Steel Guitar Strings
Strings & instruction for lap steel, Hawaiian & pedal steel guitars
Ray Price Shuffles
Classic country shuffle styles for Band-in-a-Box, by BIAB guru Jim Baron.

This Forum is CLOSED.
Go to to read and post new messages.

  The Steel Guitar Forum
  Pedal Steel
  How to refurbish my new-old Sho-Bud Pro III?

Post New Topic  
your profile | join | preferences | help | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   How to refurbish my new-old Sho-Bud Pro III?
David Doggett

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 13 July 2005 10:02 AM     profile     
Well, I finally took the plunge and bought a D10 8&4 Sho-Bud Pro III Custom, just for the sentimental value. I have a color brochure I saved from the '70s, and on the cover is a curly-maple lacquer Pro III with shiny aluminum necks. It was the top of the line at the time for Sho-Bud. I have always wanted one of those ever since, in walnut. It cost around $2000 at the time, which is around $8,000 in today's money, and considering my meager pay in those days compared to my income now, it would be equivalent to me spending about $20,000 on an instrument today. At the time, I played a used Maverick and could not conceive of how anyone could afford those beautiful new Sho-Buds.

My Pro III is a little beat up with bar dings around the back neck, but from the front it looks fine. There are only a few lacquer cracks, and those are between the necks. It has new TrueTone pickups and new Grover tuners. It is a modern type all-pull, with nylon hex tuners all at the end-plate. It has the Super Pro 3/2 changer, undercarriage parts, and pedals; but it has the traditional long, bent-tear-drop keyheads. Eventually I would like to add a vertical lever, and maybe a center cluster for the 6th neck. But for now I just want to do a little cosmetic sprucing up and could use some advice.

This will never be my main guitar. I play unis now (Zum and Emmons p/p). I just want the old Sho-Bud to sit in my living room and look pretty. And I wanted to have a classic D10 around to keep my hand accustomed to, for when I want to try someone else's guitar.

It has the raised fret plastic fret boards. The red paint on the hearts and diamonds has faded to pink. What kind of paint should I use to restore those? What about finger-nail polish? Or does anyone sell these new?

I have read some posts about polishing the aluminum necks, keyheads and end-plates. Does one do this by hand, or with a buffer (what kind of buffer attachment)?

I have heard that Sho-Bud began using pot-metal or pewter for some parts sometime in the late '70s and early '80s. Does my Pro III have any of those? How do I recognize them?

Thanks for any advice. After I've spruced it up a bit, I'll post a picture.

Oh, yeah, how does it sound? It sounds very good, but falls a little short of the Emmons p/p (early '80s) and Zum (mid '80s). All three guitars have TrueTone pickups and aluminum necks. So I can do a fair sound test. The Emmons of course is the brightest, and has the best string separation and sustain. The Zum is next in tone, and the Sho-Bud comes in last, but is not very far behind. I doubt the listener would ever notice the difference between the Zum and the Sho-Bud. I think it can hang in there well with any modern pedal steel. Bobbe Seymour has said the Pro III may be the best guitar Sho-Bud made in terms of modern mechanics and finish. This one certainly seems on a par with most modern pedal steels. Ricky Davis thinks the early Pro IIs with the two hole bell cranks and barrel tuners are the best sounding, because of the bigger body, and more solid mechanism. Some day I'll have to try one of those. But for now, I've got the one that has had my name on it for 30 long years.

[This message was edited by David Doggett on 13 July 2005 at 10:09 AM.]

Charlie McDonald

From: Lubbock, Texas, USA

posted 13 July 2005 01:41 PM     profile     
If you kept that brochure from the 70's, you're gonna be one happy boy.
Clyde Lane

From: Glasgow, Kentucky, USA

posted 13 July 2005 02:00 PM     profile     
David if it has hex cross shafts then it its pot metal. The shafts and everything on them is pot metal except for the shaft mounting brackets. The pull rods are steel.
IMHO the only thing wrong with these guitars is the pot metal parts although they are not as easy as modern guitars to change the setup on. Duane Marrs makes retro parts for these and the price is reasonable. Good luck
Larry Robbins

From: Fort Edward, New York, USA

posted 13 July 2005 02:09 PM     profile     
Welcome to the SHO~BUD faimly! I have one of each...73 PRO II and a PRO III that sounds like it a twin of yours but mine is a "Blonde" as far as fixing yours up... you cant go wrong with advice from Ricky Davis or Bobbe Seymour! These two guys probably know more about these guitars than just about anyone!And,...they are two of the most helpfull people I know.If Bobbe dosent have any parts you need , contact Forum member John Koop."His parts are works of art" tm.hee,hee! Igot to say I would hate to have to choose between my two Buds...
I am very fortunate to have too!...Now if Bobbe would just buy SHO~BUD and start production I would buy a third ...are you reading this Bobbe?....Good luck with your new steel.

SHO~BUDS, Steelkings,
Fender guitars,
Hilton pedals, Preston
covers, and Taylor(Tut, that is)Resos.

Still Country after all these years....

[This message was edited by Larry Robbins on 13 July 2005 at 02:11 PM.]

[This message was edited by Larry Robbins on 13 July 2005 at 06:18 PM.]

David Doggett

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 13 July 2005 04:08 PM     profile     
Oh yeah, Charlie, I'm looking at the brochure right now. I also have a '74 Sho-Bud catalog. Do you think this old literature is worth something?

The catalog lists (with b&w photos) a wood neck Maverick with nut rollers, 3&1, for $425; a Lloyd Green, round front, 3&4 for $1,195; a Pro I, round front, 3&1 for $995; a Pro II, round front, 8&2 for $1,595; and a D10 Custom, square front, 8&2 for $1,650. The latter must have been the fore-runner of the Pro III. The catalog is black and white, except for the cover photo, an end-on close up of the Grover keys of a D10.

The brochure is in color throughout. On the back it says "Form No. SBG-75", which I believe means Sho-Bud Guitars 1975. On the cover it says "Sho-Bud distributed by Gretsch." The square-front Pro III Custom on the cover (Model 6164) has the standard charcoal finish. There are no prices. It is listed as 8&4, with "polished aluminum necks for more sustain and cleaner sound." It mentions positive individual nylon tuning, double raise and double lower, and redesigned undercarriage for quiet action. It has tear-drop knee levers and the traditional wide pedals. The Super Pro came out in '77. My Pro III has Super Pro parts: 3/2 changer, flat knee levers, narrow pedals. So it must have been made after '77.

Also listed in the '75 brochure, with beautiful full page color photos, are the Pro II Custom (square front, Model 6155), 8&2, in walnut; the Pro I Custom (square front, Model 6148), 3&2, red; the Lloyd Green (square front, Model 6150), 3&4, with an additional small b&w photo of Lloyd resting his elbows on the pad; Single 12-string (square front, Model 6150, 3&2, blue; Double 12-string (square front, Model 6165), 8&4, walnut, with small b&w photo of undercarriage; the Professional (round front, Model 6139), S10 3&1, natural; and the "all new Maverick" (Model 6152), 3&1, covered with "durable Burl Elm vinyl," and with no neck and an ash-tray keyhead.

My Pro III has hex cross-shafts, so I guess they are pot metal. They are all in good shape and working fine. Is there any point in changing them? I can't imagine the cross-shafts have any effect on tone. I will say that the Sho-Bud undercarriage is noisier than my Zum or Emmons.

Any advice on painting the hearts and diamonds on the necks, and polishing the aluminum parts?

[This message was edited by David Doggett on 13 July 2005 at 04:14 PM.]

Clyde Lane

From: Glasgow, Kentucky, USA

posted 13 July 2005 04:42 PM     profile     
David the cross shafts are not the problem, it is all the hardware attached to them. The pot metal bell cranks and knee lever brackets break very easily. Also they wear fast. Look closely at the holes where the pedal rods hook on and where the pull rods connect. If it has been played much the holes will be oval from wear.
If you do move a bell crank be very carefully with the set screw, it is very easy to strip out.
The changer fingers are chrome plated pot metal and IMO have a great tone but wear out also.
I have a LDG that I bought new in 1978, big body square front, that has the undercarriage. I have replaced a lot of parts through the years (some knee lever brackets more than once),but I would never use original Sho-Bud parts again, only use retro parts.
Skip Edwards

From: LA,CA

posted 13 July 2005 05:17 PM     profile     
Congrats on your new axe. As far as fretboards, you can replace those dust-catcher boards with new, flat(old-style)ones from Bobbe... in black or white. I just ordered a pair of white ones for my SuperPro.

How about some pics when you get it all shined up?

David Doggett

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 13 July 2005 06:19 PM     profile     
Aw man, all those parts are pot metal, even the changer fingers? What were they thinking? Well, mine shows very little wear, so maybe it hasn't been played much. As I said, this will never be my main axe, so I wont be adding much wear to it. Probably keeping it well oiled will help. I have thought about getting new flat fretboards. The white ones would look really cool with the dark walnut stain. But the raised ones maintain the stock look. Their chief advantage is that they don't collect any bar dings. At some point in the unknown future I'll post pics.

[This message was edited by David Doggett on 13 July 2005 at 06:20 PM.]

Clyde Lane

From: Glasgow, Kentucky, USA

posted 13 July 2005 08:02 PM     profile     
The pot metal parts will last a long time used as a second guitar(if they don't break). The good thing is the tone. Plug into a Fender Twin Reverb and you will have "THAT SOUND".
Joseph De Feo

From: Narberth, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 14 July 2005 04:10 AM     profile     
Congratulations on the new guitar Dave.
It sounds like we have the same undercarrage, so we'll have to get together
and compare "notes". Each day I sit down
to practice, "that sound" puts a smile on
ear to ear. Talk to you soon.
Nick Reed

From: Springfield, TN

posted 14 July 2005 04:15 PM     profile     
I had my Sho-Bud refurbed by Jeff Peterson about 2 years ago. Excellcent work and the price was reasonable. Nick


From: Grayson, Ga.

posted 15 July 2005 09:52 AM     profile     
You might want to get in touch with John Coop also. He makes really high quality lever kits for replacing the pot metal parts (see amps and access.). He charges fair prices also. He also will let you trade your old parts in (in most cases). I don't want to speak for him, but he did really good by me with my LDG.
Sho-Bud LDG (lefty)
Dekley D-10 (lefty)

All times are Pacific (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Pedal Steel Pages

Note: Messages not explicitly copyrighted are in the Public Domain.

Powered by Infopop © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46

Our mailing address is:
The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support the Forum