Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Redrocker’s ‘56 6120

1

This is going to be moved over to the blog section but I'm having an issue getting in so it'll start here.

Paul and I talked about doing a video of the work that's going to be done to his guitar including a reset, a little paint and frets.

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

PART 4

PART 5

2

Yep... it's documentary time.

First a bit of background: some of you know I scored a '56 6120 at the Philly guitar show a few weeks back. The guitar needed some careful restoration, and since Curt happened to have some space in his schedule, I drove up to his house with my new (older than me) baby.

On the work slate: a pretty large finish touch up/restore, and a refret job.... and upon further examination, Curt also recommended a much-needed neck reset -- more to come on that front.

Pre-start aside: On the way to Curt's house, I hit nasty traffic. Due to a bad auto accident, the state police closed a major bridge on I-95 that crosses the Delaware River. They re-routed traffic for 10 or 12 miles northward, along back roads running next to the river. Needless to say it was slow going. A trip that usually takes 45 minutes door-to-door ended up taking 2 hours.

That's OK - I believe good things come to those who wait.

So here's the first installment from Lawrenceville Lutherie (OK, we're actually in a workroom of Midstate Paint).

First item of business: finish work. Yeah, I debated about just leaving the rectangle of rubbed out finish the way it was. The mojo was kinda cool, but Curt thought he might be able to match the color close enough. I trust his eye so I decided I would go for it.

This is the first phase -- color matching. I'll let Curt explain whatever he wants to, because from my seat it all appeared to go down a lot like magic. Or Zen.

I watched as he made what looked to be a single pour, by eyeball, from a can of red into a cup of lacquer (at least I think that's what he said). Then stir, stir stir... eyeball, stir... he maybe added a little more, then stirred some more... and it's ready to go. Bam! two minutes. Respirators on, he loaded up the gun, and in less than 20 minutes painted 3 light coats into the rubbed out area.

I'll let you all judge for yourselves how well the color matches... I think the pictures speak for themselves.

And here's a video of the actual paint retouching process.

3

Cool vid Curt... I have to admit, when you were drilling that heel plug, my heart was racing. Something about applying power tools to a 50s 6120 just makes me crazy! 8-o

4

Fear not Ed did I seem nervous?

Paul, consider refinishing the top then hitting it with a fire extinguisher, great time to do it.

5

I have to admit the part that got me was pulling up the magic fret. No idea why. The drilling didn't bother me a bit (haha), but I don't mind going to the dentist either (I'm weird that way).

6

Excellent videos, Curt. You really demonstrated the fundamental steps in the process of removing the neck. Great stuff.

7

Great! Another cool topic to follow. Good luck!

8

I always wondered how this stuff was done!

Thanks!

9

This is cool. I wish I had the talent to do this kind of work.

10

I love watching this stuff! Looking forward to more videos! :D

11

I did one similiar a few years ago but can't find pics. I wet sanded around the defect (an old round sticker removed) and created a soft line (like a cloud looking fade). Then used my air brush to match the color back in. You could still see the repair, but it did not have any hard lines showing. So at first glance or a few feet away it was not noticeable.

J

12

JackDaniels wrote:

I did one similiar a few years ago but can't find pics. I wet sanded around the defect (an old round sticker removed) and created a soft line (like a cloud looking fade). Then used my air brush to match the color back in. You could still see the repair, but it did not have any hard lines showing. So at first glance or a few feet away it was not noticeable.

J

The deal here is that section was down to wood and uneven so the goal is to get the build correct then smoke a little funk on the top. A guy that works for me in my paint supply business suggested getting someone to airbrush a band-aid in that section.

13

Unclegrumpy wrote:

This is cool. I wish I had the talent to do this kind of work.

The only thing stopping anyone from doing this work is fear.

14

These are always my favorite threads.

15

Curt... will we be able to observe you "smoking a little funk on the top", or is that something you'd prefer to do in private? :P

16

KCeddieB wrote:

Curt... will we be able to observe you "smoking a little funk on the top", or is that something you'd prefer to do in private? :P

.... well not literal smoking, paint term for dusting in some color and we all know about funk.

17

Great video.. Thanks. What kind of glue do they use on a modern 6120 ?

18

Curt wrote:

Unclegrumpy wrote:

This is cool. I wish I had the talent to do this kind of work.

The only thing stopping anyone from doing this work is fear.

Sometimes fear is a good thing.

20

Cool vids!

Now i know what my 57 will have to go through when the time comes for a reset! 8-o

Looking forward to watching this one.

21

Great work Curt. I'm ready!

23

Ric12string wrote:

Curt wrote:

Unclegrumpy wrote:

This is cool. I wish I had the talent to do this kind of work.

The only thing stopping anyone from doing this work is fear.

Sometimes fear is a good thing.

Maybe but most time it gets in your way and clouds your vision.

24

I'll finish it up next week with frets, a reset and blending the clear. Thanks for all the great comments and if they're any questions please ask.

The first image you can see the holes for the steamer. The second you can see the hole on the extension right where it needs to be.


Register Sign in to join the conversation