Vintage Gretsch Guitars

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


Great work Joe

Really enjoying this


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

– Joe Desperado

The plugs you blended in with the top looked so clean and the finish job you did looks fantastic. The dark oranges on these and the '56/7 6120's are my favorite. I was wondering about this interior picture: it looks like there are three layers of mahogany that were sandwiched together? We've seen a few Jets with two or three piece bodies.


@LX I hadn’t notice that before. I will look again next time I am in the shop to be sure, but from the pics, it certainly looks like three stacks of mahogany to make up the thickness of the body. With the western belt line, you can’t see this from the outside.

I will say these early mahogany jets are pretty crudely made in so many areas. Especially with saw and sanding marks not being removed before finishing. This one also has a sand through the maple top that was under the orange.


Here is a little mock up of the neck and body


Ok, shifting gears for now. The neck needs some work. As you may remember, when Ed had this guitar, he removed the Western headstock overlay and fingerboard to use on his 6121and replaced it with a 58-59 pair. The 58-59 Fingerboard is now back on the neck the proper way and fits really nice. The headstock overlay did not fit as well and was not in too good of condition. It requires a bit of work to make it look like 1955.


Here is the overlay after I fixed most of the minor issues. Notice the 56 and later truss rod opening.


Next is to fill in the joints and cut in the access to a more correct pre-56 shape. I am not quite there yet, but this is a good place to stop for the day.


Ok, just a bit more refinements to the access shape. This looks good.


Side by side comparison. The majority of the cracks were fixed in the before picture.


Such a cool thread that I need to read in detail. What I do know is this is a next adventure: find a shipwreck, and bring back treasure.


What an awesome resurrection!!!


Changed my mind on the color. It was beautiful in that wine red/brown but I think it looks best in the deep orange.


Have you given up on the ‘55 fret board and steer head inlay idea then?


Have you given up on the ‘55 fret board and steer head inlay idea then?

– Powertronman

For now. I can add the Steer head at anytime without much finish work. A 55 fretboard has proven to be next to impossible unless you buy a guitar. Right Ed!

This one is what it is and ain’t what it ain’t. And never will be what it once was.


When I purchased this guitar from Ed, I asked if he had the original pickguard that he could trace for me. He had the original guard but it had been modified to work with the extra knob on the guitar. Ed was very gracious and actually gave me the guard as part of the deal. This way I could make an accurate template. For fun, I thought I would see what could be done with it.


Still have a bit of polishing to do (that is the white compound) to get the scratches out of the front. But here it is in a larger pic. The guard is thick and so even though the repair is really tight, depending on the angle, you can see it more or less. Dead on front view, you only see a hairline repair. From an angle you can see the full 3/16” deep repair.


Wow... you’re a magician Joe! Great work!


Great work, Joe!

You planning on keeping this, or selling?

Register Sign in to join the conversation