Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Early 1964 Country Club restoration/resurrection DONE!

26

I was going to warn you about stripping the lacquer that way, but really its better to learn things yourself so you believe it. Fun project!

27

Maybe in the minority, but I kind of like the sides as is. Green top and back with natural sides, hmm. Just my opinion. YMMV

– Baba Joe

Great idea. Even better if you stain the top a deep wine red.

28

Been there! I've come to figure the best way to strip a lacquer feet is by sanding as much as possible off and then use chemicals... much less of a mucky mess

You may try to sand the wood with 600 grit or even 1000 grit wet sand and use clear lacquer to seal and level (instead of primer) and then use a transparent green to show off the grain under the green. I would probably go with HOK green kandy because it's transparent but also metallic in direct light. Anyway good luck with this!

29

I was going to warn you about stripping the lacquer that way, but really its better to learn things yourself so you believe it. Fun project!

– JazzBoxJunky

Really?

That would've been really nice to know, because the more finish I removed from the guitar the more I liked the look of the maple and spruce underneath. Well next time don't hold back please. I had researched this a lot on line (I've had the instrument awaiting stripping for about 2 weeks now) prior to taking the plunge and had found nothing about potential staining. It did make sense after the fact. Ah well. With this instrument I would've either gone with clear lacquer or a solid colour like the cadillac green. All one or the other.

30

Spruce absorbs anything, I've even seen it wick up color from the binding channels while doing binding with colored woods. Sanding off old lacquer is easy and fast, but you have to be careful with laminated plys.

31

Good to know! Next time I buy a 50 year old guitar to restore into my dream guitar I'll know how not to do it! Thanks

32

Fretboard bound and awaiting frets

33

Nice!! I would have installed the Frets first, leveled the sides and then install the binding. I'm not sure how they do the binding on a neck these days.. before or after fretting..

34

I don't much like fret end binding. It always seems to wear down leaving you with these nasty fret ends. I like the fret to extend over the binding. Gives one the potential for a wider spacing too, which I prefer. Thus , for me, it makes more sense to bind the neck first. Here's the first 10 or so frets in, going to do the rest tomorrow as I live in an apartment....

35

I don't much like fret end binding. It always seems to wear down leaving you with these nasty fret ends. I like the fret to extend over the binding. Gives one the potential for a wider spacing too, which I prefer. Thus , for me, it makes more sense to bind the neck first. Here's the first 10 or so frets in, going to do the rest tomorrow as I live in an apartment....

– Toxophilite

You're dead on about the correct sequence for new binding and frets. This is the reason why a re-fret costs more if the guitar has a bound neck - the luthier has to carefully cut the tang at the fret ends so that the fret properly overhangs the binding and extends right to the outer edges where you round it off nicely so it doesn't catch your finger. As you mentioned, this allows the [new] nut to space the slots a bit wider for easier fingering.

Next up, the headstock's new binding?

36

I'm enjoying this. Haven't had a good re-rurb/restoration project for a while.

Nice job on the neck binding Toxo.

37

Ahhh somebody had a neck reset! And it shows. This guitar has a good neck set! Strangely this is the 13th fret. Maybe that's where they drill the steam holes for this mortise and tenon neck join?

38

Fret job done and new nut cut(not shown) I'm tempted to reassemble and string it up to play as I have never heard this guitar with decent frets and proper sized strings for me (12-52 wound G) .It came with what looked like the original very tiny worn down frets that mostly were missing the string edge binding so also short! and very light strings. Couldn't get much idea of a sound and it wasn't worth throwing new strings on at that point.

39

I'm not sure how they do the binding on a neck these days.. before or after fretting..

Nowadays they do frets last. On old Country Clubs the frets go over the inner layers of binding but the outer layer covers the fret ends are is trimmed as on most Gibsons. So it would seem that they did the inner layers of binding first, then frets, then the outer layer.

40

Yesiree I just don't care for the fret end binding. i think it's impractical from a player point of view. Just my opinion

41

I totally agree as well! The binding, not just the wooden portion, is part of the fretboard's surface so it only makes sense to have the fret overhang all of it. Trust me, when the fret ends are simply rounded off at the outer edge of the binding and are not chamfered it's no impediment to playing. By not having the binding embedded into the end of the frets, it won't crack later when aging results in its shrinking.

I will admit though that if you have tall frets - I don't - you may want to chamfer the ends a tad so you don't bump into them as your hand travels up and down the neck. This isn't an issue with shorter frets. Regardless, most everyone can benefit from the frets extending all the way across the width of the binding.

With the multi-layer binding on my Super Chet, I have the low E string set to run above the inner edge of the binding and it works fine.

Having the fret overhang the binding right to the outer edge and just rounded off allows a tad wider spacing of the strings without the fear that you'll push the E string(s) off the edge of the fretboard. Frets that end where the binding begins and may also be chamfered, really handicaps the necks ability to provide a sufficiently wide playing surface for players like myself that need the wider neck guitars.

42

OKay I couldn't resist throwing it together to try it at rock band rehearsal this eve. I ended up bringing along a different ebony and bone bridge top and putting it on after a couple songs because that space control thingy is a ^&$&^$&^% (in my opinion) . it sounded good and didn't look half bad either despite the overly shiny hardware. Anyway time to take it apart again and bind the body. I did immediately notice that I forgot to put little dots on the side of the fretboard binding..one doesn't realize how much one is use to relying upon such things!

43

Red dots.

44

I did immediately notice that I forgot to put little dots on the side of the fretboard binding..one doesn't realize how much one is use to relying upon such things!

Hofners don't have them at all. I played a handful of gigs subbing with a Beatles tribute as Paul, and I have to say, I too was surprised by how much I missed those little dots. In fact, despite the gazillion gigs McCartney has played with his Hofner, you can still notice his habit of tilting his bass up occasionally to look at the fingerboard dots, usually before starting a song.

45

Yes, I have a Hofner and a Fasan, both German guitars, and it drives me nuts not to have those references.

46

Ahhh somebody had a neck reset! And it shows. This guitar has a good neck set! Strangely this is the 13th fret. Maybe that's where they drill the steam holes for this mortise and tenon neck join?

– Toxophilite

That's were the dovetail shoulders come in contact with the side and there's a nice void for steam.

Are you going with the ABS stuff or celluloid binding?

47

The binding I'm using is celluloid, That's what the fellow I get bits from has. I didn't think these narrow (1.75" deep) 60s gretsch's had a dovetail joint. From what I can see of it after the heel cap fell off It looks like the the other sort which seems to extend below the fretboard extension rather than the classic dovetail. I thought you drilled holes at the 15th fret for a dovetail.? I'm probably wrong though. Lord knows it won't be the first time, or the second, or the millionth...

Your experience in these things obviously far outweighs mine. I 'd be curious to know.

48

Sorry, you're right I haven't been paying attention. Either way the steam holes go where the heel and the neck meet. There's a V Shaped gap where the nozzle likes to go.

Dovetail units wear their screw in the heel.

49

No problem,The 13th fret holes do seem to line to where the fretboard extension piece slots into the rest of the neck. There might've been another pair of holes higher up that I missed. Happily the guitar has a pretty well perfect neck angle. Nice break over the bridge even with the bigsby.

50

It is too bad that the sunburst leeched into the wood. A natural finish would have looked nice and would have saved a ton of work. Any chance that more acetone and vigorous rubbing, maybe with Q-Tips, might lighten up the dark spots?


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