Taylor 815ce on Billy’s Bench

This month on my bench we have a Taylor 815ce that was neglected and played……A LOT!! It’s cool to see instruments that were used for their intended purpose (making music) but not so cool that they did not receive the necessary care over the years. There were many issues with this guitar that I had to address in a step by step manner with each step building on each other. There were loose braces, cracks in the top, loose top and binding, very worn frets and last but not least the bridge was loose. Now, when I say loose I mean as I removed the bridge pins and strings the bridge fell off!!! The only thing holding the bridge on the body was the string tension and bridge pins!!!! Anyway, below are some photos of the process. 

Before we get started take a look at how loose the bridge is….lol. The only thing keeping the bridge “attached” to the body was string tension and the bridge pins. The bridge literally fell off the guitar when I removed the strings.

This is a very open crack that I believe someone tried to repair. The repair didn’t hold so the old glue needed to be cleaned out of the crack before I could repair it. You can’t tell by the photo but this crack was very open and each side of the crack was curling up. I humidified the guitar as best as I could and the crack did close a bit. You can also see how loose the bridge is in this photo.

Ok, so the first order of business was to glue the loose braces and the top separating from the body. This helped flatten the top which was curling up at the crack.

Another loose brace glued & clamped.

There were a couple minor cracks in the top that were pretty easy to close, glue and clamp.

You can see the crack but you could not feel it and more importantly it’s solid now.

Because the crack was very open I had to fill it with a very thin piece of spruce that I shaved down to size. 

I then cut the excess spruce flush. Now it’s ready to be clamped.

Top crack filled and all clamped up!!

Next step was cleaning the old glue from the guitar’s top and bottom of the bridge. I forgot to take a photo of the bridge clamped but it came out solid!!

Some very worn frets!! I refretted the guitar with stainless steel fretwire. The owner plays a lot so it only made practical sense to go with stainless.

Nice new stainless steel frets!!

And a new bone nut!!

In this photo you can see the bridge glued and the top crack (darker grain line) finished over. 

Here is the completed guitar all ready to rock! It sounded and played really great and the owner was very happy to say the least. I explained that this is a high end Taylor and needs to be cared for and maintained. See ya next time!!!

Billy Penn is the owner of 300Guitars Shop in Toms River, NJ. He has over 30 years of experience repairing, restoring and custom building guitars & tube amplifiers. Along with being an expert technician, he draws upon his experience as a former I.B.E.W. electrician and musician. For contact please visit www.pennalizer.com. 848-218-0362