mounting tab to be mangled. The screw was stripped out so I straightened out the tab, re-tapped the threads and threw a new mounting screw in there. Back in business for New Year's.