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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / On the bench: a broken Gretsch

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Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 12th, 2017 08:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The owner of this fine guitar is a good friend and a fine player. He asked me what could be done to fix this.

A smart move: he saved all the flakes of missing wood and finish. This should allow me to do a good repair that won't require adding more wood or a metal plate on the exterior.

It will also make the repair less obvious--depending on how well I can "reassemble the puzzle pieces."

The way I do these is remove the jack, and insert a large bolt from the inside, securing it with a nut on the outside. This firmly affixes the bolt to the guitar, which serves as a lever that allows me to flex the area and ease the wood fibers and flakes back into place.

When the wood broke, it flexed and cracked, and things got out of alignment. Being able to re-flex it with the bolt (and using some pressure here and there) allows things to line up and lay flat again.

I'll probably add a thin maple veneer plate inside to beef up the repair.

hushnel
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North Florida

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Mar 12th, 2017 11:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I kind of enjoy these kind of projects. I started one in really bad shape, done a good bit of work on it but haven't wrapped it up yet. I stalled out when everyone was adding a hazmat fee for the fake tortoise shell binding I want to use.

The primary reason I decided on this project was the working and very cool DeArmond pickups.

I bet yours turns out better and in reasonable amount of time "o)

This is really a body off restoration 1960 Silvertone Stratotone Jupiter "o)

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 12th, 2017 04:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Can't wait to see your "after" photo Peegoo...

@ Hushnel: Did a small bomb go off in there???
Bloody hell!

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 12th, 2017 04:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Gah! Hushnel, I have a Harmony Rocket that looked like that. I think it was in water at some point and it just came apart.

Pinetree
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NW Pennsylvania

Mar 12th, 2017 06:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Gah!




Leftee
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VA

Mar 12th, 2017 07:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I had dinner with that guy last week!

hushnel
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North Florida

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Mar 12th, 2017 08:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not too easy to see in this picture but I made up a mold and laminated thin strips of straight grained quarter sawn pine. It is a clean patch that should be invisable once painted.

I gotta get back to this one

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 10:05 PM, Mar 12th, 2017)

hushnel
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North Florida

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Mar 12th, 2017 08:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oh, and it needed a fret job too.

Well maybe a new fretboard "o)

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 12th, 2017 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That's nice work!

I'm not going that far. The laminations are pretty ripped up on this Gretsch and the area won't go back to flat like I want it to. The wood is pretty shredded inside.

One of the problems with repairs on these poly-finished guitars is the clear coat: it's brittle like glass and if you force things, the edges don't flex at all. They shatter and little teensy pieces fly off the surface. It's frustrating.

Looks like I'll do my best to make things fit, then work the entire area flat, stain the repaired area to match the red mahogany, and then clearcoat it.

It won't be perfect, but it will work fine. I just might make a little aluminum plate for the jack to beef it up a bit.

hushnel
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Mar 12th, 2017 08:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sound like a good way to proceed. I really enjoy the nothing to loose projects like these.

I had LMI make the fingerboard for me, I didn't have a jig for this off the wall scale, a Birds eye maple fingerboard. The original Silvertone aluminium logo is also perfect, like the two DeArmand pickups and associated electronics.

Thank's for the inspiration. I think I will be moving this project to the active bench.

FunkyKikuchiyo

VT

Mar 13th, 2017 07:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That should come out okay in your hands. The cracks will be dark lines, but it looks like much of the splintering is on the inside.

Is it as dark as it looks in the photo? Maybe some color touch up will help. And by color touch up I mean a sharpie. ;)

I'd track down a long thread jack. That will give you more thrust to reinforce from the inside, or if you can't compress the laminations in place it gives some room for slop.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 13th, 2017 08:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks FunkyK.

The wood they use for these is three-ply, and they don't use much adhesive between the lams. It was pretty splintered up outside and inside.

I use food coloring to color-match wood when doing repairs like this.

I usually stain all the pieces before re-gluing them together because once glue gets into the wood, it won't accept stain. I didn't do that this time because I'll be adding a small shop-made aluminum plate on the outside, which will cover up the visible repair area.

I'll add two small 'ribs' inside the guitar to accept the four 1/2" screws for the plate. The ply side is neither thick enough nor strong enough to hold screws.

The wood and finish repairs are done. I'll make the plate tomorrow (c'mon SNOW DAY!) and post a few pics.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 10:23 PM, Mar 13th, 2017)

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 14th, 2017 12:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I made a jack plate of aluminum. It will perfectly match the existing Bigsby :o)

I think I'm going to enlarge the original jack mounting hole in the wood to 7/8" so the jack will be affixed directly to the plate.

My reasoning: the wood around the hole is damaged (despite being glued up), and it may compress over time and cause the jack to work loose. I've had this happen a few times in the past with similar breaks.

Progress thus far

Pinetree
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NW Pennsylvania

Mar 14th, 2017 12:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice cham-feer.




Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 14th, 2017 01:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I used a single-flute countersink what fer keepin' the cham-feer in a circulated orientation.



Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 14th, 2017 05:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice work Pee!

Do you need to radius the plate, or is does it have enough "flex" to follow the curve when screwed down?

capnhiho
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Bakersfield, CA

Getting old is not for sissies!
Mar 14th, 2017 06:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

And this is why jack plates are gospel at another "G-brand" forum I frequent. Lots of naysayers who state "Oh, I'm careful." but another hollowbody with a shattered hole shows up every few weeks.

Thanks for your expertise, guys! ;o)

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 14th, 2017 06:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mick, I think it would flex enough if I left it flat.

However, as thin as the wood is, I don't want spring tension on the four little screws for the rest of its life. It's not worth rolling the dice.

So yeah--

I radiused it to match the curve of the body.

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 15th, 2017 03:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I radiused it to match the curve of the body."

Yeah, that's what I figured.

I upgraded an Epi LP that came with a plastic jack plate one time. To my surprise the chrome/steel one I got (Allparts, *I think*) was flat.

I wasn't going risk the spring tension even on solid mahogany! I radiused the replacement and was done with it.


RDR
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I tried to think

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Mar 15th, 2017 07:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought a diamond chrome plated to install on my new Electromatic. But I like the look of Peegoos better and I just happen to have some AL flatbar. So I'll make one instead I think.

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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / On the bench: a broken Gretsch




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