Musser 645 Refurb Project

Over the last couple of weeks I've been working on refurbishing my Musser 645 glockenspiel. I got this instrument a couple of years ago and have used it as a gigging instrument. It was formerly a school instrument. The case was in kind of rough shape, the keys kind of gross and the keys were also held on with a random assortment of screws and bolts that were used to replace them as they came off during its use in school.


A lot of the original wrap around the case was missing and the wood cracked on the corners. The instrument was also missing a lot of the rubber grommets which went between the screws and rails and would sometimes cause a buzzing noise on specific notes. The first step was to remove all the bars and get a better idea of what I was working with.


After taking the bars and rails off I decided what I would like to do was completely strip the wrap from the entire case. I also removed all of the latch parts for the lid as I didn't have the lid to put on it anymore. The case also had leather corner covers which I also removed and kept in case I wanted/needed to replace them by using the old ones as a stencil for cutting up new leather.


I then went over the case with sandpaper to try to smooth some of the damage to the wood, especially on the case pieces which were exposed due to missing wrap. The next step on this part was to get supplies to pre-stain, stain and seal the case. In the meantime, I went to work on the rails. They were pretty beat up so I decided to repaint the rails in flat black. I removed the Musser serial number badge and covered the sticker on the rails so that I could keep them.


The next part was the longest part of the process as I applied pre-stain, two coats of stain and two coats of polyurethane to the case.


After all that was done I put the rails back on and started looking for the finishing touches to complete the case.


I found online leather cabinet corners meant for guitar cabinets from Mesa Boogie. I order a couple to put on corners of the case. I ordered six in case I screwed some up when I was trying to put them on. I knew that I had to soak the leather and then tack them on, but I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. Well, I only received four of the six I ordered, so it was good that I figured it out quickly.


Last step was to find new grommets and screws for the bars. I was able to find a bag of 30 grommets meant for this model of Musser glock on eBay for about $10 total which is a pretty good deal considering if you buy them from WWBW it costs about $10 for 10 grommets. I then had to find screws which were close to the originals which cost more than I expected. However, I should be too mad about it since this whole project cost in the neighborhood of $70.


I cleaned the bars the best I could and then put them back on with the new grommets and screws.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with how the project turned out. Having this kind of work to do is something enjoyable for me to do with my hands outside of practicing and playing. If anyone ever has a project instrument that would like to have work done on, shoot me an email and I could maybe take your refurbishment or restoration project!