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

Previous 20 Messages  
Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 15th, 2017 07:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Cool! Replacing a plastic plate makes the guitar more reliable.

I have a few very 'spensive Gibsons that came stock with plastic jack plates. I replaced 'em all with metal plates. I'm not messing around with crappy plastic stuff where strength and reliability count. Some things need to be metal. A jack plate is one.

RDR
Contributing Member
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 16th, 2017 03:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Now I'm worried about my 335, Casino, 339.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 16th, 2017 03:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

RDR, no need to worry.

Gibson uses actual maple ply on their guitars. It is waymore robust than the ramin/lauan/whoknows ply used on imports.

I've seen only one broken Gibson in all my years doing this guitar repair stuff, and that's because it was dropped off the strap and the barrel of the plug hit the floor first.

I've seen a bunch of imports that were broken at the jack. Many guitars, the wood is pretty fragile. You could poke a hole through it with a finger if you hit it hard enough. On a Gibson--you'd probably break that finger.

FunkyKikuchiyo

VT

Mar 16th, 2017 08:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

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

I'm stealing that idea. Also good is Tombow water based markers. They stain wood and waterbased glues.

I love the look of that plate! Another thing I may steal.

Good call on the 7/8" hole. That weird compression bit is exactly what I've run into, and I never feel right without using a lock washer.

How did you curve the plate?

" Now I'm worried about my 335, Casino, 339."

I don't see the breaks on those as much. Not sure why, but one guess is that since it is visible people are more careful. People forget about the sides much more readily than they do the top.

A healthy amount of caution never hurt anyone though.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 16th, 2017 09:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"How did you curve the plate?"

If you try to bend it in your hands, it will crease across the large hole in the center. You need to bend it over a form.

Which you probably already have!

The dead easy way to make a nice radius (guitar secret warning) is to flip your rock-n-roll neck rest (link) upside down on the bench, round side facing up.

Set the plate on top of that, cover it with a paper towel or thin cloth to prevent scratching it, and then place a thin steel flat bar over it. Lean on the ends of the flat bar, and it will bend around the curve of the wood, taking the plate with it.

Metal always springs back a bit when bent, so it helps to always bend using a form that's about a 10% tighter radius than your intended final radius.

neck rest

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 16th, 2017 10:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"You need to bend it over a form."

That's how I did mine, except *way* more "bush mechanic" than Peegoo's method.

Pretty sure it involved a BFH...


...it came out clean without any dings or chipped chrome plating though!

RDR
Contributing Member
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 17th, 2017 09:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"RDR, no need to worry."

Whew, that's good to know. I was playing my Casino last night and felt good about how thick the top is. Also looks like it has 7 plies. Pretty tough looking for such a light guitar.


Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 27th, 2017 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I finally had some time to finish up this plate install. The side wood is not very solid; it's three-ply and about 1/8" thick (probably a bit thinner). So to give the mounting screws something to bite into, I made two poplar cleats that I glued in along the sides.

Next step: do a setup, and depending on what the customer prefers--possibly pin the bridge. Some players don't like a floating bridge to be pinned. But on these Gretsches with the non-anchored Bigsby, I think it's a necessity.

It came out pretty good.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 09:36 PM, Mar 27th, 2017)

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
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NW Pennsylvania

Mar 27th, 2017 08:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, pretty good.




Tinkerer
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San Diego, CA USA

Mar 27th, 2017 08:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Looks great!!

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 27th, 2017 08:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good work!
Shouldn't ever need to do that again. (unless the customer goes all Pete Townsend!)

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Mar 27th, 2017 10:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Looks great to me. I had no idea imports Gretsch bodies were so thin. I had a 66 like Harrison and it was a heavy guitar. Casinos I had a 67 yet they have the jack on the top.

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Mar 27th, 2017 10:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No reason to expect anything but thin sides on any guitar that has actual sides. Had that been solid wood the damage would have been worse/harder to repair.

Nice repair!

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 28th, 2017 11:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very clean, nice work.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Mar 28th, 2017 12:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice!!

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 28th, 2017 02:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks y'all!

The owner likes 11s on this, and I'll be pinning the bridge. It makes sense when using a TOM-type bridge, because there's no need to move it around. Think Les Paul: you adjust the saddles.

Now if the bridge were a traditional ebony or rosewood saddle, pinning the foot can be problematic if you switch to a different gauge of strings down the line. Even so, any movement you make is so small, the bridge foot still covers any 'old' holes in the top.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 7th, 2017 07:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Finally got time to finish this one up.

Got the bridge pinned. Rather than use little screws, I used short pieces of 3/64" diameter piano wire; this allows you to lift the bridge off the guitar.

The dead easy way to do this is to center the saddles in their best intonation positions for the preferred string gauge, and then mark the position of the bridge foot.

I use little cardboard 'chicklets' and tape them in place for this step.

Next, remove the bridge...use a sharpie to write on the bottom of the bridge foot: place a T on the treble end and a B on the bass end. This is important.

Remove the hardware from the bridge foot (including the threaded posts). Replace the bridge foot on the guitar (mind the B and T orientation), and use a 3/64" bit to drill through the top of the foot, straight through the top of the guitar. I drill 1/8" inside the threaded height post holes.

Remove the bridge foot and cut two pieces of 3/64" diameter music wire about 3/8" long. Chuck each one in a Dremel and use a fine file to make a nice hemispherical shape on both ends of each piece of wire.

With the foot upside down, use a small plier to press each wire halfway into the foot. That leaves about 3/16" of wire protruding.

Flip the foot right side up and carefully fill the top of each 3/64" hole with CA. Blast it with accelerator to freeze the CA.

With the bridge foot upside down on some 220-grit paper, gently work it back and forth with the grain to plane off any CA that's visible on the bridge foot. The finished result is a virtually invisible hole where you drilled through the foot.

Reinstall the threaded posts, place the foot on the guitar (B & T!) install the thumb wheels and place the TOM unit atop the wheels. Done.

The bridge is locked in place and cannot skid around when bashing away on the guitar.

And it looks 100% stock too.

A few pics.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 09:18 PM, Apr 7th, 2017)

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Apr 7th, 2017 07:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Beautiful work.



Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 7th, 2017 08:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks man!

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Apr 8th, 2017 02:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Excellent!

Previous 20 Messages  

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




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