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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 9:05 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:00 pm
Posts: 662
First name: Josh
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
So I've got a 1955 Epiphone "Harry Volpe" archtop in for a setup. Took off the truss rod cover to make an adjustment to find a cruddy pot-metal acorn nut which turned freely in both directions. On closer inspection, the nut was actually totally loose so I grabbed it with a pair of needle-nose pliers and found it was just dangling on the rod, threads not engaged at all. Checked and the 10-32 threads in the nut are fine. The threads on the rod look very worn down. Relief under string tension (owner wants it setup for 10-46, wound 3rd) is .015" with the rod in its current non-engaged state.

So the thread on this rod could be a 10-32 that's very badly worn - but maybe it's a different size altogether? I thought it might be an 8-32, but the 8-32 from my thread-checker won't thread onto it. I was able to get a 10-24 to start to thread on it but refrained from turning it more than 1/2 revolution in fear of marring the rod - I don't wanna be the guy that damaged this vintage epi by blind experimentation rather than careful research :D

Does anyone know what thread the rods in Epis from this era used? I'll speak to my customer to see if they want me to proceed with trying to get the rod working, vs just play it as it is with a ton of relief. They could go with even lighter gauge strings but this thing already sounds to me like it really wants 11s or 12s to sing the way it should.


Last edited by joshnothing on Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 9:09 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:00 pm
Posts: 662
First name: Josh
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Oh yeah - a pic:

Image

Comparison with a 10-24:

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:41 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:49 pm
Posts: 815
First name: peter
Last Name: havriluk
City: granby
State: ct
Zip/Postal Code: 06035
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Oops. This project just went into overtime.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:03 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:00 pm
Posts: 662
First name: Josh
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Well I'll wait to hear from the owner RE overtime. So far all I've done is noted a preexisting issue on the guitar. They may opt to leave it as is.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:59 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 12087
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
City: Ann Arbor
State: Michigan
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Josh Dave and I call this "scope creep" where the anticipated extent of the servicing expands perhaps greatly.... in a direction we do not want. :(

At the risk of offending those here who don't appreciate real world, commercial concerns I'll mention this anyway although some may find an expanding scope of a project to be even more fun.... to people who work in the trade and have to perhaps, perhaps remain true to a prior quotation, current work load, promises to other clients and simply what you want to be doing on your summer, covid vacation scope creep is not a good thing. There is more risk too anytime the scope of a project expands.

Anyway I don't know what the threads are but I do know that frequently when someone finds one of these, not necessarily and Epiphone but any old, out of service instrument it usually does not take long to find the brick wall that is the core reason the instrument was taken out of service way back when anyway.

Obviously you know one end of the spectrum here of what this may entail, replacing the rod. Let's hope that there are enough working treads left to use what you have and a suitable nut can be found and maybe, maybe with washers and such it can be made to work. Heavy grease will be a good idea too.

Good luck man.

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: joshnothing (Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:52 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:52 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:00 pm
Posts: 662
First name: Josh
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks Hesh. Luckily I don’t feel under any obligation to deal with an issue this big under the umbrella of my standard setup fee; I’m halting work, will explain the options to the client and let them decide whether the scope creeps and how far. If they want to do nothing and play it as is, I’ll string it up and send it right back to them. It’s not in bad shape, setup wise. Frets are great, it has what looks to be a recent nicely made bone nut already slotted to a good height. Plenty of scope to dial things lower at the saddle. The relief is the only fly in the ointment, and in a drier season might not be so bad.

The seller, who is a musician but not a guitarist, actually has inherited a nice collection of axes including this Epi and just wanted a bit of tuneup and inspection.

This era and model epi would easily sell for $4,000 around here, even with some issues like this. So there may be some desire to put things right on the customer’s behalf, we will see.

Assuming the threads on the rod are toast, I can envision a host of possible solutions, ranging from the truss rod replacement Hesh mentions (which I would decline to do and refer elsewhere), through to fudging the relief down a little with creative refretting/compression fretting, through to attempting some kind of in-place surgery with a tool like the StewMac truss rod rescue kit.

First I need to do a little more research and find out exactly what I’m dealing with, so I can rule out the possibility that someone just threw the wrong nut in there at some point in the past.



These users thanked the author joshnothing for the post: Hesh (Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:26 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:29 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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State: Michigan
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Epiphones of this era were well made in my experience. We have a regular who I do not have permission to use his name but he played guitar with and for Miles Davis and he has 7 Epiphones of this era that we keep singing for him. Cool guitars. This is the same guy I mention from time to time who is very elderly now so he brings a retired Navy Seal and friend with him when he comes to the "city" to see us.

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: joshnothing (Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:44 pm)
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