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Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by nutball73, Mar 27, 2021.
Fixed it for you. Now you can ignore the thread without looking into it.
Most people can work it out by reading the first post. Others need somebody to do it for them.
One of the things I learned at an early age (3rd grade) how to change strings. 'Part of the responsibility of owning things' was what my father always told me. He did buy me a pitch pipe so at least I would be in the neighborhood when I tuned it.
I consider myself very very capable with hand tools and power tools and do basic setup work on my guitars but I won't the touch frets.
I know guys who would look for a left handed screw driver if one were to ask. These guys shouldn't go anywhere near anything with a tool!!
Because ... dirty minds!
IDK, seems there is a lot of quality n00b DIY encouragement here. Practice is indeed key. That is off-putting for many. Learning in small steps is helpful.
I'm far from an expert on any of it, but know I have helped here and there. Electrics are relatively easy. The individual Fender saddles are nothing short of brilliant and easy. I learned on a Gibson ABR-1.
The last significant barrier for me was when I bought a fine acoustic guitar. No screws to adjust saddle action. I paid $40 for one basic setup and was not entirely pleased.
I learned the art of fitting a bone saddle into an ebony bridge. With some practice and a few borked blanks, I did better than the pro tech I've known for years.
A real confidence booster. I recently made a pretty good nut from a blank for my latest assembly. Attempt #3 was the charm. $150+ spent on two sets of quality nut files... Should have just bought the premium set and saved some $$.
Fret work still eludes and scares me. Will I have a go? Time will tell. Good fret tools are even pricier than nut files.
Nuts and saddles are easy to replace. Frets?
I started doing partscasters and my own work about 5 years ago. It's been a quest though - a labor of love solely because I wanted to learn how a guitar worked and do my own mods. I don't think everyone needs to go through it though, it takes practice and there's a learning curve, and you can screw things up. I think everyone should know how to restring, tune a guitar and intonate it, maybe adjust the truss. But if you don't want to get deep into it it's fine by me. I've got a lot of friends who don't know beans about their equipment, they just play and don't care how it works. Now I can help them out and save them some cash.
I started out with DIY setups in high school in order to make my guitar play the way that felt "right" to me, (and didn't make my fingers bleed)....plus, no $ to pay anybody to do it.
A few years ago, I wanted a local tech to replace the vintage tuners on my Strat with some Schallers...he never answered his phone, or called me back.
Being self-reliant and tool friendly, I found Strat-Talk...and realized that I could build my dream partscaster guitar myself!
About a dozen partscasters later, here I am.
Why do you need to go mucking about replacing perfectly good guitar parts with new fangled garbage?
Lolz, just kidding!
Yep, learning how to keep your guitar set up properly is the first music lesson, and will make the rest a lot more productive and fun.
"I'm a mechanic, Jim, not a doctor!"
I've been a mechanic all my life, 30 years fixing small aircraft, then building "things" for the gov't, etc. My hands were made for many things, but not so much for playing guitars. (But I'm trying!) Working on them...no sweat. When I bought my Suzuki DL650 Wee-Strom motorcycle, the salesman tried to sell me an extended service contract. My reply was, "Take a good look at this bike as I ride away, because it's the last time you'll ever see it."
But as others have said, some people just aren't made that way. I know a LOT of people who really don't know which way to turn a screw, or how to work a pair of pliers. I laugh at people who can't change a light bulb in their cars, but I just paid a CPA $190 to do my (very simple) taxes. Heck, I can add numbers, but I don't understand tax rules no matter how hard I read and re-read the gov't instructions. So, yeah...money well spent for me. My fiance is a fantastic gardener, grows vegetables, etc., but if I touch a rose bush it'll be dead in two days.
I can relate.
Every night I put on a show of age related old fart disease. I'm seeking sympathy about taking the beast out to defecate. I don't complain. I might whine a little, but no complaining.
Every night spouse just looks up and goes back to whatever. Beast looks at me, tail wagging, tongue hanging out, with an expression in her eyes that says "Yes Please!" ...
All I want is spouse to volunteer. She never does.
I'm a failure at passive aggressive.
I have used the same luthiers for 20 years, so they know how I like my guitars. I will always bring my new guitar for a proper set up, and also sometimes installing **** like locking tuners or maybe different pick-ups, pots, fret edges, and decking trems. Nothing like a new guitar with a perfect set-up!
After that I can do minor adjustments when needed myself.
Reminds me of what I saw today. These guys insisted you had to get this 'Saddlematic' stewmac tool. It's literally a steel rod and 2 blocks. You could make one for wayyyyy less. But they insisted you had to buy the $56 piece
You see all sorts of stupid stuff in the "amateur luthier" group on Facebook. I've said multiple times that there's a reason it's called "amateur" luthier. They make damn sure of that lmao
It also, reminds me of right after I started learning to play. I asked about replacing the nut on my Silvertone and got the "you need to wait 6 months and learn to play first". Excuse me? How does Me learning to play apply to changing the nut? Nothing I'll learn will apply to that lol. But these same guys, I suspect, didn't ever change the nut on their own guitars. It was pretty dumb.
No matter what I wanted to do, their reply was I needed to wait until I learned to play some. Uuuhhhhh what? I was a cerified automotive technician and would be still if I kept up my certs). If I can't replace a nut, I probably shouldn't be working on cars lol.
Not long after that replaced most of the electronics in that guitar, as well. Everything but the neck & middle pickup.
I've even screwed up lol. I dropped hot solder on my guitar more than once and didn't leave a mark. I've even almost superglued my finger to the guitar lol. But I was able to scrape it all away and polish it out afterwards lol
I told myself I wasn't going to modify my Indio gold top but I've even started doing that, too. And it's still under warranty lol or it was anyway
Finally, it made me think of the story of Duane Allman's Les Pauls getting maintenance and setup before The Allman Brothers Band's 45th Anniversary show at the Beacon 6 or 7 years ago. Their tech spent the entire night in the hotel room, into the wee hours of the morning, repairing and setting up Duane's guitars after sitting unplayed for years. If they can be repaired and set up to professional standards in a hotel room, they can be repaired and set up almost anywhere, IMO. Even the floor if that's all you have.
You don't have to buy an entire guitar. Buy a cheap neck. It'll need fretwork anyway lol.
Good post! I will avoid Facebook groups...
Have to get myself one if those Stewmac devices - but learning how to use it looks a bit difficult...
Relatable, and I'm honestly grateful to see someone recognize how the formative years affect this kind of stuff.
It's overcomeable to some extent, too. Gotta find that balance between "can do attitude" and "oh what the hell". But I was definitely conditioned to have a "can't do attitude" and to second guess every move to the point of self-sabotage.
I still wouldn't try adjusting the truss rod on my AO Jaguar, I'm not ready to pop the neck off a guitar that nice. And I avoid buying old guitars or anything that might be a project down the road. But I've sanded down a saddle or two, adjusted the action on all of my other guitars, oiled fretboards, and swapped pickups and pickguards.
I'd never be able to do a fret replacement or anything like that, though. As other have pointed out, diy isn't for everyone and you gotta know your limits.
Yeah, I've learned this lesson in a few areas of life. I'm not the kind of person who "fakes it till he makes it". To me, that line of thinking is borderline sociopathic. But clearly not everyone feels that way.
I recommend ice. And Vaseline...
In that order?