News 8 Eye Piece: Axe Cutting

Time to shred some tunes!

A guitar is more than just a piece of wood with strings to its owner. It becomes part of the family.

And, when that family member gets injured, it can take a lot of effort to get it back into working order.

In this week’s Eye, Photographer John Schmidt introduces us to Carl Meine, one of the luthiers at Dave’s Guitar Shop.

He’s repairing a 1960s Gibson Thunderbird.  It took Carl about 12 hours over the course of a couple of weeks to complete the repair.

“With all repairs, the goal is to make it so it doesn’t look like it was repaired or get as close to that as you humanly can,” Meine said.

“This guitar had a broken headstock, so it had been repaired once and the prior repair came open again. So right now, what’s going on is the two surfaces that should be glued together aren’t and they’re contaminated with the glue from the last job.

“You can’t really rely on a contaminated glue joint, so today what I’ll have to do is cut away all of the damaged area, the part with the contaminated glue joint, and replace it with a new piece of mahogany.

“The headstock is pretty integral to the structure of it. If the headstock is loose, then the strings are pulling up on it and everything is flimsy and it won’t stay in tune. And, if you let that go longer, the headstock could snap completely off.

“So, when we fit this new piece, we’ll fit it as snug as possible. And, once that’s in place, I’ll let it sit overnight and tomorrow I’ll come through and shave everything down so that it’s lined up with all the original contours.

“And then we’ll find a color that’s similar to the burst that’s in the neck joint and then we’ll spray over that and do color. Then we’ll do a few coats of clear and kind of blend everything together.

And that should hide all of the cracks and when you’re done, you shouldn’t be able to see anything.”