'Vita' Plectrum Guitar Work page
this link for more Vita history
This is the first example I have seen in Plectrum
Guitar is very dry, with top and back cracks, loose braces,
hole in the side, fingerboard cracking and loose.
Binding is gone, etc.
Neck set is tight, and neck plane is flat, workable.
Bridge is tight to the body
With make an access hole where breakage is to effect all
Then make it a decorative sound port.
Stabilizing wood , I'll do inside repairs later
All sealed from outside
Port hole cut.
This is the best method to work inside on these, they do not
come apart well.
I have seen misery trying to get a back off to do the work, so
the break in the side was a blessing.
Now I can get to all the top and bottom braces, get glue
inside and will shoot a coat of clear to make it even more
Magnets and wax paper to keep top flat while glue and cleats
All sealed and flat, a fresh coat of sealer for now
Fingerboard came right off
only that sliver of wood held it.
This is what happens to instruments that live in arid climates
removing old frets from degraded Pear wood
I have a method that's taken awhile to perfect.
The tape gives a memory if there is a chip, I can lay it back
in with glue and press it right back down.
Sealing the small break outs, it is a tedious process.
This is no longer wood, it is wood powder in the shape of a
This is Conservation, not Restoration in this procedure
Sealing all the cracks in the middle as I go
Coming down the board...
Wax paper for glue going thru board.
All sealed, slots re-cut to depth
Adding new binding
Front piece in, ready to level
Adding a few extra inlays
Now the 3/32 side dots
Fretting with 147
Bernard pliers, they have a flat pinch, good for fretting
just a fingerboard off a neck
Other pliers hold one end and that's that
Stress cracks from compression frets are common in this
I just fix them and keep going.
Many times, many fixes, you must go slow and plan on many
You can see the board bending, that is from fret
Normally cannot see this when you fret on a neck
Just a look at the progress with a little oil on the top
Will finish that procedure then install the board.
With all the frets in, board is fully compressed
Adding a laminate first, since I reduced the board
thickness with all of the leveling.
Trimmed, ready to score and glue the board on
Someone made it a 5 string a long time ago, I will hide
that repair in the blacking phase
Scored and ready for assembly
THIS IS WHY I WILL NOT ANSWER THE PHONE! ...:P
Clamped up for 12.
Cut to the chase...Installed, frets leveled, ready for
neck refin and sides /back.
Will be a dark shade of mahog, with slight burst on neck
Since top is profuse with cracks I want to give a different
Many old guitar's and mando's used such a finish, so here we
Good tape off of all but topside
White base lacquer
Now for a very light vintage maple lacquer wash, to "Ivory
Color coats with a clear coat, pulling tape
After binding scraping, ready for a final cleaning inside
and then I will form the "Sound cone" port hole with deco
It will screw to the body so that the interior will always
be easily accessible
After 2 more clear coats I will clean all the finish from
the bridge and leave it satin polished and oiled.
I am just going to make a quick little speaker
cone to fill the gap and give it a "look" and a "Function" other
than just being a hole in a guitar.
Some old hard chip board from Charlie Chamberlain's"Charlie
Horse" stand templates.
He would be happy to see them being re-purposed.
I am painting it all black lacquer as I go forth
Facia plate from Ivoroid scraps
Heat bent to profile.
Will be black as well
Old Dale Small laminates still being used.
Backing plate this time.
Good enough for this project.
All will be hidden inside
Not prfect, moved around in my jig.
Oh, I did'nt use one.
Rest assured I worked twice as hard to do it wrong as I would
Will get it all scuffed and ahoot a few more final clear coats
on it all
The finish is now "Adequate"
I made an effort to do a good job but not spectacular.
All attempts at keeping the price down, perfection is
expensive and best left to more important pieces.
I want a good player first, and a decent looker second on old
warhorse like this.
Setup 28-18 W-14-10 S GHS
Rosewood pins, Faux Rosewood endpins
Action is good, plays very well up and down
Sound coming from speaker is blowing me away
Well, I maybe just be optimistic :)
The axe sounds good, nice and full, warm tone and will open
back up over time.
I do not like a heavy finish on these thin walled wonders.
Guess I am on some long neck guitar kick.
It comes and goes.
Electric's on the way in from Mike on the Archtop Proto.
The tuning machines on it work well enough but are mounted
real close to peghead on the top ones.
I oiled them up, would change them to whatever anyone wanted
but they work just fine
That's all for now, I was thinking about some catchy pick
guard to trap those seals in.
My wish would be thin, and white as the driven snow.