Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1960 Anniversary Restoration Pt 5

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TonyB and Danman recently posted pictures of the trestle bracing in their 6120s - heavy and light. So it thought I should let you know that Pt 5 of my 1960 Anniversary restoration/conversion has just been published in the UK Guitar & Bass Magazine.

In this issue I cover re-veneering the top with highly figured quilted maple and doing the f-hole binding. Thanks to TonyB and Danman I was also able to cover the installation of light trestle braces.

It will be another few weeks before this issue arrives overseas but I dare say it will be posted on our website in the coming months. If you would like to see the article sooner, you can order it from the website.

http://www.guitar-bass.net

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Trestles made from a century old floorboard

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And all back together. The body binding is now complete too and I'm planning to complete the neck re-set between Christmas and New Year.

Figuring out how to retrofit trestle bracing was 'interesting' to say the least but it was a lot of fun and the added weight is less than 100g. The body sounds really live and ringy so I have high hopes it might actually sound good as a guitar.

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As a subscriber I always look forward to the progress reports, cracking work.

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Those trestles look great Shuggie! And I love the articles! I can't wait for the next one!

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Very interesting. This is going to be a great guitar.

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Hope so BJ - I've put enough work into it...

And Danman, you know I couldn't have got this far without your help.

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Is there really so little wood in the neck tenon?

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Wow! Looks like you're on your way to a fabulous looking guitar, Shuggie! Beautiful work!

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Wow, when you're done with that you'll have the cleanest-built vintage Gretsch in the world!

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Great work, Huw! That reminds me, I need to re-up my subscription.

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Thats some fantastic work Huw!!!!!! I had no idea you were a luthier as well!!!! huge kudos!

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Thats some fantastic work Huw!!!!!! I had no idea you were a luthier as well!!!! huge kudos!

– paul pigat

Great point -- Huw is a very talented luthier as well as a gifted writer!!

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Thanks fellas. Glad you're enjoying it.

The really tricky part was re-veneering the top but my friend Patrick did that for me and I'm going to get him to re-set the neck too.

In the past I have done a few neck sets but the results have never been quite perfect and what might be tolerable on a Stew Mac acoustic kit doesn't do justice to a vintage Gretsch in my view.

Weirdly the guitar arrived with a really steep back angle which, means the bridge has to be set crazy high to achieve playability. And of course nothing is quite square. Could be a fiddly job.

BTW Walter I don't know about that, you haven't seen my spray work

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The neck block area is vastly improved now and I'm amazed at how light the trestle structure is for something so substantial in appearance and profound in effect- 100g/3.5oz is very little.

That new top is really going to pop when it's had some finish.

Been really enjoying this project.

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Wow! Can't wait to see this finished!

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BTW Walter I don't know about that, you haven't seen my spray work

Ha! Well, one thing did cross my mind when looking at your pictures : I'd be testing on scraps for ever before I'd have the nerve to put stain on that pretty maple veneer!!! (not trying to make your nervous, haha)

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Believe me Walter, I've already started

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haha! I do believe you! You don't want watered down tomato soup, and you don't want fluorescent orange either....

That said, an amber-tinted natural finish would look sweet on that guitar too!

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Are you going for a 2 pickup 6120 look? If so, you should have plugged the switch hole before veneering and re-drilled in correct areas after. No biggie, but to geeks it will show.

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Are you going for a 2 pickup 6120 look? If so, you should have plugged the switch hole before veneering and re-drilled in correct areas after. No biggie, but to geeks it will show.

– JazzBoxJunky

I think he's going for the hotrod look. Just a three position switch and a master volume.


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