Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jay Turser JTA-Flag300 - Wichita Lineman

I know I need a small vacation.

At the beginning and end of April, I took two well-needed vacations from some of my responsibilities at work and at home. Besides enjoying a visit from my sister, spending quality time with the wife and kids, and making a trip to Binghamton, NY, I spent part of a weekend on the LeSpork Prototype build.  I even found time to pick up and play a couple of the guitars in my growing herd, and buy some guitar parts through eBay.

Having already taken steps to design and build a full-on acoustic Flat Top Tele, it was time to make some room by cutting one loose from the flock.  I'll share more on that choice another time.  My Jay Turser will be with me for awhile yet.  Already well into the month of May, it was time to get back to the shed and finish up my repairs on this JTA-Flag300.

When I left off last time on this project guitar, it was clear that the action was very high.  It was so high, it made most of the neck unplayable.  To fix this meant adjusting the neck set angle.  To allow for future adjustments, I decided to adjust the angle by adding a small shim in the joint.  After making and trimming two shims, removing and replacing the neck numerous times, and restringing This Old Guitar just as many times, I ended up with a shim that was just the right thickness.  The thickness tapers, between about 1/16-inch nearest the neck bolts to about 3/32-inch towards the bridge.

Since there is nothing at the rear of the neck pocket for it to rest against, I glued this shim to the block.  After clamping, I left the glue to dry overnight, and moved on to sanding the neck.

When I had reattached the fingerboard, the edges of the binding strips stood proud of the neck wood just enough to be noticeable.  With some #150 paper, some light block sanding and hand sanding is all it took to get the surfaces to align.  When I was satisfied with the way it felt, I roughed up the rest of the back of the neck with #150 grit paper, in preparation for applying a couple of coats of clear lacquer.

After restringing and tuning one more time, I checked her 12th-fret intonation.

The compensated tusq saddle I'm using does not give perfect intonation on all of the strings.  But, for something off the shelf, it's pretty good.  I'll put a compensated bone saddle on her and tweak it later on.

I like a very flat fingerboard, so I tweaked her truss rod to get just barely enough relief to avoid fret buzzing.  With that done, it was finally time to put that truss rod cover back on!

Her 12th-fret action measured just over 3/32-inch on the low E and just under 3/32-inch on the high E.  With a set of D'Addario EJ15 strings, that's a very comfortable setup for me to play finger style on an acoustic guitar.  Expecting another hot and humid few days, I brought her back in to the air-conditioned house.  My son and I will be playing her for a few days, allowing her to acclimate and settle into the lower-humidity environment for awhile, before touching up her neck finish, reinstalling her black plastic heel plate, and giving her a good cleaning and polishing.

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