You guys may get a kick out of this

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Ben DeBumper, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. Ben DeBumper

    Ben DeBumper New Member

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    Backstory first, In 1982, when I was a mailman, I stopped at a garage sale on my route. There was a guitar case with a basket case guitar in it. The story of the guitar was that the son who lived there was quite mentally challenged, and was prone to fits of anger and violence that came out of nowhere. The shrink suggested they get him involved with something like art or music that would require him to focus and keep his mind busy. This kid was born in 1965, and that discussion with the shrink happened in 1969. They chose music, and bought him used guitar in 1975. Well, they told me that he would just sit there with the guitar strapped on and just strum the open strings for sometimes as long as 2 hours, but he never tried to finger it, and he was incapable of learning how to play. One day he became angry, took the guitar off and slammed it headstock first into the floor, snapping the headstock off. Then He picked it up by the neck and hit the corner of his dresser as if it was a hatchet, face down onto the pick guard and pickups. They quickly intervened because at that point it was a weapon.

    So, in 1982, there was this guitar at the garage sale. I gave them 20 bucks for it. I got it home and assessed what had happened. A friend of theirs tried to fix it. He put the headstock pieces together with rubber cement and sheetmetal screws, and pieces the pickguard together on a table and tried to glue it from behind, but it was mainly held together with take. He also took everything off the guitar and cleaned up wood dings and such. I will include a photo and if you look close you see that he mounted the bridge directly parallel to the tailpiece, so the intonation is gone. I managed to clean all the goop off and put it together with real wood glue and clamps, and from the sides of the headstock I drilled in to glue in some pieces of dowel. I popped in an old DiMarzio I had laying around and made a pickguard out of thin balsa wood from a craft store, JUST to get it to play. It played in tune-ish until about the 7th fret.

    In early 1982, that troubled kid was found hanging in their garage. A few years later I was playing in a weekend band and invited them to a gig near their home. In the middle of the second set we did Take It Easy, and as we did I reached into a case and pulled that guitar out and dedicated it to them and their son. (I did NOT tell his story. Time and place....) They were quite touched of course and thanked me for that.

    This is that guitar today. A 1967 Gibson Melody Maker. I am seriously considering having it restored, but it would probably cost a small fortune. We'll see. If I do it one step at a time I may be able to have it done over a year.

    [​IMG]

    This is what it would have looked like when it was now. (Stock photo.) This pic shows that the tailpiece is not in the original location as you can see wood filler where the tailpiece screws used to be. You can see the distance between the bridge and the tailpiece screw holes is WAY off.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Good story.

    Your intonation problem may have something to do with the wraparound being one for a wound G string. Because on all my wraparound lightning bridge equipped guitars, it is pretty much at 90°.
     
  3. Ben DeBumper

    Ben DeBumper New Member

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    Really? It's not offset by 4 degrees? I have never seen a bridge like that.
     
  4. Jason

    Jason Member

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    Isn't the tailpiece redundant?
     
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  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Seem it was pretty close to square on the red MM you posted and you can attain 4° with the grub screw.

    Here's my Jr. and it is the truest intonation out of three Epiphone with that bridge.

    2020-02-05.jpg
    Here are other similar MM.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this.
    Tailpiece is not needed and foremost, it's against the sprit of that minimalist guitar.
     
  7. Ben DeBumper

    Ben DeBumper New Member

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    This where I slap my forehead and say "DUH". The zig zag HAS the 4 degree offset. Again, "DUH". But I also see 3 small putty holes on mine that tell me the OEM tailpiece was removed and replaced. I wish I had owned that guitar from the start so I knew the original configuration. I don't even know who the person was that tried to put it back together. I would love to know just so I could ask him why he chose rubber cement instead of wood glue to glue a wooden headstock back together. I mean, it was broken along the holes for the tuning pegs too. Horrible. Although that's probably why I got it for 20 bucks.....
     
  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    No need to, it's just like the ones I posted. It is obvious that the tail piece had new holes drilled for its bushings. They'll have to be plugged or you could leave the bushings in there to tell the guitar's story.
     
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  9. Jason

    Jason Member

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    If you put a short vibrola back on, it might just cover at least one of the tailpiece bushings.
     

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