#1
I have this old, crap guitar and it is in really bad shape. It has also been covered in various layers of dust and ash (from a house fire). I have cleaned most of it off. What can I do to improve its playability? It has REALLY BAD action. It was like 5mm to 7mm off the fret. I took off all the strings and tuners.

Here are all the pictures: http://img21.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=dsc00003ayf.jpg
#2
If you got the time, get new pieces like the bridge and customize it. Also check if the frets are good, you could try changing them if the guitar is so crappy.
Just for fun.
#3
you could shave the saddle down.
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#4
Quote by loinmute
you could shave the saddle down.


correct me if I'm wrong, but with that type of saddle, you would lower the action with it like you would lower the action on a guitar similar to a Les Paul, right?

But chances are to improve it, you could get a new saddle, nut, and if it needed it, you could get it refretted (or if you know how to do that on your own, go for it).
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Quote by ShadesOfGray
Let's take it one step further and add a slogan:

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#6
Yea the fret board looks pretty messed. If you really wanted, and you had a spare piece of whatever particular material that fret board is made out of laying around, you could grid off some into a powder, spread it along the divits of the finger board and add a little super glue then sand it flush. Of course you'd have to take the frets out for that.
#7
I'd replace tuners, nut, saddle, possibly a fret leveling or re-fretting if they're really bad. From the pics it looks like you definitely need a fret leveling, probably not a refret.

The fretboard doesn't look too wonked out to me, and it won't matter if it is anyway. You shouldn't even be touching the fretboard when you play anyway, and these grooves could potentially help you, similarly to a scalloped fretboard (But to a much lesser extent).
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

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#8
if the guitar was in a fire, it's possible that the neck or body was warped from the heat.
#9
play slide on it.

Guitar + house fire + thick ass strings = Pure Slide soul.

Robert Johnson might just come steal that guitar its got so much soul.
Where the hell did slide guitar go!?!
#10
Quote by clayonfire
correct me if I'm wrong, but with that type of saddle, you would lower the action with it like you would lower the action on a guitar similar to a Les Paul, right?

But chances are to improve it, you could get a new saddle, nut, and if it needed it, you could get it refretted (or if you know how to do that on your own, go for it).


You're right. You would not shave the saddle on this guitar. You use the screws on either side to raise/lower it.
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#11
The fretboard doesn't really have much of a groove in it. I think it is painted? The paint is coming off.

The frets look like they are square and flat. (?) I can live with the frets. I just want it playable.

Do you know how much it would cost to replace the nut, tuners and saddle? I want to spend as least as I can.
#12
Quote by Srgt. Pepper
play slide on it.

Guitar + house fire + thick ass strings = Pure Slide soul.

Robert Johnson might just come steal that guitar its got so much soul.


This is always a good option; Guitar with High action/bowed neck/bad intonation/other stuff like that? Play Slide guitar on it. Genius idea there Srgt. Pepper, and awesome username too.
Quote by obeythepenguin
You win this thread. Pipe organs FTW.


Quote by ShadesOfGray
Let's take it one step further and add a slogan:

Big Bach is listening you!
#14
Slides are relatively inexpensive, my "glass" slide cost me about $5, however, I think it's the pyrex glass, so it's not as good as real glass. I'm not too sure about what slides sound best on acoustic, cause I'm not much of a slide player, but Srgt Pepper seems to know a lot about slide playing, a lot more than most people.
Quote by obeythepenguin
You win this thread. Pipe organs FTW.


Quote by ShadesOfGray
Let's take it one step further and add a slogan:

Big Bach is listening you!
#15
if you replace them, you can maybe get the nut and saddle cheap, but if your guitar isn't a standard size for both, you may have to have them cut by a luthier. should run maybe $6 for the parts if you get plastic but up to $80 for the luthier, although i hear that some will do it for $40. if you have experience with tools and tiny - we're talking really tiny - files, you could attempt the nut and saddle yourself, but hopefully you'll find a how-to online and take your time or you'll just ruin them. if you were going to have a luthier look at your guitar anyway, you could get a price for adding the nut and saddle AND doing a full setup - and the luthier might have cheap plastic nuts and saddles in stock.

tuners aren't generally that cheap.
http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/fretted-instrument-accessories-parts/guitar-pickups-parts/tuning-machine-heads
and you'd have to know what kind fits your guitar. you can find stats for each set of tuners somewhere online and hopefully find the right ones. if the guitar's head is warped or if it was cheap, they may not fit so well. if that's the case, you'd need either a luthier or more tool skills and tools.

Quote by FCurimao
The fretboard doesn't really have much of a groove in it. I think it is painted? The paint is coming off.

The frets look like they are square and flat. (?) I can live with the frets. I just want it playable.

Do you know how much it would cost to replace the nut, tuners and saddle? I want to spend as least as I can.
#16
Thank you for the info everyone! I think I'll stick to the tuners that came with the guitar. I guess I'll just convert this guitar for slide purposes only. I'll buy some new strings for now and buy the nut and saddle later on.
#17
Quote by loinmute
you could shave the saddle down.


No need to shave that saddle down that's an adjustable saddle. Looks like you need to replace the bridge pins. Elderly Music has them pretty reasonable. I would replace the saddle with bone and the bridge pins with bone (check e-bay for cheapest price and make your own saddle if you can) as that will improve the tone. Careful removing the old bushings as it may cause chipping around the tuners. Reuse what is there if you can.

Your saddle is adjustable so you can adjust the height of the strings. I would probably remove the adjustable saddle and put in some wood so that the saddle is no longer adjustable or replace the bridge. You should get better tone. Guitar looks to be in decent shape from what I can see.