Thursday, June 04, 2015

Guitar Sanctuary: Tanglewood® TSE505 Les Paul®

Hi everyone!

From time to time we trawl through Ebay to find old, abused and neglected guitars that we can buy up and breathe some new life into. Some require small amounts of work and others require full on restorations. This is a mid 90s Tanglewood® TSE505 Les Paul® we found that was in need of a bit of a spruce up!

This is how it was when it arrived to us. On the face of it not such a bad egg just very badly set up and in dire need of a fret level and dressing. We also decided to change the pickups out as the gold covers weren't exactly in the best of condition and we weren't convinced of their sound!

We started by stripping the hardware, surprisingly the bridge studs more or less just fell out! We weren't intending on taking them out but the guitar had other ideas!

Pickups out and we find that there is no form of electrical insulation in the cavities at all. No EMR paint or copper foil to be seen anywhere. We did notice the guitar had quite a hum going on when plugged in and pretty sure this had a small hand to play in it.

Some quite "interesting" routing going on here and weird bits of filler in random places.

These are how the frets and fretboard looked before we worked on it. A fair amount of tarnishing on the frets and a grimy and dried out fretboard.

So all in all not too bad just a fair amount of little things that needed putting right and maintained. We started by chopping the pickups over for some Epiphone ones we had from another donor guitar. While we did this we also cleaned up a lot of the solder joints and made sure we had no scratchy or crackly pots and that the output jack was making good contact.

Next we decided to tackle the dodgy frets and bad set up. First of all we have to get the neck straight as possible using a notched straight edge and fine adjustments to the truss rod.

Once the neck is straight we mask off the fretboard and use a fret rocker to find any high spots. We then mark those points with a sharpie along with the top of the fretwire so we can see what parts have been leveled.

Once the leveling is done we re-recrown the frets and give them a polish so they are back up to the mirror finish that they should be.

After a clean, buff and a fresh oiling the fretboard came back to life quite well!

Here is the guitar after we had finished all the work on it. Looking a bit different but a huge amount more playable than it was before and sounding a lot better with the replacement pickups and having some insulation!

Thanks for checking this out! Hope you enjoyed it and please feel free to leave any questions or comments. You can also email us and be sure to follow us on Facebook for all the latest news and ramblings!

Best regards,
Mike & Martin


Post a Comment