Vintage Gretsch Guitars

52 Electro 2 project

52

faceplate looks quite a bit better, Not bothering to fix the collateral damage of time, just smooth out the existing finish and give the old a shine. i'm erring on the side of caution because I don't know exactly how thick the finish is nor exactly what it is. Probably an acrylic lacquer. Still I don't want to burn through.

53

Ah sweet guitar! I've always wanted one of these.

54

Cue Windsordave...

– Afire

TRIGGERED

55

Man I thought i had a bad habit!! Bernie!! you need to be stopped!!! that being said, she's a beauty!! did you get it from Glen?

56

You electro 2 owners out there. Is the black on the back of the headstock an overlay? or is it just paint?

Paint. Stingers were standard on blonde guitars for some reason.

57

Man I thought i had a bad habit!! Bernie!! you need to be stopped!!! that being said, she's a beauty!! did you get it from Glen?

– paul pigat

Yeah it took a while to work him down to something I could deal with and then got him to throw in some Grover Imperials so it seemed reasonable. While lurking there I did get to meet the who's who of Winnipeg rock alumni including Brian Holden and Danny Casavant (I think) Both super nice guys. I spent an hour talking guitar and swapping Billy Cowsill stories with Danny.

I did sell two guitars so I had a perceived void, plus the electro 2 was one of my big favourites aesthetically.

58

You electro 2 owners out there. Is the black on the back of the headstock an overlay? or is it just paint?

Paint. Stingers were standard on blonde guitars for some reason.

– Afire

Thanks. It's a great look. I was contemplating laminating an ebony faceplate on the back but of course only if it didn't make it too thick for the tuners. I wish I knew what paint was used on the guitar.

59

Sanding the humps out of the board, unusually at the 2nd and 9-10th frets going well Brazillian rosewood smells GREAT!

60

Thanks. It's a great look. I was contemplating laminating an ebony faceplate on the back but of course only if it didn't make it too thick for the tuners. I wish I knew what paint was used on the guitar.

– Toxophilite

I had a '51 Blonde Electro; gloss black is all you need. Gretsch painted stingers on even the cheapest blondes up to about '70 or so. If you see a vintage blonde Gretsch without a stinger be very suspicious, especially if it is a dual stamped model. The dual stamp numbers included the sunburst and blonde finishes. Weasels will strip the sunburst off, do a quick respray and attempt to sell it for more as a blonde -- and they frequently forget the stinger. Weasels aren't too bright.

Are those humpblocks pearl or pearloid?

61

Cool!. My guess on the humpblocks would be pearl as they're very hard.

62

Use a particle mask when sanding pearl or bone. The stuff is nasty in your lungs -- you mentioned the smell of the rosewood....

64

You electro 2 owners out there. Is the black on the back of the headstock an overlay? or is it just paint?

Paint. Stingers were standard on blonde guitars for some reason.

– Afire

Not always Afire. My '72 Super Chet has a double stinger, the result of 2 thin strips of ebony laminated with the maple.

My '41 [blond] Synchro has a single stinger and this one is rosewood (matching the fretboard). My Fleetwood's new neck will be a double stinger ala the SC....5 piece laminate of ebony and maple.

An interesting feature of the Synchro's stinger is that it isn't dead center but is offset to the bass side and runs down the deepest part of the neck, this being an example of Gretsch's asymmetric neck in that era. Part of their marketing jargon, "7 points of supremacy."

65

Whew hardest fret job I've done to date!. Despite preparation, cleaning of slots, slightly deepening them etc. The frets weren't always wanting to seat, hilariously the humped block markers kept popping out! had to reglue 3 of them, one up the neck was paper thin and had some old newspaper or cardboad with writing behind it. (I lost a corner of that one) They especially didn't want to seat on the extension..whoopee. A lot of trial and error, sweating bullets but got them in. Whew! The last 4 must've taken about 30 minutes!

This I think was maybe my 7th or 8th fret job, all on expensive vintage instruments!! (sink or swim!) It's looking good though a little more polishing is in order Here it is next to it's younger sister.

66

Mine was my 2nd most difficult fret job. I'd only cut all those tangs for myself...nobody could pay me what I'd want to make to do it again!

67

Yessiree. All my refrets have been bound fretboards! Aiiiiee

68

Mine was my 2nd most difficult fret job. I'd only cut all those tangs for myself...nobody could pay me what I'd want to make to do it again!

– charlie chitlins

Another lovely job Charlie....done correctly with the tang cut off and fret overhanging the binding.

Edit: I really admire folks who can do refretting....along with dressing the fingerboard when required. It's a lot of extra work to clip the tang to extend the fret over and across the binding to make full use of width of the fretboard.

69

Hilarious!

On another note I always find with dynasonics that I pretty well have to bury the low E and A poles. everything else is way up above the pickup case. This is a neat sounding guitar

Still to do in no particular order:

-buy grommets for the vintage sta-tites I picked up today!(grommetless ! what was I thinking??) install

  • bypass resistors on volume pts

  • add switch

-install bigsby (have to even though the harp tailpiece is BEAUTIFUL!

  • lightly sand and biff rest of body

  • paint stinger

  • replace 'painted' binding on the one pickguard edge, reinstall

  • build brazillian rosewood synchro style bridge

70

I have to check out the resistors on the volume pots. I did a treble bleed on mine which keeps things tighter when rolling off the volume. But...maybe not. It sounds pretty killer as it is. This is one of my seasonal guitars. I don't gig it in the winter. Too many temperature variations. Come on SPRING! And...I, too, had trouble with the knobs. Mine weren't stuck on the shafts, but the set screws were TIGHT. It was a little scary getting them out!

71

I bypassed the resistors to try it out. They are indeed 2.2K and it gets brighter and louder. Haven't has a chance to play it loud yet. Stuck a bigsby on it and the ebony Synchro bridge I made late last year.. I still have the truss rod socket on the truss rod!

Interestingly though this guitar and the convertible are almost identical in characteristics,(both 17" full depth ,maple laminate archtops with laminate spruce tops and identical necks, and are now set up the same way (though one has Dearmonds and one has hilotrons) I'd say the Convertible has the nicer acoustic sound.

72

THAT looks freakin' fantastic Toxo! Kudos for saving this old gal!

75

Beautiful aul geet sir!


Register Sign in to join the conversation