Vintage Gretsch Guitars

The tale of two 1955 6121’s: the next chapter

26

And dry fit side view. Still need to check for angle, but it’s good to see the neck and body once again getting to know each other

28

Nice build. Looks like John Dillinger shot up the back of that headstock.

29

Using a small chisel, I slowly dig out around the wings trying not to damage what’s left of the original joint.

– Joe Desperado

These neck cav pix give me the willies. They remind me of the pictures my dentist would show me of my bad cavity before he fixed it. Disgusting.

30

Wow, that's amazing. Thanks for all the pics.

Glad this one's in competent hands.

I've got "Glass Onion" in my head now.

31

It's great to see these old geets rescued ,love these threads!

32

Love this! I really like seeing these guitars rescued and seeing pictures of the process. Good stuff!

33

Great work! I really like watching these restorations bringing back guitars to their former glory.

34

Been busy with a bunch of other repairs and restoration, but here are some pics to keep you up to speed. This top was pretty hacked up.

35

Created a template large enough to get around all the cuts. Here the top has been routed to prep for plugs.

36

The green tape above was used to hold a patch in place inside the guitar where one of the layers of plywood was busted out during one of the hack jobs

37

Fast forward to plugs glued in and DYNA-SONIC routes made. Also the extra control knob hole was filled. Still a ways to go with this one, but it’s getting there

38

Look in the cutaway at the binding. It shrank in al the usual places: the cutaway and both sides of the waist. I came up with a process to restore the binding without replacing it

39

What's the plan on finish Joe? Will you be able to do stain with all the repairs, or will that force you to a more opaque finish?

40

What's the plan on finish Joe? Will you be able to do stain with all the repairs, or will that force you to a more opaque finish?

– kc_eddie_b

Not 100% sure Ed. The plugs are strategically placed and you will really only see the ends on either side of the pickups. The pickguard will cover the treble side. Only about 1/2” or maybe 5/8” will show on the bass side. I am thinking I will start with dirty orange to see how it looks. May go to the brownish red color like yours to help hide the plugs. But I also have been thinking of Cadillac green would be amazing with the leather sides.

41

Anyone know where I can find a steerhead inlay for the headstock? Maybe someone can make me one?

How about western block inlays?

Oh... and anyone have an extra headstock overlay too?

This guitar has its original neck (with square truss rod nut and all) but had its fingerboard and headstock overlay removed for Ed’s other guitar. The overlay and fingerboard that came with this one is the one off of Ed’s renecked 55. So I have the 58-59 thumbnail board and a slightly smaller headstock overlay with no western details. I can use them , but would like to go back to block inlays if I can.

42

Look in the cutaway at the binding. It shrank in al the usual places: the cutaway and both sides of the waist. I came up with a process to restore the binding without replacing it

– Joe Desperado

Great work on the binding gap. Heat gun? I understand if you don't want to spill the beans on your process.

43

Anyone know where I can find a steerhead inlay for the headstock? Maybe someone can make me one? How about western block inlays?

Look up member Herve. He's done exceptionally convincing stuff, including a steer head inlay, IIRC.

44

I don't disagree that a cadillac green finish would look cool with the leather trim, as long as the finish is relic'd to match the wear of the trim. That would also allow you to stick with the neoclassic board and later headstock overlay, in case you can't find the western components you're seeking.

45

For those still following along:

The original orange color does not appear to be a stain as we often call it. It is also not lacquer based that I can tell. Anyways, the orange had to go as I was not able to satisfactory match it over the new wood. My normal Gretsch orange concoction is pretty good for small touch ups but these patches were way too obvious.

46

While I haven’t completely made up my mind on color and finish, one thing I needed to do was to get the patches to blend better with the color of the old wood. So I have dyed the plugs (all thirteen of them) to blend in. Depending on finish choice, if I go with a translucent color at least they will not stand out too bad.

47

Anyone know where I can find a steerhead inlay for the headstock? Maybe someone can make me one? How about western block inlays?

Look up member Herve. He's done exceptionally convincing stuff, including a steer head inlay, IIRC.

– Afire

I reached out to Herve. He said he could make the steer head inlay. I Haven’t heard back since his first email so he must be busy. Will keep my fingers crossed that he has time to make me one.

48

Made a decision on color. Here is my favorite 6121 and round up color.

49

So I started the paint process on the body while it’s easier to work on.

50

The yellow/orange top was stained a light brown to highlight grain and to give a bit of that dirty undertone. The red is an analyne base tint added to lacquer that will fade to a more brown color with UV exposure. Then amber / nicotine tint was sprayed over the top. This helps give some depth as well as gives it a bit of aged look.


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