1958 Gibson ES-335 Restoration

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DGNRepair, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    Hey all. Well another amazing vintage piece came in to my shop needing some work. Well, this one needs more than a little. Although its all original with the exception of one part, it needs some MAJOR TLC. The frets are DONE. These are the worst frets I have ever seen, ever!!! The top appears to have been slightly crushed at one point and the plys of the top have slightly separated. Also this one has the good old "I stepped on my cord and almost ripped out the jack" damage. Definitely a challenge but when its done its going to be nothing short of amazing. The neck on this one is literally perfect. On to some pics.


    This bench will be home to this old girl for the next week or so.
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    Here you can see the damage to the top. The cracks running parallel with the center block all need to be glued. The top has a spongy feel to it right now, because of the ply separation. The worst of it is right between the F-Hole and the Neck vol pot.
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    This guitar will also be getting a Full Refret. These are the worst frets I have ever come across. They are unplayable. Not even a little bit.
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    Its also missing the last inlay. The previous owner slung this one low and the last inlay most likely wore away or fell out due to his strumming over the end of the fingerboard.
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    I pulled the harness so I can get the damaged plys glued back together.
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    The harness. Can anyone tell me what wrong with this pic???? :naughty:
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    There is much more to come on this one. I'll get back to it tomorrow.

    Thanks for watching.
     
  2. David Mccarroll

    David Mccarroll Senior Member

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    ...... ummmmm - one pot has a solid shaft?

    one bumblebee has been replaced with a large green caterpillar?
     
  3. Shepherd

    Shepherd Senior Member

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    Wow, never seen scalloped frets before.
     
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  4. BrianM

    BrianM Senior Member

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    Insane fret wear!
     
  5. Barnaby

    Barnaby Premium Member

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    :lol:

    From the photo, it looks to me like the shaft is actually a split one, but was soldered solid for some reason. Yeah - what a weird capacitor. Also, weren't the pots on these originally enclosed in cans, or am I confused with later/different models?
     
  6. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    Ok, so maybe there are a few things wrong with that picture. There's a few things wrong with me too. :D

    The big one was the 22k 5w Ceramic Resistor (large green caterpillar) in place of what should be the .022 Bumblebee Capacitor. This is one of the oddest things I have come across in a while.

    Also, not a solid shaft pot, Duct Tape. Yup, duct tape. I thought the knob was going to break as I was pulling it off. Had one of those oh shit moments when it finally popped off, but all is good and the knob ended up coming off cleanly.
     
  7. Ken McKay

    Ken McKay Senior Member

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    Hey Dan, nice fiddle there. Let me know if you need some veneer to fill in those gaps. I will send it to you.
     
  8. GammyBird

    GammyBird Senior Member

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    Nice checking!!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. JimmyPage968

    JimmyPage968 Senior Member

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    You said it, brother!!!
     
  10. mapleflame

    mapleflame Senior Member

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    Are those the thin pre 59 frets, wow they are like a thread. The owner won't know good this guitar plays until he gets it back re-fretted. Just an awesome looking guitar.

    Major Mojo
     
  11. TKOjams

    TKOjams Senior Member

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    Yeah, that black tube thingy is touching stuff on both sides.:naughty:

    Looking foward to seeing this old gal get back into playable condition!!!:applause:
     
  12. free2rock

    free2rock Senior Member

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    What's a green tampon doing there? :naughty:

    Kidding aside, I'm excited to see how the cracks will be repaired. :fingersx:
     
  13. Barnaby

    Barnaby Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    :shock:
     
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  14. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    I have some maple veneer but I am not sure of the species. I was thinking about making the veneer from some eastern maple I have for LP tops. PM me, I may be interested in that.

    These are the original frets but they are the bigger '59 style of fret. I'm sure there was some cross over at the factory before the big frets went full time. This is a very late 58 guitar.

    Thanks TKO. By the way, I've been watching your Custom Thread and I think you need to bring it down to my shop to make some noise. Just sayin. :D


    Source of green tampon found.
     
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  15. Ken McKay

    Ken McKay Senior Member

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    It is odd that your 58 has the plastic white strap button. Those are usually only on the Blondes.

    The missing veneer seems to be pretty small. Your eastern should work fine but if you do need the veneer I can drop it in the mail. email me at kenmckayathotmail.com if you want it.
     
  16. alk-3

    alk-3 MLP Sponsor

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    Hey Ken. I had a 60, with all appointments of a 59 (seen here) that have the plastic buttons. I also have a 59 335 in the shop right now, which also has the indentations left by the plastic buttons, but the original buttons are not fitted.
     
  17. Ken McKay

    Ken McKay Senior Member

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    Tom is that 59 a burst? Can you measure the rim thickness in a couple spots please for me. I have found that some are pretty thin and not many of that age are over 1.71 inches. Of course the thickness varies a bit around the body.
     
  18. BBBBill

    BBBBill Senior Member

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    Watching with extreme interest. I have a 59 ES355 that needs a little TLC, but not nearly as much as this one.
     
  19. alk-3

    alk-3 MLP Sponsor

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    Hey Ken. Yes, it's a burst. I will measure it up for you. I also blueprinted the last one I had, so I will get those to you as well.
     
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  20. RAHAZ

    RAHAZ Senior Member

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    Does this mean you are thinking about creating a set of ES build plans like your LP set?:naughty:

     

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