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Fixing stuck pots on vintage guitars


bmckeen

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Hi, I just picked up a 1956 ES350T in excellent condition, except that 2 of the pots are stuck. Any suggestions on how to fix them? Obviously i don't want to have to replace them unless absolutely necessary. Any help is appreciated. thanks in advance.

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If they are completely frozen, the contacts may be too corroded to ever work again, BUT......

 

Find a Radio Shack or other electronics store and buy some Control/Contact Cleaner & Lubricant (Radio Shack Product #64-4315). Squirt it into the bottom of the pots at the slot where the wires solder to it and gently rotate the pot to free it up. Once it's freed up, squirt a little more in an twist it back and forth vigorously.

 

I know it's not as easy as it sounds on an archtop, but that's the general procedure. If you can't get the little red spray tube into the slot though the f-hole, you can try to drip some down the shaft after removing the knobs. Someone here had some great advise about putting a short piece of a soda straw over the shaft and spraying into the straw. This would held direct and concentrate the spray into the right area, AND protect the finish of the guitar from overspray.

 

Good Luck, let us know if this helps.

 

Oh, and one other thing.....unless you post pics of your guitar, it doesn't really exist. [biggrin]

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Oh yeah. Frozen pots. You need to get some GOOD contact cleaner to the inside of the pots. Be carefull to protect the finish. There is a way to drop the wiring harness and remove it to clean, but I would not recommend it without a proper 'exit strategy'. Are they froze on or off? How does it sound. Please report back with results....Curious, Rod

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One other thing, if you look at the crest on the headstock you can see that a bit of the gold has flaked off. Any suggestions on how to fix that? How was the gold done, gold leaf? Not a big deal but I'd like to take care of it since the rest of the guitar is in such good shape. Thanks

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Gorgeous 350T. You don't see too many with that quality of flame on top.

 

I wouldn't try to do anything to the damaged finish over the headstock inlay. It happens. It's not actual gold, by the way. It's just the aged color (the patina) of the finish they put over the headstock.

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Agree with Jim. It is the aged Nitro finish that has yellowed and flaked off over the mother of pearl inlay. I have had many old Gibsons that has that condition. Just leave it alone..... honest aging!

Again...Beautifull!

Did you get the pots freed up?

Rod

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how can i upload additional pics? It's telling me my limit is 500MB. Can it be increased?

See if you can find some software to reduce the size of your images (I'm on a Mac, and I use something called "Image Shackle"). The one you posted is great, but it's huge by message board standards.

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took it in to my local repair guy. He said he should be able to fix them. I didn't trust myself to do it especially if i had to pull them out thru the f-holes....

They would be pulled out through the pickup holes on this model!

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