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Thread: Tools for the job

  1. #1
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    Tools for the job

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    This seems like a good place for this. We all know having the right tool(s) makes repairs and mods much easier. It's too bad most of us do not have a complete workshop with all the tools we sometimes need. I'm sure most of us have had to improvise at some time or another, I know I've used some unconventional tools to accomplish various tasks. Maybe some of you can share some of the ideas you have come up with to get the job done when you didn't have the right tool for the job.

    I'll start with, recently I was changing the tuners on a guitar. The replacement tuners (machines) didn't fit exactly. The shaft was just a bit too large to fit through the holes in the head of the guitar. I know all the luthiers say I needed a reamer to enlarge the holes. What I used was a chainsaw file ($2.88 at Walmart) and gently filed the holes to the right size. Unconventional, maybe, but it worked as well as the more expensive tool would have.

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    haha

    the fuse fell out of my p.a. head at a show so i used aluminum foil, copper wire and some electric tape and it works even better than the regular fuse did.
    i have had the chance to replace the fuse. but i havent needed to cuz i like the tin foil and wire!!!!

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    Doesn't that defeat the purpose of the fuse? Isn't that just a direct connection?

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    In response to the original post, I use those little round files all the time for the same purpose. And I guess a bushing press would be a nice thing to have, but I managed to get my tuner bushings seated just fine using a 3/8" socket, a C clamp, and a little block of wood on the back. I also made a sliding router setup (to route straight lines with a hand router) out of two old shelves, some leftover plywood, and a towel bar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danw View Post
    ... a bushing press would be a nice thing to have....
    You could also throw a bolt in a drill press so that the head is facing down. I've done that to install string ferrules on guitar bodies.

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    Even us guys with huge dedicated workshops and thousands of tools are always improvising, improving adapting the ones we have. A good 20 to 30% of my time is involved in making or adapting jigs and tools.

    A good makeshift reamer by the way is to use a violin peg and wrap some 320 grit around it. Failing that you can use an artists brush handle and get the same result for different size of holes. A good "bushing press" can be had by taping some wooden blocks to some mole grips and setting the gap to the required size.

    Next question.

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    Thanks Muttley, it's nice to know that you guys with the "right tools" still use your imagination once in a while. I mostly do set ups and minor repairs and like most players do not have a vast supply of tools for mods so I often have to find whatever is needed to accomplish the task at hand.
    The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. [url]http://www.soundclick.com/sixfeetover[/url]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dani Pace View Post
    Thanks Muttley, it's nice to know that you guys with the "right tools" still use your imagination once in a while. I mostly do set ups and minor repairs and like most players do not have a vast supply of tools for mods so I often have to find whatever is needed to accomplish the task at hand.
    If anyone is interested I can chuck up a few photographs of luthier specific tools that are easy to make and invaluable in the workshop.

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    OK, I've had a quick route around my bench and all these tools I've had for years are all used regulaly and none cost more than a few coppers. They can all be made in less than a hour each sometimes minutes. I have thousands of others but these I had to hand.

    I'll post a breif description of each next.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tool-selection-jpg  

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    First some helpful fretting tools. You can buy these and I have them shop bought ones. These work just as well. Sorry about the picture quality by the way I only have a cheap camera with me.

    Triangular fret file. For rounding off sharp fret ends and shaping them. You don't want any marks on the fingerboard or binding while doing this. Take a fine cut small triangular file and mount it in a comfortable and light handle. Grind off the edge to a small bullnose and polish.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails triangle-fret-file-jpg  

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