Thunder 1A Restoration

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Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:34 am

Hi all

I've decided to give my Thunder 1A Version 2, (owned by me from new!) a good going over...here are some intro pics...apart from the dust (!) you can see how tarnished and grimy the bridge, saddles etc are and I'm wondering whether to refurb it or replace it with one of the ebay replacements recommended on this forum. The saddles and bridge plate and intonation adjustment screws should clean up ok, (soak in metal polish...?) can anyone recommend replacement springs?

" />
" />

Now, problem number one is the bottom left screw holding the bridge on. The crosshead is totally knackered and therefore I think needs gently drilling out such that I can get the bridge off and leave a post long enough to get purchase with a pair of pliers and remove whats left of the screw.

Problem number two will be the pick up ring screws and the pickup height adjustment screws, anyone know of good replacements....

Problem number three is the damage to the body caused by my extensive gigging, and perspiring....

Thanks, all input gratefully received...

G... Cool

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by dustymiller on Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:46 am

Depends how far you are taking the restoration but the only thing I could suggest for the body is trying to get a matching colour wood filler, a putty basically, and refinish the laquer. the problem though is that you would lose the grain I would think. Or possibly build up the layers of laquer to "fill" the damage? Tricky one that.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:02 am

dustymiller wrote:Depends how far you are taking the restoration but the only thing I could suggest for the body is trying to get a matching colour wood filler, a putty basically, and refinish the laquer. the problem though is that you would lose the grain I would think. Or possibly build up the layers of laquer to "fill" the damage? Tricky one that.


Yea, I probably wont worry too much about the body wear, it's good and honest and reminds me of all the gigs I did with the guitar. As you can see, it's thru the finish and into the grain of the wood, I think I sweat hydrochloric acid... Embarassed

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Westbone on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:39 am

I'd try to tap the screw out rather than drill.
Tap a flat screwdriver head into it.

A few taps will loosen the thread in the timber also.

All the brass will clean up.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:56 am

Thanks Westbone, I'll try that.

I've just been cleaning up the saddles with wire wool and polish and noticed that the height adjusting grub screws are corroded in place. As long I can get the saddles back on the same strings all should be OK, bass strings are high, treble are low.... Wink

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Westbone on Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:10 am

Forgot to mention.
If you soak all the brass in thinners it'll remove all the lacquer.
Will also help loosen those saddle screws.

It's easy to get the grub screws out of the saddles. New ones are available if needed.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:54 am

Well, I managed to remove the last screw and remove the bridge, used a hacksaw blade and cut a slot in the screw and cleaned all the rust out of the screw hole to get a better grip. I've cleaned up the bridge and saddles..

" />

now I'll soak the saddles in metal polish and try to remove the grub screws. I have an allen key small enough that came with the guitar but i'm afraid it will bend and/or break if I use too much force...

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by corsair on Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:41 pm

Those little Grubb screws can be a PITA, eh; I tend to soak the saddle in diesel or Inox for a couple of days and if that doesn't work, I once put an oxy-acetylene flame to one!!

I can assure you that heat worked a treat, and hex keys are tough little buggers; I've not broken one yet and what's more, they're still making them!! From memory, i think that little one is 1.5mm??

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:48 pm

As Corsair says, heat can work wonders but oxy-acetylene may be a tad OTT for such a tiny screw, I would soak it in a thin lubricant (wd40 or whatever) overnight, dry it off and apply a soldering iron for a few minutes, it's worked for me before, good luck

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by corsair on Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:52 pm

Yeah.... not a little OTT, but a lot!! Nothing would move that bloody screw - lubricant, diesel, mild heat - so in a rush of blood to head, out came the gas plant... Laughing 

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Barry on Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:23 pm

To remove that dug-in dirt, try an Oxalic acid solution, gently worked in with a soft artist's brush. Let it sit awhile, then wipe with clean cloth or cotton ball and reapply as many times as needed.

It should lighten the wood back to near original. Then you can go ahead with filler or lightly sand and seal.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:45 am

Wow chaps, thanks for all the suggestions. Update... I managed to remove the grubs from two of the saddles, and the other four are soaking now. I like the soldering iron idea, I'll try that if a 24 hour soak doesn't budge 'em. Glad I didn't replace the bridge the original just needed a good clean...any suggestions for the springs and new grubs....I found these

ebay item no 331227473348

and these

ebay item 230832814177


G

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:58 am

You want M3 x 8mm, 10 mm if you like em sticking into your palm a little Smile

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M3-X-8-STAINLESS-STEEL-GRUB-SCREWS-QTY-30-/161225191668?pt=UK_DIY_Material_Nails_Fixing_MJ&hash=item2589c530f4

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:13 am

Ta....attention now turns to removing the pick up rings...more cruddy screws... Sad

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:58 am

Sgt. Vimes wrote:You want M3 x 8mm, 10 mm if you like em sticking into your palm a little Smile


.....I'll go for the 8mm....

Progress....yes heat was the answer with the grub screws, tried the soldering iron but didn't get enough heat transfer so went for the cigarette lighter which shifted most of the little buggers....last few shifted when I held them over the gas ring..... Twisted Evil .....new grubs on order, I've gone for black ones....and I've shifted all but one of the pick up ring screws...I don't think I'll replace the rings, just the screws and maybe the height adjustment screws. I may clean the fingerboard later...now where did I leave my horse toothbrush.....?????

So far, so good..... Laughing

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:01 am

"open up, dobbin"

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:26 am

Hi folks

Pick up ring screws all removed, looking for suitable brass replacements for these and the brass screws holding the bridge down. From what I see I need No 4 x 5/8" raised head brass woodscrews for the bridge

Cleaned the fingerboard, couldn't find the horse's toothbrush so used the wife's, Also polished the frets and cleaned the machines.

I think I'm going to lacquer the brassware after a final polish, read the Cleaning Brass thread...great but thinking of using paint on lacquer rather than spray.

What's the best way of cleaning and polishing the knurled edges of the brass knobs...?

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Westbone on Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:27 pm

gjw wrote:

What's the best way of cleaning and polishing the knurled edges of the brass knobs...?
With your wife's toothbrush... Twisted Evil...the one with brass bristles.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:39 am

Westbone wrote:
gjw wrote:

What's the best way of cleaning and polishing the knurled edges of the brass knobs...?
With your wife's toothbrush... Twisted Evil...the one with brass bristles.

..of course, (the brass one's for the toenails.....). Pick up ring screws are 3.5 x 12mm and bridge plate screws are 3.5 x 20mm...cross head brass, available in B&Q but pricey, annoyingly not so easy to find on the 'net.... Mad...slotted head...easy to find.... Evil or Very Mad...now as for the springs....

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Westbone on Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:26 am

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Papa-Ds-Music-Store/screws-/_i.html?_fsub=143624014&_sid=63831824&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:40 pm

The pickup mount screws are m2.5 x 12 the head dia. Is 4.3 if memory serves.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:01 am

Hi all, still looking for suitable brass screws for bridge and pick up surrounds, I mailed Papa D's to see if they have the correct size and spec....

3mm shank 20mm long and 6mm raised c/sunk head  and...

2.5mm shank 12mm long and 4.75mm flat c/sunk head

any ideas.... Neutral

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:14 am

Hi again

Gave the brass knobs a good going over with a wire cup brush in the drill, came up a treat, ordered some springs (from China!), bridge screws ( packet of 50, only need 5 so I'll have a few spares....!!) and pick up mount screws, (2.5mm x 15mm x 5mm dia. head...)

See how we go...

G... Neutral

PS glad I got some new batteries for the micrometer...

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:26 pm

Good work, got a link for the pup mount screws ?
I've used 5mm head scratchplate screws before and the head was far too fat, had to recountersink (that's a word!)  the holes,  not cool.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:30 am

Hmmm...I found the screws here....I measured the existing screws as 4.75mm...

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by silence86 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:53 am

Another Option (based in Germany) would be this page: LINK

There are plenty of little and bigger screws that you normally need to restore a guitar but aren't available anywhere (at least if you only need a few of them). I have dealt with them several times and was always fully satisfied. Disadvantage is that shipping to the UK costs 10 Eur.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:21 am

silence86 wrote:There are plenty of little and bigger screws that you normally need to restore a guitar but aren't available anywhere (at least if you only need a few of them). 


Annoying isn't it... Mad

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Picture update

Post by gjw on Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:10 am

So...

For all you photo buffs, a picture update...

Pick up mounts with B & Q screws fitted, as you can see the screw heads are just slightly too big... Mad 

" />

...shiny knobs... Laughing 

" />

...and does anyone else have this problem with the top of neck pick up mount distorting...too close to the fingerboard...

" />

sorry about fuzzy pics, crap camera on phone... Embarassed 

G

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Westbone on Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:46 am

Too brassy as well.... Evil or Very Mad  should be black

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:56 am

+1

these are options
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400621412099?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350948408453?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281222542175?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

the first link is the most accurate, though I do like the hex head in the 2nd link, though they are a tighter thread being a machine screw.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:03 am

also these

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330724737745?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Westbone on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:09 am

Sgt. Vimes wrote:also these

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330724737745?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
That's the baby.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:13 am

yep, had them in my watch list forever, never had to purchase them coz a little scuffing with sandpaper and a quick blast with black spray paint tidies up the originals in 2 minutes, I do this when I pop outside for a jsmoke and hit them with a lighter for a minute, start to finish in 3 minutes  Very Happy

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:54 am

Westbone wrote:Too brassy as well.... Evil or Very Mad  should be black

I think you may be right....

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:46 am

....although now I'm not so sure....these are different pick up ring screws, the B & Q ones heads were too big....



...as you can see, knobs saddles and bridge plate polished and lacquered ( Yes, I used 2 in 1 Top Coat and Enhancer Nail Polish...!!...seems to have worked fine, easy to apply.) Just waiting for the intonation springs to arrive and I can finish the rebuild.



Now, the pick up ring screws came from here, and they do them in black so I still may get a black set for "posh do's"...slightly longer and raised head but they look fine.

...and the bridge plate screws from here...they are nigh on perfect apart from the fact that they are fractionally smaller and cross head, not pozi...

...the intonation springs are here...not arrived yet..

...all in all going well.... cheers ...would it be a good idea to have a sticky topic with the links for all the various screws, springs etc etc for future reference... Thinking 

..now where did I put my Thunder IIA.... Neutral 

G

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:24 am

Looking better, good job

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:28 am

Stop Press...the springs have arrived... So Happy

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:00 am

Ok, Bridge back together, just a new set of strings intonation and action adjustment, will soon be good to go...



 Very Happy

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by The Chad on Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:53 am

Looking GREAT.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:08 pm

The pickup pole pieces could do with a quick light sanding, I use a lolly stick with 400 grit wet dry paper glued to it for jobs like that,  works a treat.

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by Westbone on Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:54 pm

Magnum or Feast.... Laughing

Those women's fingernail boards things work a treat.

Personally I like a bit of originality, as it is, character!

You wouldn't dare do that on a 'real' vintage guitar..... Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

Post by gjw on Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:57 am

I'm not sure about the pole pieces if I do those then I'll have to do the screws on the pick ups I think....

Any road up, here she is strung, intonated etc etc, I haven't stopped playing her since she was restrung, all the playability and tone variation that I remember from when I first got her way back when....especially thru the vintage AC30.... Laughing 



sitting next to her big cousin who now looks in dire need of a makeover...



grimy bridge, pitted chrome on the tailpiece, grotty knobs, chrome wear on pick up covers....



and here hanging out with an Indian cousin...



Thanks to all those who contributed advice and info, much appreciated, look out for the next thread....."Thunder IIa make-over"...coming soon

 Very Happy

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Re: Thunder 1A Restoration

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