Workshop: Wartime Woes!

This is a wartime Gibson L-30 that I picked up from all-around-cool-fella Anders Parker on Wednesday. I've been chipping away at it since then in my spare time (hah!) because I'm thinking of this for myself possibly and I'm hoping it makes a full recovery by the end of the weekend.

He brought it in as-found with its "historic modifications" which included a 60s Japanese archtop pickup assembly bolted to the front, an early (and peculiar) whammy bar added, 8 relatively major hairline crackes wide open on the top, a cobbled-together bracket that was bolted to the neck and around the back in several places, and a clever screw that went right through the back into the endblock. Needless to say, the sides were also sprung out all over the place from the back.

Here you can see some of those nice big screw holes which were added liberally. The clamps you're seeing on the top right now are the third set that have been on. It looked a bit like a forest of clamps Wednesday night. They're all adding cleats to those hairlines.

Ok... so the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 holes left by screws and the unsightly "glued-back-together" heel bits are certainly not my work, but that funky bolt and threaded rod is...

I made use of the hole through the heel to send a threaded rod right through the middle of the guitar and out the endpin. In this fashion I've managed to tighten the endblock back up to a point where it's more or less matched-up with the back of the guitar. This has allowed me to forgo making an obnoxious and tedious jig to put everything back in alignment.

Here I'm using a seam separator with some adhesive sandpaper stuck to it to prep the kerfing and back to accept glue. The wooden end of a screwdriver can be seen just below the threaded rod tensioning up the body... that's simply in there to wedge open the seam so I can work on it.

And voila!

Now that all those seams are clamping up, in the evening tomorrow I can pull all that stuff off, begin drop-filling all of the hairline cracks and holes with some filler and black ink, reglue all the binding back into place, give it a fret level/dress, and then set it up Saturday morning just in time for the jam.

It'll still look like hell from a collector's point of view (and pocket), but perhaps not the inner ring of it!