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November, 2008:

Westone Thunder 1-T Rebuild pt 3…Analysis and Rebuild


I stripped the guitar down into its remaining component parts, as mentioned in the second part of this article.

Most of the damaged parts were then assesed and either thrown out (like the pick up rings) or attempts were made to salvage them.

The stripped down parts

The stripped down parts

The bridge was very grungy and rusty…the saddles were stuck tight, needing my cutting wheel to get two of them off and all the screws were chewed up and useless. The only answer was to replace the set.  I got some Graphtech “string saver ferra glides” which have a graphite insert to ease the possibility of string breakage, but were pretty costly at £19.95. I cleaned up the baseplate and tremelo block and re-assembled the whole thing.

The original bridge

The original bridge

 

The rebuilt bridge

The rebuilt bridge

The body was stripped of all parts and sanded with coarse sandpaper to remove the top coat of clear lacquer and give a good base for the wood filler I needed to use to fill the dents and gouges. I used some basic white plastic wood filler I found in my local hardware shop…The colour didn’t matter as it was being painted anyway. It was then a case of tediously filling, sanding, checking, re-filling, sanding, etc until all the big problem areas were smooth. Fingertips is the best tool for this job…your sense of touch is more reliable than sight when it comes to imperfections of this nature.

Here’s the body hanging on my washing line with the first “ghost” coat of primer, which gives a final indication of any rough areas before the remainder of the primer and top coat get applied.

The first coat of primer

The first coat of primer

Next post I’ll deal with painting the top coat and the hunt for spares…

Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment on my efforts…literary and practical!

A book worth investigating…

Just been reading about the updated version of Phil Taylor’s book about David Gilmour’s iconic black Stratocaster…

“The Black Strat” is the first and only accurate and knowledgeable account of David Gilmour’s favourite Stratocaster guitar. Written by Phil Taylor – David’s personal guitar technician since 1974 – to coincide with the release of the long awaited and much requested Fender ‘David Gilmour Signature Strat’: an instrument replicating the look, set-up, sound and feel of David’s famous guitar as it is today. The chronological story begins with David Gilmour joining Pink Floyd early in 1968, his guitar at that time, his subsequent instruments leading to the purchase of the Black Strat in 1970, and the other guitars that have come and gone. This book details all of the changes and modifications made to the Black Strat, its use on Pink Floyd tours and iconic albums, David’s solo projects, and various guest appearances throughout the years. 

About the Author

Phil Taylor (London) has been working for Pink Floyd continuously since he was 22 years of age. In 1974 he was employed by Pink Floyd to take care of the band’s personal equipment used on stage and in the studio. He has worked on every Pink Floyd and David Gilmour project for over three decades.

This book is a great gift or alternative for those of us who can’t afford the two and a half grand for the new Fender  signature replica!

Take a closer look at the book in the link..

Pink Floyd: the Black Strat: A History of David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster

Westone Thunder 1-T Rebuild pt 2…The Damage


The guitar arrived safely, although frankly if it had been kicked to my house from 200 miles away the damage wouldn’t have been much worse! I unpacked it and before any stripping down, I took a few photos and got a basic overview of what needs doing. It’s a pretty extensive list…the issues are as follows;

  • Pickup selector switch broken 
  • Mini Toggle switch broken
  • Nut missing
  • Both pickup rings broken, and mounting screws all chewed up and rusty
  • Missing machine head ferrule
  • Bridge saddles rusted, all screws in nasty conditon
  • Jack socket missing
  • Tremelo cover missing
  • Tremelo arm missing
  • Some frets in poor condition
  • 2 neck screws missing, others damaged
  • wiring looks very shoddy..no idea if the pickups work
  • Body has gouges and scrapes, paintwork in very bad condition
So I have my work cut out for me! On the plus side, the body feels weighty and substantial and the neck looks good. I reckon all the rest is fixable with these two good fundamentals.
Close up of the damage

Close up of the damage

In a flurry of enthusiasm I stripped the whole thing apart, unsoldered the remaining wiring, removing the pickups and bagging everything for later investigation.
I had two pieces of luck straight away…my parts box gave up a matching machine head ferrule and I had a spare Tremelo arm, bought for my Squier Strat but the wrong thread..it fits the Westone perfectly!
The body will need sanding, filling and re-spraying, and I won’t be returning it to black…I feel like a new colour and the current condition  is so poor a refinish won’t harm the guitar’s value.
I’m thinking maybe a darkish metallic blue/grey colour I have seen…A Volvo car colour.
The wiring mess

The wiring mess

I have also toyed with the idea of metal pickup covers, but it seems pointless buying parts until I know if they work or not. I may need two new humbuckers.

Next post I’ll begin the rebuild. Thanks for reading!

Westone Thunder 1-T Rebuild pt 1…The Background


Many years ago I built a guitar from scratch, making my own body and using a Stratocaster copy neck.

My first home-made guitar

My first home-made guitar

It played ok, and was “of its time” but after that initial flurry of sawdust and bad wiring I didn’t really dabble in guitars apart from changing the odd pickup and general maintenance.

Over the years however, I have been a prolific builder of model cars, which has given me the ability to paint and modify stuff, and also a quite enviable collection of small tools and useful bits and pieces.

Just recently I have fallen in love with guitars again. I have never stopped playing (guitar and bass), but my son has become an avid and proficient player and enthusiast, which has re-awakened my interest in guitars and collecting.

So one day while surfing around Ebay I found a knackered old Westone Thunder 1T guitar being sold as a project. It was in very poor condition, with many missing bits.

As the buyer says in his own words..

“This guitar needs a total overhaul…It was working 10 years. There are  missing screws, nut, jack socket, 2 tuner ferrules and 2 broken switches. It is covered in scatches and dings. The neck looks straight (see photo). I do not know if the electrics work but they did, this was my sons first guitar, and was soon upgraded.”

The front

The back

The back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I won the auction for £46 plus £15 postage and the guitar was with me within 4 days.

Next post I’ll tell you all about the work ahead in detail, and my ideas for the rebuild.

Thanks for reading!

What makes a Guitar Collection?

I guess 2 guitars doesn’t add up to a collection, but maybe 5 does, even if it a small one!

Everyone who plays guitar has their own reasons for doing so..not all players are into their gear, whereas others (like me) take great pleasure from tinkering with instruments, modifying, refurbishing and rooting out new (old) guitars.

Eventually most players begin to see reasons to acquire extra guitars. Maybe an electric player realises they need an acoustic too, or an acoustic player decides to try out a resonator, or you decide to do some home recording and buy a bass to record with. At this rate, you end up guitar collection whether you intended to or not.

There are many types of collector; the high end big money types down to the young kids upgrading and swapping instruments between mates.

We intend to cover all areas of guitar collecting with this blog, so please bookmark us and visit often!

Guess what this is all about!

We’ll be talking about guitar collecting, different guitar models, beginners guitars, expensive guitars, where to find collectable guitars, advising on maintenance, pointing you towards some interesting guitars, online lessons, collating guitar information, guitar news, events, guitarists and interesting albums and gigs and just about anything else we can think of.

Bear with us while we get ourselves in gear and work out all this wordpress malarky…