Somebody in a factory didn't do their job.

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
This is going to be a rather lengthy effort so my apologies. If you aren't interested, don't read it. Hopefully pictures attached.

My Squier by Fender Acoustic guitar has been sitting neglected for quite some time. Model Number 093-0200-921. Decal.JPG

I'll introduce you to the instrument. I bought it for either (Aud) $50 or $70 in absolutely filthy condition at a pawn brokers store. I can't remember and I think it had a can of Coke spilled all over it. Anyhow, I cleaned it up and put some strings on it and played it for nearly 10 years before putting aside for the last 6 years at least. I never really looked at it as it played ok.

So yesterday I decided to take the strings off and clean the frets and tuners and put some oil on it. Found a brilliant product.
N5.JPG

And another one.
N7.JPG

The fret polish went well.
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N1.JPG
 

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
I started on the headstock and tuners.


H1.JPG


H2.JPG

and then noticed that the bridge need oil. This is where the hole shebang goes south (or north if your up there). Unfortunately I didn't photograph it but the bridge had a 3mm / 1/8" warp in it and the back bottom corner was badly separated from the top. The top had a severe bow in it behind the bridge as well. I've never really looked at it.

So a few phone calls to local luthiers with quotes of Aud $150 - $200 to do a bridge repair. Not going to happen on a $50 instrument. The answer, of course is to do it yourself.

B1.JPG

See those 2 little locating dowels and the corresponding hole under the bridge? Guess what!!. The dowels are 3mm / 1/8" too long and the bridge had been glued and forced into position. Well not in position, but where it would go. Big (huge) gap between the bridge and top and unnecessary force transfer to the top causing the bow.

Now to begin the job of cleaning everything up, shortening the dowels and making a clamp / caul to pull it all back together.

B2.JPG

B3.JPG

More to come!
 

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
B4.JPG

B5.JPG

So, anyway that was today. Now I need to finish the clamp off with a top piece and the facility to press the ends of the bridge down and do some further shaping of the bridge before gluing it into it's proper position.

All because some factory employee (monkey, am I allowed to say that?) didn't shorten 2 X 1/4" dowels.
 

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
Apologies for delay, I didn't get a lot done on the guitar today. I did get out to buy some longer gutter bolts and wing nuts for the clamp and a bottle of glue. Late this afternoon I shaped the top half of the clamp and also put the camber on the back of the bridge. It's all fitting together quite well so I'm anticipating gluing up tomorrow. I've got a few photos to post and there'll be more tomorrow.

I was considering putting threaded holes into the top part of the clamp to press the ends of the bridge down but as it's a one time thing I'll probably just use wedges.

I'm pretty pleased with how it's going and the instrument will be better for it.
 

AxelMorisson

Squier-Nut
Nov 15, 2021
965
Fagaras, Romania
Fine work there, and sometimes we get to fix and re-do "factory work"- I got a guitar once that had no sound on the mid position (a Strat Affinity) and the tech simply could not be bothered to look inside, he said : that is it with these 2021 ones, they mostly arrive faulty(!) and left me to my own devices. I asked for 15% rebate, I got it, and fixed the thing... Had a faulty 5 way , ended up changing everything for fender parts inside, pickups and all. At the end of the day it was a big piece of cloth wire that got inside the 5 way, and someone must have felt asleep while soldering, as one contact trace was cleanly lifted off the board (happens with too much heat on thin PCBs) and another was cut off cleanly (can't figure out wtf that was). At the end of the day, maybe it was a Friday afternoon guitar. Or a Early Monday Special-like mine :)
 

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
The people in yellow shirts with the big red QC on the back are meant to pick those things up. The surprising thing for me is that I've had the guitar for well over a decade, probably closer to 15 years now. I've changed strings, I cleaned it when I first bought it and I'd never noticed. Perhaps nearly 3mm of separation between the bridge and top is within acceptable tolerance.

The saddle doesn't appear to have been shaped to compensate so the action must have been way out as well. I rarely (never) played up high so didn't notice and never measured it. I expect it will play a lot better once it's back together.
 

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
Here are some photos of the top caul for the clamp in production. Rough cut, tested for fit and sanded on the drum sander. After final shaping it barely required the wedges and I probably could have sanded it right into the shape. I just need to cut the wedges to length to allow for easy removal of excess glue, sand up the guitar top under the bridge and glue it up.

All in all a much easier job than I'd anticipated ,saving me a couple hundred $$$. Not sure I'd be so keen to do it myself on a more valuable instrument though.
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sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
The bridge is back on the body and I just need to wait a further 6 hours to allow the required 24 hours for the glue to set to full strength before stringing it up. I have a little tidying up to do but the photos show up excess glue that I can't see with my 60+ year old eyes with my best glasses on, so it isn't going to be an issue for me. It has to be better than it was and I still can't believe I'd never noticed it before. I need to run a rat-tail file through the string peg holes to clean them up a bit inside.

BO1.JPG

This next photo shows the corner of the bridge that was previously sitting up about 3/32" or 2.5mm off the body. It is now attached in what I'd have to say is a 100% improved position. To give you an idea of what I started with, if you look at the thickness of the bridge wing at the corner, the amount of separation was equal to that and continued right across the back of the bridge, but tapering off at the other end. The other end had no gap but the whole bridge had been forced down on dowels that were too long and this had forced bow in the body. As soon as it was released, the bow has flattened out.

BO2.JPG

The only thing now is that the saddle may have been heavily tapered on that end to compensate in setting the action, so I may need to put a new saddle in. I'll know once I string it up and measure how it's all sitting. I've also just noticed that the nut has a small chip on the fretboard edge of the B string. I'll see if it's a problem before I worry about it, but I'll probably just buy a bone set (nut and saddle) on eBay as they are cheap enough.
 
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Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,178
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
You are doing a fantastic job on that repair. I can't imagine anyone getting a better result, you found exactly what was needed in making your own "tooling" for the repair work as well. Super nice!
 

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
Thanks guys, I'm pretty pleased with it.

I was thinking that I might need to put a higher saddle in now that the bridge is on properly. I've strung it up (a little before 24 hours as I couldn't wait) and checked the action.

1) The nut is OK but a little too deep a cut on the high E and the slight chip on the B (tiny). I'll put a bone nut in anyway. (Already ordered and paid for.)

2) I put the same strings on which are 11/52's and found that the neck was all but dead straight, or possibly only about 0.001" relief. I wound the truss rod back and retuned twice until I had 0.010" relief on the 6th fret (capo on 1F and fretted onto 14F).

3) The string height over the 13F with capo on 1F was high at 1/8" or 0.125" both sides, so, out with the string pegs and saddle. Applying target heights of 0.100" down to 0.075", I planned to remove 0.050" on the low E side and 0.100" on the high E side. ** (Double the change I wanted to make at the 13th fret). I decided to only go halfway and test but I should have gone all the way. The action is much better but still too high.
** any comments on method or target action measurements will be greatly appreciated.

The guitar must have been a real bastard to play but I obviously never really cared or bothered to check it. It's much better with just the change I've made today and having the bridge properly attached is a huge improvement.

Anyway, I'll take the saddle out again tomorrow and remove the rest of the excess material to get the action within the range where it should be, and with the bone nut coming there is also a bone saddle, so I'll have the original one set up right to work from.

This is what it sounds like now. Open strings. I'm happy with the sustain already and it should improve when plastic is replaced with bone.
 

sausagefingers

Squier Talker
May 28, 2022
61
NSW
I've only half done the saddle so I need to remove and shave down further. The bone nut and saddle have come but I've been busy so there is still more to do. I'll get back to it soon I hope.
 


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