The Workbench

1956 Jet Firebird

1

This one was hacked up and refinished which I've stripped. There was a question a while ago about what the wood looked like under the finish. This one is from when they were painted and you can see the red under the black on the side. Gretsch never used primer and I'm pretty sure they used clear lacquer to fill the mahogany grain.

When Gretsch sprayed two tone guitars they didn't tape anything off on the first color so the sides and back get some overspray on them.

4

Another interesting fact is there's a 3 ply laminate with a thin piece of maple veneer glued to the 3 ply.

5

These are great! Have you found Gretsch using a maple veneer like this other times in your repairs? It seems like an extra step that would be unnecessary if the top is painted or covered.

6

Looks great, Curt. Are you going to paint it back to red and black, or stain it to show off the top?

7

Interesting stuff as usual, Curt. Thanks! I love the stained wood with clear lacquer guitars. The finish looks a lot better to me.

I've got a newbie question, though. You say "...veneer glued to the 3 ply" and this confuses me every time. Isn't plywood just a laminate made out of several veneers? Sounds like different things the way you state it. Or is the outer veneer usually just for looks and simply glued on-top?

8

Interesting stuff as usual, Curt. Thanks! I love the stained wood with clear lacquer guitars. The finish looks a lot better to me.

I've got a newbie question, though. You say "...veneer glued to the 3 ply" and this confuses me every time. Isn't plywood just a laminate made out of several veneers? Sounds like different things the way you state it. Or is the outer veneer usually just for looks and simply glued on-top?

– sascha

You're right it is 3 ply plywood but a hight grade that doesn't have any voids. My point is that's it's not 4 ply, the maple laminate is separate.

9

Looks great, Curt. Are you going to paint it back to red and black, or stain it to show off the top?

– Wade H

100% going back to red and black but this time the correct shade which you can see from the side is much darker.

10

These are great! Have you found Gretsch using a maple veneer like this other times in your repairs? It seems like an extra step that would be unnecessary if the top is painted or covered.

– BuddyHollywood

This is the first time I've stripped a jet top that isn't nitron and those are pretty rough under the celluloid.

11

Another interesting fact is there's a 3 ply laminate with a thin piece of maple veneer glued to the 3 ply.

– Curt Wilson

Is this the extra laminate that goes under the top for the pickup screws to hang on to?

12

The extra laminate is the top then there's small pieces of solid wood that go under the pickup.

13

looking forward to this restoration!

14

You're right it is 3 ply plywood but a hight grade that doesn't have any voids. My point is that's it's not 4 ply, the maple laminate is separate.

– Curt Wilson

Thanks for sorting this out.

15

Ive always suspected that the plywood tops were laminated on a form like their drum shells, rather than bent after they were plywood.


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