Fixing light wear on a Taylor acoustic requires precision
Taylor Guitars has definitely earned the title of being an “original” guitar maker, especially in light of their numerous innovations throughout the years. Among them, of course, are their patented New Technology (NT) necks, which seem to stay stable and straight in most climates, and the company’s long-admired UV finishing process, which utilizes a finish and curing method that has consistently delivered excellent durability and acoustic properties.
So, when a Taylor 814C in need of some minor finish work around the rosette showed up at my shop, I knew I had my hands full. Most of the work would be done on the treble side above the pickguard where some of the finish and wood had been whittled away from years of pick and fingernail contact. Some Taylor owners might leave this alone, but Keith Dotray, the proud owner of this guitar, is looking forward to playing his Taylor for many years to come and he wants to protect the gorgeous rosette and spruce soundboard from any further damage.
To do this type of job, here are some of the supplies you’ll need: hydrogen peroxide, Q-Tips, hair dryer, foldable cardboard protection mat, Badger airbrush, Evermask masking paper, dropfill toothpicks (Stew Mac #3110), No. 10 Thin Super Glue Cyanoacrylate (#0010), accelerator (#5984), guitar buffing arbor (#2080), UV sealer/ topcoat (Lawrence-McFadden) and a multi-cure unit with safety ware (UV III Systems Inc.).
The first step of this process involved the removal of the pickguard using light heat from a hair dryer while carefully and gradually pulling up on the guard. We’ll replace it with a factory pickguard once the repairs are completed. The inside of the guitar was protected with a 5”x8”x1/8” piece of cardboard “protection mat” that was folded in thirds to fit through the soundhole. Once inside the guitar, it was opened up to protect the area from any liquid splatters or stray specs while the repairs were made. I used the hydrogen peroxide and Q-Tips for applicators to lift the dirt that was imbedded into the exposed wood area. After the surface was dry and clean I began to build up the worn away pockets with No. 10 Thin Super Glue Cyanoacrylate, using accelerator between each coat. Drop-fill toothpicks were used to apply the glue. The excess Cyanoacrylate was leveled with a razor blade and then wet sanded with 600-grit sandpaper before spraying a protective topcoat.
Spray and Bake
Now that the soundboard damage had been filled and leveled, I was ready to feather in a topcoat of Lawrence McFadden’s UV sealer/topcoat by using my Badger airbrush to help spray a very thin coat. The inside of the body was protected from any finish overspray by using Evermask masking paper. In case you’re wondering, the neck did not need to be removed to apply this new coat as there was plenty of open top surface to work with.
The UV topcoat R-1778 contains some solvents, and after spraying I allowed approximately 20 minutes of air flash for the solvents to evaporate before curing—or “baking”—the area with my multi-cure ultraviolet unit. When working with any hand held UV-curing system you always have to make sure that you have adequate protection from the ultraviolet light by properly protecting your eyes and skin with a safety shield, leather gauntlets and overall protective body coverage as shown in the photo above. For this small amount of sprayed finish, I only needed three minutes of “baking” and the UV topcoat was 100% cured. Once cured, there is virtually no shrinkage.
After finishing sanding the entire area I used my guitar buffing arbor from Stew Mac to feather in a consistent sheen to the soundboard. Then, with a small amount of Naptha on a cloth, I removed any buffing compounds that may have been present in the area where the replacement pickguard was going to go. Masking tape works well for pre-marking the new pickguard area to ensure a perfect lay. Taylor pickguards have a strong adhesive back so it’s always a good idea to do a couple dry practice runs first.
Using the right equipment made this job a oneday project, whereas a traditional nitrocellulose finish touchup would have taken weeks. And all I can say is, Wow! Using my multi-cure system is great, but seeing a big smile on the owner’s face was even better. I would like to give a special thanks to Taylor Guitar’s Chris Bearden for sharing his knowledge on the building team at Taylor. Chris works in Taylor’s customer service department and is well qualified to address any customer concerns, including service repair center tech questions.
If you’re coming out to the NAMM show, please stop by and say “Hi.” I look forward to meeting “Restoring An Original” readers.
John Brown, of Brown's Guitar Factory, is the inventor of the Fretted/Less bass. He owns and operates a full guitar manufacturing and repair/restoration facility, which is staffed by a team of talented luthiers. He is also the designer of guitar making/repair tools and accessories that are used today by instrument builders throughout the world.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
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About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.