Hey all!

As of today I'm a semi proud owner of a 1978/9 Ibanez Artist. Been my dream guitar for a long time, although I have some problems and it needs to be restored.

The action is really high but I can't adjust it due to the bridge being rusted over.

The entire bridge is covered in grime and rust, it was used by the previous owner for many years, he was a gigging musician. I can't take it off the guitar either, its solid in place and one of the posts are stripped (but it does have a spanner socket around it which I can try remove).

How can I remove and clean majority of the rust while it's still on the guitar? Will naptha work? Need it to loosen everything up enough so I can take it apart, clean it and set it up.


Last edited by mielieHobo at Nov 15, 2015,
Nice! I have the same guitar in an '82 version, which has a slightly thicker body and slightly different shape and was renamed the AR-300. Yours seems to be a '78 2619 version in AV (Antique Violin). Need better photos.

The action being really high could be symptomatic of a lot of other things, including a bowed neck. You may have some work ahead of you, but that guitar is SO worth it.

Pull the strings off. You may need some Break-Free or WD-40 to crack the bridge loose, but I'd have a good tech pull it off. First question, however. Is there a brass sustain block UNDER the bridge? I can't tell from the photo. I'm guessing the answer will be yes. You'll want to be very careful separating the bridge from that block. That brass block is actually separately screwed directly into the body, so don't try pulling the whole thing out (yikes!).

You'll want to replace that bridge and the tailpiece. Nothing you can apply to remove the rust. In theory you could repolish and replate everything, but it's cheaper to buy new and pack the originals in a plastic bag to be kept with the guitar. Ibanez has begun selling a 2619 version again (about $2299 or so), and the hardware is the same, so they DO have it available. Same with the cloud tailpiece. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-ar2619-prestige-artist-series-electric-guitar/j05398000002000?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKEAiA1JuyBRCogJLz4J71kj0SJADsd6QRfhRrdll8svHOAK9Z-7cZm6hBQuUkw6On1wkj7jf-NBoC6LTw_wcB&kwid=productads-plaid^143118044442-sku^J05398000002000@ADL4MF-adType^PLA-device^c-adid^82795616067#productDetail

DO keep everything gold (as original) -- you'll just trash the value of the guitar if you don't. Be careful with the knobs; if you have the original versions, they're valuable. There are reproductions, but I think the currently sold 2619 has a more modern version. I'd have to see better shots of your knobs to know.

The mini-switches are "Tri-Sound" switches that select serial/parallel/single coil for each pickup. Loks like your pickup covers (and the screws) will need to be replaced, but you'll want to notice that you have the three-screw "leveling" Flying Fingers pickups (the current version is a two-screw version) and those will be important. You can replace the covers and screws with shiny new ones and clean up the plastic rings (if they're not cracked).

Check your binding for separation from the body and for signs of "fungus." I'm not sure what that latter is, but it causes black spots/areas on the binding and eventually powders the binding. It shows up in specific guitars and old Ibanez ARs are in that category. You'll be able to clean up and polish the finish easily enough when you have everything removed from the guitar.

How's the fretwear? Guitars that have been used extensively for gigging often have healthy divots in the frets (particularly in the 1-5 fret area). A full refret is expensive, a partial refret less so.

If you've got scratchy pots, you'll want to pick up some DeOxit to help get rid of oxidation.

PM me with some closer photos if you like.
Wow this guitar looks like it was pulled from a swamp. That's not just surface rust. Nothing in that bridge assembly is worth trying to salvage except that tail piece which will take some work but it would be hard to replace. I agree that this guitar is well worth putting some serious money into. The late 70's through 1983 was a golden era foe Ibanez. My 1981 Ibanez AM 50 is one of my all time favorite guitars to play at gigs. Good luck. Let us see it when it's done.

Original case too. Nice!!
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 15, 2015,
I hope I can rescue the bridge and parts. Really want to get it back to being a proper player. It already is, but it's gonna need a good setup for it to be 100%. Problem is just the bridge. Dspellman I've sent you a pm. Thanks for the advice.

Any more recommendations on rust/dirt removers?