Bob Barta's
Epiphone A

Look for cause of buzzing while playing
Cleanup and setup

Banjo was replated some time ago and has been out on a wall hanger so it needs some cleaning.
A previous repairman refinished and refretted after installing adjustable truss.
Another repairman thinks it is the truss making the vibration so we will look there first, then frets

Oettiger style tailpiece replacing the original

I will mount the original armrest back onto the hoop

The refinish work was VG, nothing needed but a cleaning

I'll buff the tuners to make them shine

Normal relief in neck, I will check the truss,. which is embedded in heel

Adjusting the rod, which seems already all the way tight
It can be made to rattle when rapping the neck sharply into my palm.
There are MANY rods that do this, its intertial, but they rarely buzz because of this
I'm going to look at the frets

First thing, they are all loose in the slots and need sealing with #10 Stew Mac

Marking to see where the highs and lows are

Fret level flie will show whats high or low, 2 quick passes

Everything that is left dark, is low, so the new frets were never leveled upon install, I see this all of the time
All frets need a leveling no matter how good you think you have them installed and how flat a fingerboard may seem.

A little more aggression is getting me there, only a few low spots left

Recrowning after leveling

Dressing the ends, also never done

Revitalizing the board with oil

All polished and oiled up, still showing scars from previous refretter not sealing the divots that brke out around the wire
If this bothers Bob, Ill seal and level them, there are maybe 6 areas affected

One problem is the lag bolts , I noticed on disassembly the top rod was loose
These are not like Gibson, this is actually a Ubolt, that is embedded in the heel.

Many Luthiers, me included, find this out when we snap one off trying to remove it.
When you have to replace them, its a big deal, cutting the heel cap off, grind all the wood out to get the u-lag out, filling it all up with new wood and going with 2 lags.

The problem is , is that it was set too deep at the factory, and when the plate is installed, only a tiny amont of thread is exposed
And when the rod itself loses its top threads, there is nothing to grab

I'll solve it with thinner washers, and put the plate in the case pocket

Now we have full retention again

Now I will ask Bob what head he would like on her, and get her back into setup mode

But before we go there

, I would like to mention the possible problem with the Truss Rod, mentioned to me by Bob.
This is not the first restoration on an Epi by Lea that has come up with this issue, no fault of  Henry's it can happen to anyone but it has happened on an Epi A plectrum.
This style of rod can pick up a harmonic because if you bed them too tight they will not function and a little breathing room can make them vibrate and a good ear can pick it up
You test the neck by banging all over it with your palm and you can make the rod rattle, even at full tightness.
All I have seen work is a new rod installed and bedded.
I have considered pulling the inlay at 17, drilling into the cavity and trying a silicone injection to dampen the rod but there is no guarantee of success.
After really snugging it before I leveled the frets, I'm not hearing it but I dont have the best ears in the world.

First I will deal with the fret slot divots per OK by Bob
Now they are sealed, Ill just level them up

New head arrives, time to get with it

Installing the old armrest with some nylon spacers


On some Epis, the armrest is a little closer to the tailpiece on others.
This coupled with the large tit on the Oettie will prohibit the centering of the device so that the strings center on the fingerboard
You can see a Dansant on my completed restos that had the same issue.
I tried to knok a little of the tit down to make it shift but it was not enough.


Strung without armrest
Repro Oettie's have a little different build and tend to drift forward and onto the head and onto it, choking the sound
It has always been this way since the old TP broke

What I have in the shop that will work, is a new