Frank’s EG240

When I started this project, I wasn’t intending to document the process- but there are some interesting aspects to the job, so perhaps I will…

Frank brought this old Maton EG240 to me some weeks ago.

Not being an expert on such things, I assume that this old guitar might date from around 1962 or so, from what I can gather from Neil Rote’s entries on similar EG240s on his Grouse Guitars website.

It had been fitted originally with an indeterminate floating pickup with volume and tone control and perhaps it had even been refinished in its original clear finish as well.

After a bit of discussion, Frank decided that he wanted the old Maton fitted with a pair of Mick Brierley’s P90 dog ear pickups and a more modern archtop tune-o-matic bridge.

And it also badly needed a refret…

The machine heads have been changed a couple of times and even though Frank was keen to use old-type machines, I’ve suggested that modern Grovers or similar might be preferable, but we’ll worry about that a bit later.

On pulling out the old frets, the fret board needed to be levelled and some “divots” needed to be removed.

Additionally, Frank had asked me to repair the damaged fret board binding on the treble side.

Old binding shrinks and comes loose and at first I thought that I’d attempt a repair but as soon as I put a finger nail under the binding, it just lifted away.

So I either had to splice in a piece- or replace the whole length.

The old glue was removed…

…and a new length checked for fit.

Before gluing in the new binding though, I recut the fret slots- much simpler when there is only one bound side.

The new binding is glued in place…

…and when the glue dries, the binding is filed down to the correct size…

…and the edges are shaped to match the original. (The finish will be touched up later…)

Now- for the frets.

And it was all going so well!!

On tapping in the first fret- the old fret slots are wider than I need for the new fret wire- not by much, but the frets will all have to be glued into place.

What I decided to do was to glue in the new frets in two sections and to use an appropriate radius clamping caul to hold the frets down until the glue has dried overnight.

This morning, I did the same with the rest of the frets and again allowed the glue to dry for the morning.

The frets are finished as usual and a new bone nut made and fitted.

There’s been a bit of a wait while Mick produces a couple of his pickups for the old Maton but now they’re here and I can continue.

I’ve purpose-made a template for the Brierley B90s…

… and with the top routed, the pickups are wired to a volume and tone control and the pickup selector is placed where a rotary control would have been placed on the two pickup version of this guitar.

Frank has given me an old but perfectly useable set of Grovers to fit and the unused holes are appropriately filled.

Before fitting strings, I checked the neck for levelness and I felt that although it’s fairly good, a tweak on the truss rod might be appropriate.

Not possible…

Like modern day Matons, the adjustment is made using a tool that is fitted into the guitar via the end pin…

…and adjusts the square nut at the base of the neck.

The nut should look like this…

…but unfortunately, it looks like this…

The nut has been badly mangled and the factory tool can’t be made to fit the nut.

And to compound the problem, there is insufficient clearance around the nut to allow the adjuster to be fitted anyway.

So adjustment isn’t possible at present.

Anyway, the strings are fitted and the pickups can be aligned with the strings and screwed into place.

The guitar works quite well but that tweak of the neck would have been good…