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Guitar Basic Tools for Guitar Maintenance?

William B.

Hot Topic Tourer
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Hi everyone, I was wondering what would be some basic tools to maintain my guitar.
    Things like hammers, screwdrivers, etc..
    For example I saw something about sanding the sharp parts of fret wire, is that regular sandpaper or is a file recommended.
    Thinking about gathering tools.
    If I wanted to cut my guitar with a saw for the Floyd Rose or the Shape, what kind of saw?
    Not planning on doing it but asking questions.
    Could be wood filler glue, I think that's a thing and may need that eventually.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Most of the examples you give are not things I would recommend to the untrained, but there are good tools to have.

    String winder
    Cutting Pliers
    Set of Allen Keys (usually metric, but may depend on your brand of guitar)
    0000 Steel Wool (can be used sparingly to clean a REALLY gunked up fretboard, as long as it's not gloss-lacquered maple)
    Dunlop Neck stand (supports the neck while you work on the guitar on a table or other flat surface)
    Small hand screwdrivers (flat and #1 Phillips, with a #2 Phillips for adjusting the claw on tremolo springs)
    Soldering iron (if you want to replace your own pickups, or fix wiring issues)

    I'm sure others can add some great stuff too, but that's off the top of my head.
     
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    Forgetabull

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    So the contact cleaner is used to remove the "scratchiness" or even as far as bringing back alive both pots and switches. I've "resurrected" a number of guitars where the 3/5 way switch just needed to be blasted with contact cleaner.

    The blue tape has a relative low tackiness, so it shouldn't hurt the finish on a guitar, think of it as an a nice expendible protective layer than you can also use to hold stuff.

    The Snail tape is a really cheap way to insulate the electronics of your guitar (ie. can help remove buzz). The snail tape shown above is conductive, so it can be used on the whole cavity etc and just needs to be connected to ground to help remove buzz. This worked nicely on my cheapo strat I have. You will sometimes need to be a little careful with placement as if you have the wrong thing touching it, it can short your guitar (which just means no sound comes out).

    The multimeter is useful for a) determining what strength a pickup is (ie. 10k etc) b) whether pots are working c) whether your snail tape is conductive d) working out what's connected and what isn't.

    Here's a pic of some snail tape and blue tape in action :p heh :)
     

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    Forgetabull

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Oh, another thing that can be really handy is a compass (like the north/south/east/west kind). I use that to determine which way the polarity of the pickups were sitting so that when I replaced the magnet or pickup themselves, I have them in the correct orientation. If you don't get them in the correct orientation, they'll be "out of phase" and "thin" sounding, which is some people's jam.. just I was trying to replace like for like in my guitars.
     
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    Syxguns

    One Stringer
  • Feb 8, 2023
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    @William B.
    Maybe pick up a very cheap guitar to play with before you dive into some of the things you are talking about. The woodworking tools and expertise of a Luthier are not something someone learns overnight. You could do some real damage to your guitar even trying to sand burs out of your frets. Learning and making adjustments to intonation is not something everyone knows how to do either. For work of those sorts, I always take it to a professional. I would rather pay someone to sand frets and set my intonation than risk damaging a very expensive piece of equipment.

    Just FYI:)

    Check out this link: Become a Guitar Luthier
     
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