Vintage Gretsch Guitars

60’s Viking lefty conversion

101

Stew Mac sells a fret crimper that places a small wavy crimp to the tang to make it wider. I use it on fret ends quite often.

102

Thanks I saw it on their website. Do you use it only at the end of the frets ?

103

Depends on where the trouble area is. Sometimes the whole fret, sometimes one end or the other. sometimes the ends and middle.

104

Ok Thanks Joe Desperado ! I have a similar tool I will try tomorrow on scrape woodbut I’m afraid to make more harm if it doesn’t work as expected and I need to put off the frets again... I made a try with CA on an oversized fret slot I glued a fret on, and i cannot take the fret out of the slot now it’s cured....

105

Frets glued with thick CAit seems ok, I will cut and sand them in a fews days :)

107

Thanks ! I will try make a DIY fret beveling file to help me shape the corner of the frets...

109

More 45 degrees than 35 but it guides the file, I cut the handle of a large file and a kitchen cutter board from IKEA...

110

Not perfect but it begins to look like a guitar neck... I will put some strings for a test before further fret dressing

111

I put some strings on, the old lady is buzzing a lot, she will need fret dressing, I gave 1/4 turn on the truss rod because there is a little back bow...

112

Not perfect but it begins to look like a guitar neck... I will put some strings for a test before further fret dressing

– petit professeur

Really nice job of having the frets extend across the binding! Sure adds to the playable area available on the fretboard.

113

Thanks ! Do you think it’s good to center the tailpiece on the old strap button, or would you use the tailpiece holes ( and then lower the tailpiece)... thanks for your advices :)

114

I couldn’t resist to put all the parts I have... I played a little and the buzzing is mainly at one fret on the extension and the zero fret which is too low... it reminds me than the original zero fret had a tick plain string on the fret slot, I suppose to take care of an existing buzz... So I hope that after a fret planification the guitar will be ok

115

Thanks ! Do you think it’s good to center the tailpiece on the old strap button, or would you use the tailpiece holes ( and then lower the tailpiece)... thanks for your advices :)

– petit professeur

Wouldn't you line up the strings, tape down the base and draw a centerline from the center of the 3rd and 4th strings down the neck and across the tailpiece to get your center for the tailpiece attachment? How do the tailpiece holes line up with the original holes?

116

Thanks for your method WindsorDave, it will be useful for me for future tailpiece or Bigsby centering... In fact I was asking for tailpiece height, the holes didn’t line up with old Bigsby holes so finally I used the lowest hole of the old Bigsby rather than the strap hole, it lowered the tailpiece a bit on the body, it seems fine now and the strings are pretty much in line

118

Glad it worked out for you. When I got my Super Chet awhile back it came with a Bigsby B6 instead of the normal fixed ebony with abalone tailpiece. I didn't know if it came that way or was a replacement. Anyway, it wasn't lined up properly when the strings ran straight to it To line up with the neck I had to move the bridges base towards the high E side of the neck, creating a side tension trying to pull the base to the bass side. I took it in to my luthier for a few mods and to fix the Bigsby. When she took it off there were another 3 holes from the original tailpiece, we assumed. She filled them in, re-aligned the Bigsby and drilled new holes. The hinge plate covered all the other holes and it's been perfect every since.

I believe your model came with a pair of Supertrons and you have Hilos on there now and aren't using the floating sound unit. Have you considered replacing that tone sucking space control bridge as part of your project? A nice Serpentune from Tim would look good on it.

119

I guess I've seen other examples of lefty G-cut tailpieces with the reverse "G"... but they really are strange considering that Gretsch produced other lefty examples with the correct "G" orientation, like this one.

120

Glad it worked out for you. When I got my Super Chet awhile back it came with a Bigsby B6 instead of the normal fixed ebony with abalone tailpiece. I didn't know if it came that way or was a replacement. Anyway, it wasn't lined up properly when the strings ran straight to it To line up with the neck I had to move the bridges base towards the high E side of the neck, creating a side tension trying to pull the base to the bass side. I took it in to my luthier for a few mods and to fix the Bigsby. When she took it off there were another 3 holes from the original tailpiece, we assumed. She filled them in, re-aligned the Bigsby and drilled new holes. The hinge plate covered all the other holes and it's been perfect every since.

I believe your model came with a pair of Supertrons and you have Hilos on there now and aren't using the floating sound unit. Have you considered replacing that tone sucking space control bridge as part of your project? A nice Serpentune from Tim would look good on it.

– Windsordave

I had the same problems with a Silver Falcon I own, I bought a chrome G Cadillac tailpiece to replace the Bigsby, and the Cadillac was not aligned when using the Bigsby hole... I needed to drill another holes, but like you said the other holes were covered by the tailpiece

121

I guess I've seen other examples of lefty G-cut tailpieces with the reverse "G"... but they really are strange considering that Gretsch produced other lefty examples with the correct "G" orientation, like this one.

– kc_eddie_b

Yes the reverse G is a little bit strange but I paid only 50 bucks for the tailpiece, for a 60’s tailpiece it’s not that bad

And I guess that’s part of the Gretsch DNA to do such things, like some GERTSCH headstock inlay I saw on the forum

122

I checked again and the tailpiece is a little crooked, I will fix it after I made a new nut.... and maybe order a serpentune

123

Small progress, I made some missing binding around the neck joint and the heel, and a truss rod cover, I laminated thin black pickguard material and thicker white.... I will make another because it’s too narrow, and because I managed to do a nasty scratch drilling the holes in it.... then I will chamfer it when the shape is good

124

I began to fit the back pad, the one I bought is a little too small, I guess it’s for the modern Gretsches since it don’t fit my ‘67 country gent... but it’s big enough to cover the old holes so it will be ok

125

Are you using bone for the new nut and not that plastic crap being foisted on the market these days. That guitar would've had bone originally.


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