My good friend Todd Burge, Folk Musician Extraordinaire brought his guitar in for some TLC. Todd is one of the hardest working musicians around. Having the weekend, gig free, he dropped off his guitar on a Friday evening and was hoping to have it back by Monday for the work week...
He's played thousands of shows with this Taylor and taken great care of it really, but changing strings so many times has worn the bridge plate string holes into an oval and a few of the strings would not stay in the bridge any longer. But, there is a fix for it and it is minimaly invasive. Instead of removing the entire plate I used the Stewart Macdonald Bridge Saver to excavate precision holes around the original and then put a matching plug of maple back in. After some cure time and finish sanding I could re-drill the peg holes. I also replaced the distorted plastic bridge pins with some polished ebonies that should help with the tone and just plain look better! Also from Stew Mac, they are very high quality.
While I was at it I took my bridge pin saws and gave the string ramps just a little more cut into the plate to help the strings seat properly. He uses medium strings with a silk wrapping so he needed just a little more than factory spec.
Some time ago he had the guitar refreted and unfortunately the folks that did it just didn't get it right. Refreting is a common need for a well played guitar but is less simple than it seems to get perfection. Having some jobs coming up, he couldn't part with it for the time it would take to do a total refret so we opted to make do untill the calendar worked better. The fret slots ended up getting widened, and the fret tangs were not cleaned up well over the binding during the last refret and so the frets were lifting up and causing buzzing issues. So I reseated and lightly glued the frets back down. I then leveled them to get him playing again.
Once the frets were right we decided it was time for a bone saddle. The original was Tusq and had held up well. But at some point it had to be shimmed and because of the undersaddle pickup was not ideal. So I cut and fitted a new bone.
And I was happy to have gotten it back to him by Sunday evening. And he had another for me to put on the bench, an old Gibson LG-12. More on that one later.
Todd will be using this guitar soon for a recording session for a compilation album with some really great artists. You can check out where Todd's guitar will be and when at his page. toddburge.com Or just scroll on down for a video!
In Action... From PRI's Mountain Stage.