Fixing an Old Electric Guitar

Posted on 30 September 2020

I had stopped practicing guitar for a couple of months due to various life factors, but am picking it up again.

When I was about 15, I assembled a guitar from parts. I was impatient and didn't know what I was doing, so the quality wasn't great. The guitar has been sitting in garages for a couple of decades, but I took a look at it and though I might be able to get it into playable shape with some work.

The guitar is in bad shape, but the parts are decent. It has a rusty Kahler Spyder whammy bar and two EMG-85 pickups.

I don't remember how the electronics work, but I took a look inside, and there might even be room for a Raspberry Pi Zero.

Guitar electronics

To clean the rust off of the whammy bar, I took it apart, soaked the pieces in white vinegar, and then scrubbed them with a toothbrush and sponge.

Kahler 2

It needs a couple of replacement parts, but otherwise looks like it works.

Kahler 3

Parts still needed:

  • glue for nut
  • guitar strings (I will try 9s to start.)
  • a few screws for the pickups
  • whammy bar parts: a bar and a micro tuner screw
  • guitar cable
  • measuring tools for the guitar setup