Vintage Gretsch Guitars

source for neo-classical inlays

1

I'm thinking of replacing the rosewood fingerboard on an old 1959/60 6118 with an ebony one and the original neo-classical markers are so thin that they are functionally useless; I can't see them from the side. So, does anyone know of a source for new ones? Haven't had any luck with the standard after market sellers.

2

GDPer Jack Daniels was making necks for Gretsch project guitars for awhile. He might make his own, or have a source for them.

4

Make them yourself or have someone do it for you. You need a router and a piece of Mother of pearl material to cut them out of. As long as you have another Gretsch there to check the diameter and the position of the markers it's not that hard. I did it recently too.

5

Englishman on Gretsch-Talk builds guitar using them, you could reach out to him to find where he gets his.

6

Hello Danman, very nice job ! I'm in the process of doing this on my Viking project, can you describe how you did the routing of the inlay on the neck ?

7

Interesting, a lot of Annie’s had ebony boards, seem to remember later 1960 ones started getting Rosewood.

8

Seeing as how you're changing out the fretboard to ebony, why not consider using abalone instead of MOP? A bit more brittle to work with but its much prettier than MOP and would really stand out against the black ebony board. It has lots of greens in it that would compliment the guitar's finish. Your guitar certainly would be unique with that style Neo-Classic thumbprints.

9

The ones I had made are perloid. They look much like the originals. I had them made a little thicker so you can route them a hair deeper. This makes them easier to see from the side for unbound necks and allows for any size radius.

10

Buy some mother of pearl and make some, you don't even really need a router. we used to inlay all our sanding blocks and neck rests at Larivee.

11

Interesting, a lot of Annie’s had ebony boards, seem to remember later 1960 ones started getting Rosewood.

– JazzBoxJunky

Mine is probably a transition model; trestle bracing, but rosewood board. The serial number is 34749, which makes it a 1960 I think. Now I have two Annies from 1960. The other one is hollow, with only parallel braces. I'll ask my tech to document the conversion of this one so I can post the pictures here.

12

Seeing as how you're changing out the fretboard to ebony, why not consider using abalone instead of MOP? A bit more brittle to work with but its much prettier than MOP and would really stand out against the black ebony board. It has lots of greens in it that would compliment the guitar's finish. Your guitar certainly would be unique with that style Neo-Classic thumbprints.

– Windsordave

Abalone would certainly be attractive Dave, but it is listed under the CITES treaty. That's also one reason that I'm changing the fingerboard from rosewood. An instrument owner with most species of rosewood can transport a certain amount of it across borders without a license, but Brazilian (category 1) might be different. I spoke with Linda Manzer recently, and she said that the situation, in spite of the amendments, is still in flux. Brazilian rosewood, in small quanties, might be OK for transport in the near future in small quanties by owners. For now it can still be risky. Abalone is not a category 1 species, but who knows where it will end up if and when the dust finally settles on the treaty.

13

Abalone would certainly be attractive Dave, but it is listed under the CITES treaty. That's also one reason that I'm changing the fingerboard from rosewood. An instrument owner with most species of rosewood can transport a certain amount of it across borders without a license, but Brazilian (category 1) might be different. I spoke with Linda Manzer recently, and she said that the situation, in spite of the amendments, is still in flux. Brazilian rosewood, in small quanties, might be OK for transport in the near future in small quanties by owners. For now it can still be risky. Abalone is not a category 1 species, but who knows where it will end up if and when the dust finally settles on the treaty.

– Journeyman

I hear you and it's a shame. Neither of my guitars, the '41 Synchro with rosewood and the SC with it's abalone won't be leaving the country so I'm not worried, but in your case no point in replacing one issue with another.

I have no idea how to tell the difference between rosewoods; perhaps just by the age of the guitar so I'm assuming the Synchro is Brazilian.

14

I hear you and it's a shame. Neither of my guitars, the '41 Synchro with rosewood and the SC with it's abalone won't be leaving the country so I'm not worried, but in your case no point in replacing one issue with another.

I have no idea how to tell the difference between rosewoods; perhaps just by the age of the guitar so I'm assuming the Synchro is Brazilian.

– Windsordave

Most of the time you can tell by the grain, along with the color, but sometimes it is not so obvious. Of course a little light sanding will reveal that beautiful scent if it is Brazilian. Eventually they will get the CITES treaty defined with some consistency, but it will take some more time. I don't think the parties involved with its conception had any idea of how complicated it would be. Just imagine, for example, the number of violin, cello, viola, and string bass, bows that go travelling around the world. Rosewood is the norm for those, and orchestras spend a lot of money on airfare and related touring costs. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when that call came in.

16

Thanks for those links to your restoration project Suggie; very entertaining AND informative. Nice work!

17

Hello Danman, very nice job ! I'm in the process of doing this on my Viking project, can you describe how you did the routing of the inlay on the neck ?

– petit professeur

Hi Petit professeur, Sorry for not responding sooner. I got busy and completely missed the rest of this topic. I sent you a message. Let me know if you got it.


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