I got my order of Stewmac toys the other day, so I got around to refretting the Stewart. This was my first attempt at pressing in frets, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.
I tapped each end of the fret into the fingerboard with a plastic headed hammer, and then used the press to press the frets the rest of the way in. No fret damage and all the frets seated properly. Then I trimmed and filed/bevelled the fret ends.
After fretting was complete, I glued the neck to the body.
Over the past few days I got some work done on this guitar. Several back braces needed to be reglued. Weird part was none of the top braces were loose! I carefully opened up the gap between each brace and the back (working inside of an acoustic is a bit awkward) using a small steel ruler, then carefully sanded the joint with strips of sandpaper. Then I used a syringe to inject glue under the brace, worked the glue into the joint with my ruler, then clamped the brace with a little spreader clamp I made up inside the guitar with a clamp on the outside of the guitar for support. This worked well for me, and now all the braces are solid.
Next I turned to the neck. After removing all of the frets, I used CA glue to fix a couple small cracks in the fingerboard. There was a small portion of the fingerboard that was separating from the neck, so I reglued that as well.
Using a radius block I trued up the surface of the fingerboard.
Next I worked on resetting the neck angle. I had some success as well as some issues, as can be seen in the picture on the left. The fingerboard being a bit brittle, ended up breaking away at the 14th fret when I was working on the neck angle. On the bright side, this made setting the angle easier, but I'll have to carefully repair this later.
To check neck angle, I laid a straight edge set on top of the fingerboard and measured the distance between the straight edge and the top of the guitar at the bridge location. When I started out this measurement was less then 3 mm. When I was finished the measurement was between 10 - 11 mm. The neck fits against the body nicely, although I did have to shim the dovetail joint with 2 small pieces of maple veneer to get a good tight joint.
Last thing I did tonight was repair side cracks. I carefully worked some Titebond into each crack and clamped the top/back to close the cracks.
The first location was on the top bout. There are actually 2 cracks here.
The other location is on the bottom bout. This spot the wood was actually deformed and popping out of the guitar. I worked glue into it and pushed it into place before clamping. Hopefully these cracks hold now!
Next, NEW FRETS!
Finally got around to working on this guitar today. I don't have a lot of the tools needed for a proper neck reset so I thought I would improvise. I laid a scrap of metal on the fingerboard extension and heated it with a soldering iron. It took a long time, but this managed to transfer enough heat to the fingerboard that I was able to use a scraper to separate the fingerboard from the top of the guitar.
After that, I removed the 14th fret, which is positioned right over the neck/body joint. I drilled 2 holes 1/16" diameter through the fret slot and down deep into the neck joint. I boiled some water, and used a syringe to inject the boiling water into the joint. I used a few clamps and boards to simulate a neck removal jig, and was able to remove the neck quite easily!
The fingerboard of the guitar is warped, but thankfully the neck is dead straight! If you notice a little slot in the end of the neck in this picture.... it turns out this neck has a rectangular steel reinforcement rod. Its done a good job keeping the neck straight over the years!
Next I removed all the frets. I had some chips come out of the fingerboard so I tried to glue them back in place with CA glue.
Next step I think will be to place the fingerboard str
Here's a guitar I picked up at a yard sale yesterday. I don't know much about it as info on the old SS Stewat guitars is difficult to find. I'm not sure of the age of this guitar either since I cannot find any stamps or writing inside the guitar. It appears to be all original and better quality then most of the Harmony made cheap acoustic you find out there. This one has a wonderful huge deep V shaped neck, although it does need a neck reset as the neck angle is out a mile and the strings are quite high as a result.
The top, back, sides, and neck are all finished in a tobaco sunburst with a tortise shell pickguard and cream binding on top and back. This guitar features ladder bracing.
This guitar has a nice pearl inlaid headstock, unlike most SS Stewart guitars I've found on the internet. Not sure if this makes this guitar really old or a higher priced model from back in the day. I'd love to know how old this thing is.... I'm thinking maybe 1930's but I really don't know. Must do some more research on this guitar!
The plan at the moment is to do a neck reset and get this guitar playing good. Wonder how it will sound?