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 Post subject: Neck on Kay Speed Demon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:18 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I've got an old Kay Speed Demon semi-hollow body that's come in for a service and setup. Judging by the lack of wear on the frets, this thing has spent most of its life hanging on a wall, but is now owned by a pro who wants it for his stage use.

While the neck and (brass?) frets are generally in good shape, the neck takes a sudden curve upwards between the 2nd fret and the nut. The first fret is at least 0.5 mm higher than the fret plane over the rest of the neck.

I thought maybe the neck had been broken and repaired so that the FB wasn't lined up properly, but I can't see any sign of a repair. I thought maybe the truss rod was broken, but I've now verified that's not the case.

I can think of three approaches to make this playable.
1. I could file down that first fret and cut the nut slots deeper. The fret will be pretty low, but at least I could retain the vintage frets.
2. I could pull the first fret, level the FB as best I can between the nut and second fret, and reinstall/level/crown the fret. Not as easy as 1, but might keep the fret closer to the normal height.
3. Do a refret. The FB will be easier to get straight and level across the full length, but we'd lose the vintage brass frets. EVO wire would at least be the right colour.

So, what do I recommend to my client?



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:39 am 
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First name: colin
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I would recommend a Refret, but if you explain all this to the client he can decide. May depend on the depth of his pocket

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:27 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
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Do #3 and good thing this is not grade school or some smart mouth brat would be asking if #3 is diarrhea...;)

Vintage frets are not something that are expected to be preserved unless.... it's maybe bar frets and you don't have access to TJ's stash (he's cornered the market on bar fret material).

An instrument of this vintage is more valuable for it's function than as a museum piece making a refret an actual value enhancer not a detriment. EVO is a great idea/choice too.

Any time a fretting solution includes doing something in isolation, say replacing only one fret or only a couple you have to at least do a precision fret dress on the entire neck. When we don't consider the fret plane, all of it as a whole your client will likely be complaining of action higher than he wanted with the alternative being fret rattle because of the poor quality of the fret plane level set.

It's a near weekly occurrence for us bringing guitars of this vintage back to life for a performer to use on stage. Functionality always is more important than preserving anything that is considered a consumable including frets, pots, worn-out switches, warped, deteriorating pick guards, worn out nuts and even tuners. If it does not function replace it or fix it. We keep the old parts and return to the client just like my Honda dealer does with my car.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:59 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 523
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Thanks for the feedback. I've given the client the choice, but a strong push toward a refret.
He's a good steady client who's brought lots of work, but he's not so well off (he's a musician holding down a second full time job -- 'n said). We did a refret on his Tonemaster Resoglas a couple of months ago to address excessive relief in a neck with no adjustable truss rod. It came out perfect and he now considers it his best-playing guitar. So we'll see if he can afford another.


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These users thanked the author Tim Mullin for the post: Hesh (Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:28 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:26 am 
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Koa
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Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Guess not. The refret isn't in his budget for the moment (we also have his Tacoma in the shop for set up).
I'll see how much of a fight the first fret gives while being pulled. If it comes out easily, I'll do some spot work at the nut end of the FB before replacing fret and level. Again, thanks for the feedback.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
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Understand Tim, the ole budget thing.

Dave Collins and I have had some rather funny conversations when we both are side by side working on two different guitars for clients.

Hesh: Dave can you think of anything that we can do to grow our business?

Dave: Yeah, not be the dumbasses that we are and go into a business that depends on musicians for customers since they never have any money....

Hesh: Maybe we could have our own charge card.

Dave: Right... so do even more work for even less? Great idea...... ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Location: Durango CO
First name: Dave
Last Name: Farmer
City: Durango
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I'm not sure how or if it helps but I stopped doing fret dresses without pressing and gluing all of them.

It moves the price, and sometimes the customer, closer to a refret. and avoids pigs, lipstick, wind and urination, etc.

I will occasionally press and glue down a fret or two during a setup if it will have a profound, immediate impact but I won't list or mention having done any fretwork. That way my name will be associated with a big set up improvement but not a half bake fret dress.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Durango CO
First name: Dave
Last Name: Farmer
City: Durango
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Hesh wrote:
Understand Tim, the ole budget thing.

Dave Collins and I have had some rather funny conversations when we both are side by side working on two different guitars for clients.

Hesh: Dave can you think of anything that we can do to grow our business?

Dave: Yeah, not be the dumbasses that we are and go into a business that depends on musicians for customers since they never have any money....

Hesh: Maybe we could have our own charge card.

Dave: Right... so do even more work for even less? Great idea...... ;)


:)

Yesterday a customer who worked for a school asked if I gave a discount for educators. I accidently laughed out loud oops_sign ( helped avoided crying though). I apologized and said I didn't.
I should have added that I had some beans though, and if he had a can opener, he was welcome to come over and split it with me. :)


Last edited by david farmer on Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author david farmer for the post: Clinchriver (Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:34 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Quote:
Yesterday a customer who worked for a school asked if I gave a discount for educators.


I tell them they get charged double.

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 Post subject: Neck on Kay Speed Demon
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:27 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 523
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Well, the Speed Demon is headed back to its owner tomorrow. He couldn't find the budget for the refret, so we went with a fret level and dress. As part of that, I pulled the first fret, spot levelled the FB between the nut and second fret with a 10" radius block, replaced and glued the fret, and did a more or less normal fret level. Added quite a bit of time over a normal fret level, so he's getting a pretty good deal. The guitar came out well. His Tacoma acoustic setup was a more lucrative job -- I guess it equals out.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:05 am 
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Tim Mullin wrote:
... Added quite a bit of time over a normal fret level, so he's getting a pretty good deal. The guitar came out well. His Tacoma acoustic setup was a more lucrative job -- I guess it equals out.


Pretty much the way it's been working for me. Sometimes they go smooth .... sometimes not so much :?

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