Other Guitars

56 Goldtop project.


I've always liked Goldtops & have owned several over the years but I've been GASing for a vintage style P90/B7, so I thought I'd have a go at converting a 2013 Studio. I've always thought Studios play & sound pretty good but look a bit odd. I bought one for £380 on the day we left the EU, yikes, I didn't see that coming. I'm sure you all know what they look like but here's the starting point.


So, strip her down & have a look. First impression is that the top curve is much closer to a 50s than my 2002 Std, which is too tall. BTW it's a 50s Tribute, cos I prefer a fuller neck profile.


The P90s were mounted on a threaded metal base, which is screwed into the wood, that will have to go, I want it as vintage correct as I can, within reason (& budget) so I'll fill those holes.


OK, let's make some sawdust. I'm putting a Bigsby on, so the TP lugs will go. That means I have to earth it to the bridge posts. I need a hole from the control cavity to the post holes.


The headstock needs re-shaping to make it more vintage correct. I don't have a 50s GT or Burst to copy but I do have a couple of Juniors, a '56 & a '59, so I made a tracing of both (they're different of course) & took an average shape that looked right to my eye. I left the curve on the long sides the same, as I need the tuner holes to be the same distance from the edge. I just used a step router blade that I use for binding to take about 1 mm off. I did half, then flipped it over to do the other half.


I used a drum sander bit in the pillar drill to shape the end. goldtop 005


Time to strip the finish. I use a heat gun & scraper. At least I didn't need to worry about melting the binding. Once stripped I have to remove the 'board, to install binding. Steam iron & kitchen knife.goldtop1 001


'Board off. I was thinking about pin holes through the fret slots to keep it from sliding about when I glue it back on, however it has small plastic locater lugs, which saves me a job.goldtop1 002


Regarding binding, I don't like the colour of the Stewmac one, which is a shame as I have Stewmac router bits to match the size. I used Rothko & Frost, here in the UK, as the colour looks more vintage correct to me. However the size is a bit out of whack, so I need to rout it to size.goldtop1 003


I have to remove the frets, a first for me.goldtop2 001


This is great so far, but then again, I'm better at destroying things than making them right.

Looking forward to the rest, Tony.


You've got my attention, Tone.


I wish there was a Subscribe button for Topics...


I wish there was a Subscribe button for Topics...

– Phil T

There is a 'watch' button below the comments. I never used it so far but if it works as it should that's the ticket.


Rip down the sides to the thickness of the binding.goldtop2 003


To do my faux Braz 'board I open the grain a bit with a Stanley blade, then darken it with Feibings dark brown leather dye.goldtop2 004


Hi Sascha, hope you're well.


Frets back in & file the fret ends flush.goldtop2 001


Glue the binding on. I think I used CF Gel glue.goldtop3 001


Hi Sascha, hope you're well.

– tonyb

Just recovering from surgergy at home. So I've got some interwebs time on hand.


Rout off the excess with a flush router.goldtop3 003


Ready to clean up with a file.goldtop3 004


Just recovering from surgergy at home. So I've got some interwebs time on hand.

– sascha

Yikes, what happened?

Register Sign in to join the conversation