The Whole Bolivian Army
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GUITAR HOSPITAL DRAMA
By Don Miller (Thornton Creek)

A few months ago, I was watching Matt Kite play in a little bar with his band, The Whole Bolivian Army, when one of his guitars fell over and broke. Emboldened by adult beverages, I announced, in front of witnesses, "I can fix that!" It sat for longer than it should have, but I finally got up enough nerve to try it.

Owie boo-boo. The neck broke right on the scarf joint where the head was glued to the rest of the neck. You can see the old glue where the fretboard was attached.

Owie boo-boo.

On the back, though, on the joint itself, there is apparently no glue. It appears the factory only glued about a third of the joint. The rest was being held together with . . . red paint? If there had been glue, it might not have broken at all, and if it did it probably wouldn't have broken right on the glue line, because glue is usually stronger than wood. I didn't think the fall was very severeat the time.

On the back...

The patient in traction:

The patient in traction.

I made sure to gather up the missing paint chips at the scene, and later tried to glue them back into place.

I made sure...

The patient in recovery:

The patient in recovery.

I had hoped to hide the scar better, but because the fit wasn't as tight as it should have been, it will show. The recovered paint chips also didn't fit, so they got sanded away. Filled the gaps with clear nail lacquer and at least made it smooth and shiny. (Matt insisted he only cared that it be functional again and the finish didn't matter, but I still did some more polishing after this photo.)

I had hoped to hide the scar better...

Tuned up to pitch and it hasn't blown apart yet. (Fingers crossed.) Had to fiddle with the nut slot a little to get the nut in the right spot, but it's all there and plays in tune. Will let it sit for a day to make sure the neck doesn't need any more adjustment, then figure out when to deliver it.

Tuned up to pitch...