Shane Targa Guitar Restore

It wasn't a top of the line guitar by any means, but it was awesome to me and allowed me to play Van Halen songs.

Shane Targa Guitar Restore

My very first electric guitar was a Shane Targa. It was a red and black Super Strat style guitar and featured a rosewood fretboard and high output pickups in a H-S-S configuration. It wasn't a top of the line guitar by any means but it was awesome to me and allowed me to play Van Halen songs which was a huge step up from the acoustic guitar I was playing before it.

Recently, my daughter has shown an interest in learning to play guitar. To get this guitar restored in order to give to her for her first guitar would be fitting. It brought me a lot of enjoyment and I believe it will her too but this guitar needs a lot of work to become playable again.

At one point I'd had a brass nut installed on the guitar when I was a kid. Due to the angle of the low e string's tuning peg, I'd broken the original plastic nut one of the first times I ever tuned it. Not only is that missing but it's pickups are not connected. Among other thing, I'm not entirely sure of the electronic's condition and some of the bridge saddles are missing.

Before getting into any restoration I took the pickguard off to take a look around. The pickups are trash at this point and I'm still not sure about the pots and switch but they don't look that great. The electronics are really low budget and I won't know if they are in working condition until I start working on it.

The restoration project started off easy enough, I took the sticker off the pickguard and got the lowrider man sharpie drawing off. Well, mostly off. After so many years being on the guitar, the sharpie has permanently stained the clear coat, but it's not too bad.

After having a look under the pickguard and the rest of the guitar I've got an idea of the direction I want to go with it. I plan to change the pickup configuration over to an H-S-H setup. I've not got a lot of money for this project so all of the parts for it will have to be budget parts. I've ordered a set up Seymore Duncan Invader style humbucker pickups off of Amazon along with some very in-expensive, black colored bridge saddles from eBay. For the nut I've gotten a decent quality Tusq nut from Sweetwater.

In order to get the frets cleaned up some I taped off the fretboard with painters tape and then rubbed each fret with some fine steel mesh. I was able to get the frets cleaned up and add some shine back to them.

To get a humbucker to fit in the bridge position I had to route out the body. In order to get this area cut right the first time I cut the pickgaurd so that the neck humbucker fit in the guitar. After getting the pickgaurd cut out to fit the pickup I then traced the are out on the body that will need to be removed.

The cut I made in the pickguard could have been a lot cleaner but all I had available to cut is was an oscillating tool, the type you would use to cut baseboard trim with. After marking the body for my cuts I pulled the pickgaurd again and then made my cuts. The cuts where quite easy to do with the oscillating tool. The ease in cutting was probably aided by the fact that the body is made up of plywood.

This routing certainly wasn't my best work but it got the job done and after confirming with a test fit with the pickup know the pickup will fit.

Now on to the part I was most worried about, the electronics. After getting the new pickups soldered into the circuit I gave the guitar a test run. Plugging the guitar in and tapping on the pickups' pole pieces produced no sound. Zero sound. Nothing at all in any of the pickup selector positions or no matter which way or how much I turned the knobs. The bad thing about this is that I'm not confident enough in my soldering abilitites to know whether or not I've hooked things up properly or if the electronics are worn past their ability to work.

After a couple of hours messing with the guitar I made the descion to purchase an inexpensive, loaded HSH pickguard and just transfer the electronics and pickups from it to this guitar.

After transferring everything from the new pickguard on this guitar I'm fairly pleased with the fitment and aesthetic look. Luckily going this route only required me to solder two wires which are the positive and negative at the input jack.

After getting everything put together and tuned up I gave my daughter her first guitar lesson, "My Own Summer" by Deftones. I thought it was cool that she picked that for the first song to learn since I used to play along with that song on the radio with this exact guitar. I hope that her journey into learning an instrument is as rewarding of an experience as it was for me. I think it will be.