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If I see him I'm gonna beat him, gonna kick and bite him too, gonna take my Wade & Butcher, gonna cut him two in two - Bessie Smith, Hateful Blues, 1924

Author Topic: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...  (Read 1371 times)

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Offline Shovel

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So I picked this guitar up for $25 a couple of weeks ago and am hoping to make it playable but not necessarily any prettier than it has to be ...

here's a pic:  http://images.yuku.com/image/jpeg/28716c40abf7e619dadbd5afe77b13bc7586abd7.jpg


I've played guitar for awhile, but I've got very little experience with guitar shops, working on guitars, etc.


Assuming everything is structurally sound, I might need a nut and tuners ... I was thinking of taking it to a local shop but was just wondering what one might expect to pay for this type of service and parts?  

Can anyone offer any tips or ideas about a fair cost that I might expect to pay?  Or are there things about the guitar I should look for that might make this task impossible?  Even if that's the case, I still love the look and it will probably end up on a wall somewhere.

Thanks
-Shovel
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 11:37:50 AM by cpfan »

Offline Shovel

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 11:36:56 AM »
oops - quoted, meant to edit.

Offline frankie

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 02:44:48 PM »
If it's just a nut and tuners, maybe that's under $150...  but there's a strong likelihood that there are braces loose...  it looks like there may be a crack on the upper bout, treble side (parallel with the neck) - hard to tell from the pic...  could just look that way...  the string holes in the bridge look kind of worn, which may also mean that the bridge plate underneath is worn, too, and needs either to be replaced or shorn up a bit.  If all those things are true, you could be looking at up to $500 in repairs.

Often, a regular guitar shop won't even touch a guitar like that, unless they're in to Kays and other cool "off the beaten track" guitars and are comfortable that YOU know that you may never be able to recoup what you spent on repairs if you sell it...  I know a couple of guys who might do the work, but it may not be practical depending on your location...

If you think just a nut and tuners will do it, why not try it yourself?  The tuners could cost anywhere from 15 to 70 bucks, depending on what you want.  A bone blank is like $5, maybe...  a couple of files, some sandpaper and yellow glue...  presto - guitar.

Offline frankie

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 02:46:22 PM »
totally cool guitar, btw.  eminently worthy of rescue.

Offline Slack

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 03:05:21 PM »
Nothings impossible -- to the man who has money.  :D

Cool looking guitar --- how wide is that lower bout?

No way for use to tell all that it needs - take it to your local shop and let them give you an estimate --- it might motivate you to fix it yourself and possibly start a while new career.  ;D

If it needs a neck reset --- that might be difficult to do yourself

Offline frankie

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 03:17:17 PM »
what slack said...  forgot about the potential for a neck reset...  big job, unless you're already experienced in such things.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 04:36:04 PM »
If you're not already familiar with Stewart- MacDonald, here's the link:

http://www.stewmac.com/

They have a relatively inexpensive bridge plate fix, if needed:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_tailpieces/Acoustic_guitar_bridges/Plate_Mate.html

What's your location?

If you're good with tools, this might be a good project if the cost of a professional repair turns out to be too much.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 05:36:28 PM »
That guitar MUST LIVE AGAIN!
Long as we're talkin' Kays.......

http://www.chelseaguitars.com/gear/other%20acoustics/1930s%20Kay%20Kraft.html
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Offline unezrider

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 06:06:35 PM »
hello friend,
about a year & a half ago, or so, i had a new nut & tuners put on a guitar. the bone nut blank was $5. i took it to my local luthier & told him where i wanted the action for what i wanted to play. he set it up great. personally i'm not good carving things so i left that to him. it was around $50 or $60. i can't remember. the tuners you can probably do yourself. i picked up the 'golden age' tuners from stew mac. they look just right & work fine. not great, but definitely a good value for the money. i think they were around $30 or $40. so if thats all your looking at you should be able to get out for around $100 or so. good luck with her! a good set up does wonders for a guitar.
chris

& for what it's worth, if you can get ahold of one of those old gibson made P13 pickups (mostly found on harmonys & lap steels) (& if drilling a couple of holes is no biggie  :o ) you'd have lightnin' hopkins early electric guitar rig!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 07:35:52 PM by unezrider »
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Shovel

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2010, 02:24:06 PM »
Thanks to everyone that took the time to reply.  I'm quickly learning that folks who have done this type of work are eager to share their hard won knowledge with a novice.  That's really great.

I think subconsciously I thought all along i'd like to take a crack at this nut and tuner thing ... and the responses here have made me feel I can do it.

I suppose I'll watch some youtubes and other online resources and see what I can figure out.  Hopefully Ill be able to make her sing.

If anyone has anything else to offer, please do, and if not, thanks again very sincerely.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2010, 05:09:48 PM »
I think the first thing you should look at is if it needs a neck reset. The cost of that, or the amount of effort to learning how, could make the project prohibitive, and heartbreaking if you've already sunk a lot of time and/or money. All the other various issues may add up, but each one is relatively surmountable. And all you need to do is to get a 24 inch straight edge and set it on the frets. Is the neck straight or somewhat bowed? If relatively straight, is the end near the bridge resting somewhere on the top, or does it come in just below the saddle? Generally I think you can tell from that. You could also take a longer straight edge from nut to saddle and see just where the strings will lie, adding a bit more action for the string tension. If it's a close call, ask a luthier for a look see.

Good luck, it looks cool.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline Shovel

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2010, 05:20:25 PM »
Thanks wax! 

Offline fox-guitars

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Re: Need guidance on what to expect to pay to set this guitar up ...
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 01:13:44 PM »
I love restoring old guitars, but I am always surprised when I see a guitar like this up close & personal. There always seems to be something that was unexpected like worn out frets, warped neck, loose braces, etc. I would typically "ball-park" the resto at $300-350, assuming there's nothing major needed like a neck re-set, and cosmetics are NOT a big deal.

You can see some of my work at: http://www.fox-guitars.com/Repair___Restoration.html

Please visit www.fox-guitars.com Cool guitar history. New vintage guitars, repair & restoration, and much more.

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