1979 F212XL Rescue Complete

PreacherBob

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Eight days in, I just finished this awesome guitar. The big F212XL jumbo has a HUGE sound. Trebles are crazy. You guys were so right, I love it! I got it as a rescue, had a pretty good belly in the top, and the bridge was ramped up in back. Wasnt much saddle left. Rest of the guitar was in great shape, minus lots of swirls and light finish scratches. I buffed them all out without having to go deep in. No cracks. Neck angle was good, just had the bad belly. I did a top reset, got rid of the belly completely, bridge is level. I made a new nut out of some good aged bone, and a compensated saddle out of tusq. Good low action through the 12th fret. Now I just have to learn how to play it! I played about an hour, then got a killer cramp in my hand, I guess it takes time. Glad I chose this one for my first 12 string.
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PreacherBob

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There’s two methods. A complete reset, which involves removing the bridge plate, then putting the top in a negative bow dry for about three weeks. The other way is a “wet” reset, which I’ve done a number of over the years, less invasive. Lay a dish rag size towel, soaked in warm water over the rear x bracing and bridge plate. I make sure to get the larger tone bar coming down at an angle at the rear of the bridge. Lay the guitar on it’s top for an hour. Once the braces and bridge plate become pliable, i use a clamp jig to put a negative bow on the top, another at the x at the sound hole so it doesn’t sink. let it dry on its own for four days in a climate controlled room. Check moisture content, the remove the clamps. Let it rest another three days. Check the radius in the top. I usually makes notes before and after. String up, play an hour then take another reading on the top, that’s pretty much it. All the tops I’ve done when I had my guitar shop, are still holding today according to the owners.
usually 8-10 days for a wet reset. I’ve done some twelve strings, a few six strings. One was a vintage Hummingbird for a guy That was unplayable. Heres a couple pics from a few years back.
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HeyMikey

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Impressive Bob! Thanks for the explanation and pictures. I have to remove bellying and do other work my MIL’s 1970’s Japanese 12 string. What is the clamp with the dial in the first pic. What temp/humidity is your climate controlled room? How long do you keep it there? Thanks,
 

PreacherBob

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Yes sir thanks. So the dial indicator is interchangeable with some other measuring tools. It fits into the small brass
piece that I use to set the nut slot depths as well. The bar you see it sitting in just sits on the top, resting only on the side edges. A spring pushes the needle under the dial indicator up to read the radius, or the negative bow If it’s there. This unit does not attach to the top, just rests. It will tell you what top/back guitar radius are. The small room I use I have at a 40% humidity. I just use the humidity sensor from lowes, though stewmac has them as well. Acoustics are recommended kept at 45-50%. The room temp at keep at 75. Lower temps produce less humidity, the water in the guitar evaporates a little quicker, my target is four days for the top to be under load.
you can use a needle probe to stick the wood brace or bridge plate to read moisture content after that. I let it rest another three days in the same room. It’s really the braces and bridge plate that reshapes itself after drying in a negative bow. Here’s a picture I did take of this F212XL to set the negative bow in the top. Before, that metal fret scale ruler hit the bridge in the front middle ways up. I set the bow between a 16th and an 1/8” space between the ruler and top of the bridge. When it was over after the clamps removed, the bridge deflectEd to only just touch the ruler. That’s where it stayed which gives you a much taller saddle. I think I bought every tool StewMac offered years ago. Newer ones look more high tech. Thankfully I did not sell any of them after I closed up and retired. I also use the Intonator to compensate my saddles, combined with a Peterson rack mounted strobe. I always use the Peterson StroboClip clamp on tuners in general as well.
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Opsimath

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Fascinating process, fabulous results!

How long did you have your shop? Did you learn from a mentor or a school?

Per your avatar your Guild count is 2. Do you suppose there are more Guilds in your future!

By the way, congratulations on the F212XL. It's beautiful, and very shiny. ;)

How's your hand?
 
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PreacherBob

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Fascinating process, fabulous results!

How long did you have your shop? Did you learn from a mentor or a school?

Per your avatar your Guild count is 2. Do you suppose there are more Guilds in your future!

By the way, congratulations on the F212XL. It's beautiful, and very shiny. ;)

How's your hand?
I now have 7 Guilds, but don’t know how to update it on the profile. I had my shop only 5 years, but I’ve been repairing acoustics for about 30 years, mostly locals here and other band members. I have no formal training. Just watched other luthiers, and lots of trial and error. I learned a lot from watching Dan Erlwine over the years at StewMac As well. I’m no professional by any definition. My hand only cramped playing this twelve string, probably from poor technique and over fretting subconsciously. I’ll get the hang of it soon hopefully.😖
 

PreacherBob

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Use use motorized guitar polisher I got from StewMac. I charge different pads with several different compound bricks.

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Norrissey

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Looks absolutely gorgeous. Amazing work PreacherBob.
Some people like to tune 12-string guitars down a step and capo the 2nd fret for easier playability. I mention this in case you continue to have hand cramps.
 

Horse

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... Now I just have to learn how to play it! I played about an hour, then got a killer cramp in my hand, I guess it takes time. Glad I chose this one for my first 12 string.
Hi @PreacherBob, I think you are just being 'charitable' for those of us who may still flail and fumble to make our F212s sing. Wow, you know your stuff. I live up near Ulster County NY, and there's this guy there who just finished setting up my old '72 Westerly F212 after a few years in mothballs. I just picked it back up -we're talking yesterday, so I'd say there's some real LTG 'serendipity' going on here ;) . He transformed it to the point where I almost had to ask where my old guitar was. Some of the work he described doing lines up with what you did with yours. Not as much as you did, but partly; bridge and saddle, and I think he had to work a bit on the top as well.... Thing plays like butter now.

As to your comment. Well, if you only just fixed it today and are having cramps, I bet they'll be gone by your next sit-down, or the one after. I did notice I had to change my left hand style and really go "delicate' there. Light fingertip work really keeps all the strings in harmony much better, and the whole cramp thing just goes away, LOL. I can't get over how good the F212s sound, and struggle to describe it.

Anyway, thanks for a great read, and to everyone of the posts. If I get time I want to post a pic or two of mine as well. But what I really want to share some time are some pics of the damned original '72 Guild case this guy came in. It looks like it was stomped on and then set on fire. Ugly old thing but the interior is intact and never stopped protecting the guitar.
 

PreacherBob

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Hi @PreacherBob, I think you are just being 'charitable' for those of us who may still flail and fumble to make our F212s sing. Wow, you know your stuff. I live up near Ulster County NY, and there's this guy there who just finished setting up my old '72 Westerly F212 after a few years in mothballs. I just picked it back up -we're talking yesterday, so I'd say there's some real LTG 'serendipity' going on here ;) . He transformed it to the point where I almost had to ask where my old guitar was. Some of the work he described doing lines up with what you did with yours. Not as much as you did, but partly; bridge and saddle, and I think he had to work a bit on the top as well.... Thing plays like butter now.

As to your comment. Well, if you only just fixed it today and are having cramps, I bet they'll be gone by your next sit-down, or the one after. I did notice I had to change my left hand style and really go "delicate' there. Light fingertip work really keeps all the strings in harmony much better, and the whole cramp thing just goes away, LOL. I can't get over how good the F212s sound, and struggle to describe it.

Anyway, thanks for a great read, and to everyone of the posts. If I get time I want to post a pic or two of mine as well. But what I really want to share some time are some pics of the damned original '72 Guild case this guy came in. It looks like it was stomped on and then set on fire. Ugly old thing but the interior is intact and never stopped protecting the guitar.
Yes sir you know one reason I really never bought a 12 string, though I’ve experimented a few times, is that in my mind I just never thought I had the finger strength to push down twelve strings at one time, to make a barred chord. I weigh 140 lbs and have small hands and thin fingers. So when I played the other day, I was pushing down so hard my knuckles were turning white. 12 strings =PUSH HARD, is what my brain tells me. I realize I need to overcome that philosophy. Thanks so much for the input!
 
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