Another Guitar Headpiece Repair

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
Jason Rodgers
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Another Guitar Headpiece Repair

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Good work! What a mess! You saved your friend some money, and learned a few new chops yourself.

So this is one of those Chet Atkins SST semi-hollow guitars, right? Chambered body with a flat top, no soundhole, piezo in the bridge. What does the neck geometry - relief, set - look like? I can't find any pictures online of the internal chambering and construction, but I'm guessing the top is not bellying behind the bridge. If you do end up shaving the nut/bridge, watch out for the piezo element and reseat the nut correctly.

Or, just hand it back to your friend and say, "You're welcome."
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

John E Giarrizzo
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:17 am

Re: Another Guitar Headpiece Repair

Post by John E Giarrizzo »

I believe that it is a Chet Atkins SST semi-hollow guitar. Pictures attached.

I can't see the chambering, but it is.

On the neck set: I should have known better, but I was so excited after I strung it up and the head didn't go flying off, I forgot to check it. After reading your post, I did. The truss rod was almost completely loose. The set, if I am using the term correctly --- the "concavity" of the neck in the middle was way too much! No wonder the action was so bad. I adjusted it to what I usually do --- don't have a number for it --- until it "looks right". The guitar is much easier to play now.

I am going to leave the bridge alone. I am sure my friend will be extremely happy with it. It is better than before it broke. I shined up the hardware, polished the frets. Cleaned and oiled the fret board.
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Michael Lewis
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Location: Northern California USA
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Re: Another Guitar Headpiece Repair

Post by Michael Lewis »

With a straight edge and even frets you should have between .004" and .008" @ 7th fret. This is called the "relief". The "set" is the angle the neck is set to the body.

John E Giarrizzo
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:17 am

Re: Another Guitar Headpiece Repair

Post by John E Giarrizzo »

Thanks for the clarification.

I just checked the relief. It was still a little high. Maybe .013 or so. I tightened the truss rod a bit more and brought the relief down until .010” shim stock started to rub the string.

I went to frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/NeckAngle/neckangle.html to learn about neck set. Per their instructions, when I lay a 24" scale along the properly relieved neck, at the front of the bridge plate (it hits the front edge) the measurement from the top of the front to the straight edge is 9/32" =.28" = 7.1mm

The distance to the underside of the low E string is .40" = 10.1mm

Again, thanks to all for helping me in my learning process.

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Barry Daniels
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Another Guitar Headpiece Repair

Post by Barry Daniels »

Just for clarification, the "bridge plate" is actually the piece of wood on the inside of the guitar that lies under the top at the location of the bridge. What you are talking about is simply called the "front edge or top surface of the bridge".
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John E Giarrizzo
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:17 am

Re: Another Guitar Headpiece Repair

Post by John E Giarrizzo »

I'd be embarrassed if MIMF was not a place to show one's ignorance. You guys have been helping and teaching me for 15 years now.

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