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Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration

Alan Day 09 Oct 10 - 06:34 PM
mg 09 Oct 10 - 06:55 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Oct 10 - 08:35 PM
Leadfingers 09 Oct 10 - 08:43 PM
Charley Noble 09 Oct 10 - 08:49 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 10 - 08:59 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Oct 10 - 02:28 AM
banjoman 10 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM
Mavis Enderby 10 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM
Sorcha 10 Oct 10 - 03:19 PM
Tootler 10 Oct 10 - 04:31 PM
Alan Day 10 Oct 10 - 06:44 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Oct 10 - 09:36 PM
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Subject: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Alan Day
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 06:34 PM

I wonder if any of you enjoy the thrill of repairing an old musical instrument back to full working order. Something like a concertina that has not been played for fifty years or more and after months of slow patient work get it to the point of playing a tune on it.
The same goes for old furniture ,mechanical things and even houses
Just one of those thrills that takes time, but when you get there, it just makes you feel great.
Get on the naughty chair those with parallel thoughts.
Al :)


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Subject: RE: The joys of repair and restoration
From: mg
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 06:55 PM

I personally don't have the patience but I appreciate those who can create things and fix things. mg


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Subject: RE: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:35 PM

Wholly agreed.


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Subject: RE: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:43 PM

Only time I have stripped an old instrument down were a couple of Saxes back in the bad old days ! Cleaned and re assembled and earned a few bob with them !


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Subject: RE: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:49 PM

Well, I did purchase a maimed S. S. Stewart banjo on e-Bay a few years ago. The neck was in much worse shape than I thought; it had been planned off so that a 5-string banjo was now a 4-string banjo. Then to add insult to injury, someone tried to convert it back to a 5-string banjo. I had a talented friend make a new neck and that was the banjo I was playing at this year's Getaway.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:59 PM

Sandy Paton gave DADGBE a broken Frank Proffitt fretless banjo that seemed to be beyond repair. It took him a long time, but DADGBE fixed it, and it looks and sounds wonderful.
Is he proud of it?
You betcha!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 02:28 AM

I got an old acoustic guitar (no neck rod) back in working condition (lovely sustain) a while ago - dirt and grunge cleanup, strings, bridge. I don't even play... still felt good. :-)


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: banjoman
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM

I bought what can only be called the remains of a nameless long neck five string banjo a few years ago. It took me about 2 years, with a couple of breaks, to straighten the neck which looked more like a bow, replace the velum with a fibreskin head and repair someones attempts to drill out the holes in the headstock. Its now in pretty good shape and I use it a lot especially as I was able to fit drop d tuners which make it a really versatile instrument. I have been tempted to try and sell it but its probably not worth much in terms of the cost of a decent new banjo.
I am proud to own it and it gives me a sense of acheivement each time its taken out of its case (also refurbished by a good clean and a couple of zip pulls)


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM

Alan,

wholly agree. There is great joy in restoration - my weaknesses are string instruments and bicycles. I just need to fund more time for playing and riding respectively....

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 03:19 PM

I'm curious to know how InObus harp restoration is going? Lorcan, are you around for an update?


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 04:31 PM

I found an old autoharp in an antiques mart about 12 - 18 months ago. It was in poor condition and badly in need of a lot of work to restore it to working order. I felt I did not have the skills to undertake the work, nor the funds to pay someone else to do it, so I left it on the shelf.

On the whole I have no regrets but, like others, I do admire those who do undertake such work successfully.


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: Alan Day
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 06:44 PM

I think Tootler it is a question of, can I afford it, is it repairable, have I got the time to repair it and will I like it, or sell it for profit at the end of it. Most instruments in need of repair are considerably cheaper than buying them new, the same goes for furniture so normally you get a bargain. The time can be made if you think long term, it does not have to be done within half an hour of working on it.
The skills can sometimes be difficult, but you learn new skills every time you attempt an repair or renovation. To finally pick up the instrument after months or just weeks and play it for the first time, or place it in a room step back and admire it. It's just a great sense of achievement.
Al


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Subject: RE: Instruments: The joys of repair and restoration
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:36 PM

It might be of interest to those with an interest ...

The Stewart-MacDonald Catalog that I lifted* from the mailbox across the street today has an exceptionally rich offering of tools and instructional materials on (as usual) guitar making and repair. The unusual part of it is that they include a bunch of "special purpose" tools that I'd always understood most luthiers had to pretty much build for themselves.

While it would be nice to be able to buy them all, for most of us just knowing - even in very general terms - what processes and procedures might benefit from a specialized "aid" quite probably would be a lot of help. A few of these items are rather specifically intended for "repair" operations like fret dressing, replacement, truss rod repairs, neck adjustments, nut making (& removal/replacement) etc., with mention of "purposes" that I'd never have expected to encounter - but that could be much more common than one might expect.

(It has been some time since I've looked seriously at a printed catalog, so the items that impressed me may be fairly generally available; but they'd be scattered about in the "big book" catalogs.)

The catalog (#125, prices good to 01 JAN 2011, stewmac.com) is about 70 pages of guitar stuff, and another 20 pp (approx) of "everything that's not a guitar."

Of interest to some, perhaps, the last 3 or 4 pages pages offer kits:

F5 Mandolin $538, A5 Mandolin $428, Campfire Mandolin $148, Acoustic Guitar kits - 8 choices from $427 to $482, Fiddle $156 ($135 ea if you order 3 or more), Ukulele $104 to $162, and Lap Dulcimers $147 (teardrop) and $161 (hourglass).

I'd hate to see a reputable seller inundated by frivolous requests for catalogs, but almost all of us probably know someone who gets the stewmac stuff regularly, and might be willing to pass one around. And besides, none of us are all that frivolous about our IAS.

Obligatory disclaimer: I haven't actually bought anything from Stew-Mac in the past 10 years, so I can't really tout them. This was just an unusually interesting piece of junk mail.

* The kid across the street has been out of town for a little over a week, so I've been picking up his mail. If he catches me with it, I'll probably give it back to him.

John


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