Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Nut issues on Nash 54 Telecaster

I came across a Bill Nash 54 Telecaster style guitar with a Lollar humbucker in the neck position. It's sort of a Keef Richards knock off but with one extra string.

The guitar is well put together and has a great vibe. However, the "B" string buzzed like a bee when I sounded that string in open position. Therefore, I decided to replace the nut and cut new string slots. I bought a simple pre-cut nut (later I'll put a unbleached bone nut on).

I suspect that the nut that came with the guitar is not the original as I know Bill Nash prides himself on the quality of nuts he supplies on his stock guitars. I found a lot of glue, and not the type glue I expected.
The glue was used as sort of a filler instead of a adhesive. I want the nut to be flush to the wood so as to be a vehicle of tone transmission. Excessive glue is a tone robbing medium and it should be used conservatively.
You can see how much glue is in the slot - too much!
I cleared out the glue and installed a new nut. I used a TUSQ nut from Stew-Mac.
 Using files specifically sized for string I set about cutting the string slots.
Measure twice and cut slowly! 
I used this Stew-Mac string nut slotting gage to monitor my string slot depth.
 Just about done - Need to trim and round the edges.
Almost done - just need touch up with a small fine file.
Nice tight fit.
It's important to have the string follow the radius of the finger board and the string heights match!

Buzzes gone! Now I had to adjust the set up and then set the intonation. Ready to go, Feels and sound great. Now I can't wait to replace it with a bone nut to give it the final vintage vibe. More on that later. This project didn't take too long and is always fun when the end results helps your playing and makes your guitar happy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dear Old Stockholm

Dear Old Stockholm

Kevin Golden - Guitar
Steve Kaiser - Bass
Lewis Porter - Piano
Bob Meyer - Drums

Woodstock New York

12/13/2013 Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reverend Horton Heat - In CALIFORNIA NOW!

Get out there and enjoy the Rev. Horton Heat and have yourself some fun!

Buy a Gretsch and rock out!

2013 Reverend Horton Heat Tour Dates:
11/19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
11/20 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
11/21 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
11/22 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
11/23 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
11/24 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s
11/27 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
12/19 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
12/20 – San Antonio, TX @ Korova
12/21 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
12/22 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
12/29 – Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
12/30 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
12/31 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
1/02 – Cheyenne, WY @ The Atlas Theater
1/03 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Depot
1/04 – Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
1/05 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
1/07 – Eugene, OR @ Wow Hall
1/08 – Vancouver, CA @ Commodore Ballroom
1/09 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox
1/11 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
1/12 – Missoula, MT @ Top Hat
1/15 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
1/16 – Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
1/17 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
1/18 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
1/19 – Buffalo, NY @ Tralf Music Hall
1/23 – Boston, MA @ Royale
1/24 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
1/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
1/26 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Two of the coolest kids!

Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins are metalheads, and they don’t care what you think about that.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

These kids ROCK!!
Follow your dreams and never ever give up!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tru-Oil for your guitar!

A few years ago I assembled a Stratocaster up from parts. I bought an unfinished neck and treated it with Linseed oil. The linseed oil treated neck works perfectly and delivered a smooth backing on the neck that would resist most conditions; the key word in the last sentence is "most." Over time the linseed oil will need to be coated again to help preserve the wood and prevent neck twist. I wanted to finish the back of the guitar neck but still maintain a minimal smooth satin like finish that is also more durable. One of the best off the shelf products that is easy to use is called Tru-oil.

Warning, all of the chemicals used during the course of this article are very flammable and harmful. Follow all safety precautions and stay alive and well!

I prepared the neck by sanding and obtaining a smooth surface. That portion I accomplished a number of years ago. I won't put you to sleep by describing basic sanding but take my word for it - The back of the neck was smooth. Because the guitar has been in used I needed to clean the neck prior to applying the Tru-oil. I cleaned the back of the neck using(Lighter fluid - Beware Flammable) naphtha. I wiped it on with a towel and cleaned all of the neck to be certain that the surface would be free of substances that could cause orange peel, ridges, bumps, and any oil ugliness that could react with the new finish. Side note: when you open the Tru-oil, do not remove the entire foil seal, remove only part of it that way you can control the dispense of the fluid. Removing the entire foil will also expose more air to the TRU_OIL and since it will evaporate quickly due to the low vapor pressure of the substance.
Back side prior to applying finish.

Once I was certain that the neck was clean; I applied a very thin layer of Tru-Oil. I would recommend using your gloved finger to apply the oil as you can control the amount of finish. When I apply Tru-oil I STRONGLY recommend using a lint free drip rag.  The current temperature in my house is 71.0 degrees F, with relative humidity at 46%, that is a very benign condition for applying finish and it allows for the Tur-oil to harden within about two hours but sets very hard within 24 hours. I prefer to let the finish dry as long as possible prior to finish sanding.

Wood with dense properties simply takes longer to dry - The Rosewood fret board has longer drying times, be aware of that if your neck is maple with rosewood fret board..
Below; is the untreated neck.
Coated neck after a few hours 
 Nice shin - lacquer is hardening well.
 You can see the effects of light surrounding the machine head placement.
 It's difficult to show the shin of the lacquer but it's there! Ya'll see that bike wheel - nice!
 The reflection of my room blinds show off the gloss finish that...
 I coated the head stock as well for preservation.
 Another attempt to show the gloss lacquer coat.
 Showing the gloss again! 
Now that I have a hardened finish, I buff the neck with 0000 steel wool!
I lightly buff the finish to get a satin like finish that is also humidity resistant and provides some bump protection. 
 You can see that the gloss is knocked down and there is less reflection of light from the surface.
 Another angle - You can see that the reflection properties have diminished on the neck. I chose to not buff/sand the head stock.
 Nice smooth finish with no coloration from the Tru-oil.
I achieve my goal; a satin hard durable finish without burning the house down with nitro lacquer!

Now it's time for a setup; I won't go into the details of the setup but I will tell you that I used Gorgomyte fret and fingerboard cleaner. Below is an example of the tarnish I removed from the frets, makes ya hungry doesn't it!?

After the Gorgomyte fret cleaning,  treat (use sparingly - don't flood the fingerboard!) the fingerboard with Roche'-Thomas Premium fingerboard oil. The combination of the two products will preserve the fret board (not the frets - Duh!) for about a year of normal playing.

Add the machine heads and guides! Be sure to not over tighten the nuts which will dent your headstock!
 Another angle of the assembled headstock.
Cleaned and treated fret board is a happy fret board! 
 The Fret board with a flash shows the shiny frets!
 Head stock is not buffed shows a reflection of the machine head in the glossy finish.
 It's difficult to see the delineation of the satin to gloss finish  but rest assured - It's there!
 Smooth and protected.

Applying Tru-oil to your neck is a painless process that yields favorable results. The task of road proofing this guitar took me a couple of days only because I was not on a time budget. The finish hardens and protects just like the finishes of vintage guitars. Polyvinyl and Urethane finishes are much more durable but they are also prone to chipping. When those finishes are chipped - there is nothing you can do about the chip aside from filling the chip. Filling those chips is tedious and timely process and for most luthiers - not worth their time because the ROI is poor. Granted, the poly protects against hits that would dent the Tru-Oil finish but that is a risk I am willing to take. I am happy and my guitar is happy so what else matters!?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed RIP

The world has lost another Rock and Roll pioneer who lived life on his own terms, created art on his own terms, and was his own man. Weary of writing about musicians who have passed away this year; I decided to limit my posts regarding recently deceased musicians. However, Lou's passing is just too abrupt and sad to ignore; therefore I'll make an exception with this post. Lou Reed's death isn't easy to write about for me because I remember being a little kid who listened to "walk on the wild side," which to me had the coolest bass lines. That memory is hard coded into my brain. This was how Lou worked, his art, it hit hard or soft but it stuck to my mind and obviously that phenomenon isn't limited to just one person.

Walk on the wild side was just one of Lou's often misinterpreted songs. What the song means is personal and for you to decide. As usual, we take people for granted until they are no longer at arms length. Live each day to it's fullest.

Lou was original, Lou, RIP

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nash Tele TK-54

This is a 2007 Nash TK-54; some people call this guitar the "Keef" model because of the Lollar humbucking pickup in the neck position. This guitar produces some very soft clean tones and spike like treble tones depending on which pickup you choose. The body is a one piece which makes a nice solid platform to build upon. This is a well detailed guitar and it's fun to play! Of course this sounds especially well through a Fender amp or others like it. I tested it on a Carr Rambler and it sounded superb. The Lollar neck Imperial humbucker is pushing 7.0 ohms while the Lollar T-series bridge pickup is pushing about 8.0 ohms. I measured the pickups and that data is dead on accurate. If I could find any fault on this guitar it would have been the surface of the back of the neck; the neck surface felt like like it was sanded with 200 grit sandpaper and left roughed up. I went over the surface with 400 and then stepped it up to 1500 and it feel more to my liking - smooth. Ya'll need to try one of these and play it loud!