Old Peavey Guitar

24 Oct 2020

Refurbishing my old electric guitar.

When I was a teenager, my parents found an old beat up electric guitar at a garage sale. It was pitted, scratched and stained, and was missing a knob, but the neck was sound and the electronics worked. So they sanded it down and slapped some furniture stain on it and gave it to me as a Christmas present.

Fast forward thir- cough cough years. We moved to Texas from California ten years ago and that guitar has been sitting under the bed the whole time. I pulled it out a few weeks ago and opened the case. It was one of those moments frozen in time for me. All the blood drained from my face as my mind tried to grapple with the horror that was my old, treasured guitar.

Sad Peavey Sad Peavey

The furniture stain gummed up and stuck to the foam of the case it was in. The whole thing was covered in varying layers of gooey foam particles.

So now I'm mid-stride in a guitar refurbishing project. Sanding this beastie down has been a huge hassle. I've gone through about 30 sanding pads on my rotary tool, and maybe sprained one of my fingers from gripping the tool like a two year old who found momma's lipstick.

Hopefully I can put it back together, too.


30 Oct 2021

Wow, it's been a full year since I started working on this beastie. Don't worry, I haven't been working on it this entire time. I timeslice my projects. Too many exciting things to do and too little time.

I spent several weekends sanding the body down. Another few rubbing tung oil on it, then waxing it with Canauba wax. I taped off and sanded the frets to get them all smooth and shiny. I used Goo Gone to get the gunk off the faceplate.

Now I'm ready to put it all back together. The first thing I need to do is solder the ground wire back onto the plug socket. I broke that off while sanding it. I don't know how to solder, so I had to learn that real quick-like. Where is my knowledge pill? Or effective sleep learning?
Forget flying cars, pfft. I need something useful!

This ground wire had a little tan blob attached to it. It said "103" on it. So, being a completely clueless fool, I did a web search for "103 wiring" and found (eventually) that it's a capacitor. It took a few hours, but eventually I started wondering why a ground wire would need a capacitor. That just seems odd.

Turns out it serves as a filter. By adding a capacitor, it creates a path of least resistance for the frequencies that fall into the scope of that capacitor. Those then prefer the ground to the signal line, which cleans the signal. Or at least that's what I was able to glean. This is the internet though. Don't trust me.

Anyhow, that capacitor was where the ground had broken, so one of the leads on it was only about 3 cm long, which is a bit short for a lead. I tried to solder a pig-tail onto it, but it was too short even for that. So I ordered a 25 cent replacement. Well, 25 25 cent replacements.

And that's where I'm at today.

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