Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

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Poll Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by AshNathens on Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:01 am

Hi people:)

I have owned a Rainbow I for many years, and only lately become very interested in its origins. I had always known it is a stunning guitar, purely because of the way it performs. Now I'm beginning to learn more about it!

Firstly, it's certainly a Rainbow I (v1) from 1981 - identified using the guides on this site - fantastic resource, thanks!

The guide for serials is a little trickier; lots of info for 5 digit an 7 digit series; not many for 6:) mine is serial 104842 - so certainly 1981. The 04: perhaps April? I'm hoping there's some solid knowledge out there on this - it seems difficult to track down.

Thirdly; I'm VERY curious to hear from people who own this model in translucent walnut. I had a look at the '81 catalog (I can't post links: westoneguitars.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/08.jpg?287387) - and the grain on the Westone 1 featured in that photo is absolutely identical to mine; and I've been examining and comparing it obsessively. If you assume the grain is unique for each instrument (which I would have done) - then I am holding THAT actual guitar. ...which just seems so incredibly unlikely... so that leaves me thinking the grain/timber is not unique... which ALSO seems unlikely!! Can anyone else who owns this Rainbow 1 v1 model tell me how their top compares? If anyone else feels there's is very VERY similar, I'll know I can forget the possibility I have that actual instrument.

At the moment I'm restoring it, but if there's still interest around the community, I'd be happy to share some photos here when I'm done. All original parts, missing only the original scratch plate which I removed in about 1997 and have misplaced. It looks fantastic without it:)

Any and all tips on restoring this glorious instrument are welcome; it is in superb condition, but has been stored without strings on for the last 5 years while I travelled. I have missed it every day; I play a '95 Gibson LP Standard, and it doesn't compare to this Westone!

Really great to find this community, and I can' wait to hear some feedback from this mass of knowledge I've found here:)

Ash

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by Barry on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:51 am

Hi Ash, and welcome.
Several of the boyz here have Rainbows so I'll leave it to them to comment in detail.

But to your question of whether yours is the guitar in the catalogue, well...it has happened at least once that I know of. One of our members discovered that he owned the very Thunder that appeared in the catalogue! I imagine that the odds against it are high, but it does happen, so anything's possible. Wink 

We do not have any info on the website about 6-digit serials. Not sure why, or how common 6 digits are. Perhaps they were a transition numbering system, Uncle Mats was famous (notorious?) for changing specifications at the drop of a G string.

And I think you'll need to be a bit more specific when you say "restore". From what you say, the guitar has been sleeping in it's case for a long time, and I don't get the impression that it has been played hard, or that anything is broken or missing. So, are you simply looking to tidy her up a bit, or are there more serious issues?

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by AshNathens on Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:26 pm

Gday Barry - thanks for the reply!
Apologies; it was the end of a 40 hour day travelling across Australia;) I got here and was so excited to pick up this little gem from storage!

You're correct; it hasn't been played hard, and simply needs to be brought back to life. A bit of a clean, have the action checked, polish up the machine heads and check the wiring/pick-ups etc. I've cleaned up the old brass nut, it is looking glorious already. I recall from my playing days (where for many years it was tuned to open C PURELY to open the set with a cover of Zeppelin's Bron-yr-Aur) that the high E machine head was dicky. Other then that, there is very little problem with it. One hole in the body where I've taken the scratch plate screws out; that can be filled. I *love* the look of it without the plate. And I'm not sure the material, but approx 2inches of the yellow bone around the body (the binding) has pulled away about 2-3mm at the inside of the curve closest to the F hole. I'm actually wondering if this is common; it has been stored appropriately in virtually zero humidity, no strings and not weight/stress. It should come back to life easily and perfectly; It's exciting!

I'm going to take some decent photos of it this morning; and try to capture the grain of my top. it will be interesting to get the opinion of you experts here. On looking this morning, the top I have matches that catalog instrument in every detail, i'm not mistaken - so it's pretty exciting. They're identical twins, or it's the same guitar. Given that (of course) it's Candian Ash /walnut; either it's withing an inch of the same cut from the same tree, or it IS that guitar.

All the best - looking forward to sharing more with you soon!

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by Barry on Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Hey Ash, I wouldn't think that binding separation would be a normal occurrence on a Mats made guitar, but stranger things have happened.

However, if there was indeed "zero" humidity (unlikely) even very low humidity, it could actually be damaging to the guitar. Ideally you should be somewhere around the same level that is healthy for a human...on average about 40%.

If it was maintained in a dry condition that could be the reason for the separation.
Reinstalling it is not rocket science but it needs to be done with care, preferably with a good quality hide glue rather than "super glue".

The latter works wonders but it's unforgiving if you spill or squeeze out excess material. It also sticks like poo to a diaper and if you don't position accurately you're buggered! Hide glue is slower to cure, can be reactivated with heat, and the excess can be wiped up with a damp rag.

As for the troublesome machine head, check that the screws at the end of the knob are snug, and that the nut around the post is similarly tight. The screw exerts pressure on the crush washer horizontally, and the nut locks the post down vertically. Together they ensure that nothing moves after you tune up. You'd be amazed at how many guitars come into the shop with the heads almost falling off the head stock!

Filling in the screw hole and matching the finish is a whole 'nuther thang! Subject for another post.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by hoax on Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:07 pm

The machine head may not be the fault. It it very common for strings to snag in the nut. You can diagnose by turning the tuner and detecting if there is a snag point in the nut. If so, gently file and lubricate. I use a mixture of pencil lead and vaseline.

To fill screw holes, use a tooth pick or match stick, cut flush with a very sharp Stanley blade or razor (careful not to scratch surroundings) touch in with a walnut ink marker (Letraset do them in all colours in art shops). Finally apply a spot of either super glue or clear nail polish (touch it from a tooth pick)

Fanny's your Auntie!!

Hoax Smile

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by AshNathens on Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi Hoax & Barry - thanks for the advice there. I've grabbed a few quick photos before i take it into the shop. I've never used anyone else to work on my guitars, but I think this job is worth involving a real expert. Even if the guitar isn't  vintage LP or the like, it's the most beautiful guitar I've ever played and I want this done right;)


Showing the body - quite a few startling similarities to the brochure instrument? It could just be INCREDIBLY similar.


the serial No.


That brass nut polished up beautifully Smile I can't wait to string it!


The damage to the body; a lot less severe than I thought, and I'm not too worried about it. Same on both cut-aways, but certainly I'll get that fixed before I start playing this again.


Last edited by AshNathens on Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : changed links to photos)

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:21 pm

Beautiful Rainbow there!
I'm convinced its the very same guitar from the brochure, grain for grain its near as damnit identical, shame it doesn't add any extra value in monetary terms Smile

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by AshNathens on Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:55 pm

Hi Sgt. Vimes - yep I'm pretty convinced too... I haven't found a single curve or shape in the top to make me doubt it. It's the guitar used in the brochure, I'm sure of it.

Re: value... this guitar is not and never will be for sale:) so no shame at all!

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by AshNathens on Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:42 pm

Update - I've managed to track down the guy I bought this Westone Rainbow 1 v1 off in 1994. I've had a couple of local 'experts' take a look at the top and the catalog photo; no-one seems to have any doubt - it IS the catalog instrument.

As such, I'll track down every piece of info I can on how that guitar ended up in Australia - just for prosperity & the interest of the Westone fans here. I'm pretty fascinated with it!

If anyone has this guitar and can tell me what the tailstock & bridge are branded, I'd appreciate it. I'm wondering if I have all original parts. Pick-ups are certainly original; machine heads are unbranded but I'd have to assume original. The tailpiece may have been swapped over to my Gibson - if so, they're identical. Both branded LP-S (???) which is a bit curious.

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by hoax on Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:46 am

I had an early version and it also had unbranded machine heads. My later ones all have Westone heads, so I think that your tuners are original.

Hoax

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by AshNathens on Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:23 pm

@hoax - thanks kindly for the info. It's stripped down at the moment for a clean, machine heads off etc. The bridge is the original Azusa, tailpiece original, machine heads confirmed original. And of course, the pick-ups!

All looking superb except for the missing scratch plate, which i'm not going to lose sleep over. I'm looking forward to sharing photos with you when I get it back next week.

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by storme37 on Fri May 30, 2014 7:00 am

it is remarkably similar to the catalog version would love to see it pictured in the same position

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

Post by AshNathens on Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:19 pm

storme37 wrote:it is remarkably similar to the catalog version would love to see it pictured in the same position

Hi Storme - a heap of photos here: http://www.ashnathens.com/westone-guitar/ - enjoy Smile

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Poll Re: Rainbow I (v1) restoration & information

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