Considering buying a basket case 65 SG

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tigger, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I saw this on an ad, 3 hours drive away. I saw it kind of late so it might be already gone and the person didn't respond since yesterday. A presumed '65 SG Standard for 1800 euros (~$2100).

    Moving from good to bad. I'm not a SG expert in any case so feel free to point out what I haven't seen.

    Control cavities seem original, cavity routing is consistent with 65 or earlier, one pot that can be well seen dates to '63:
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    The body looks fine. One thing I am slightly worried about is that it is really hard to see the holes from the original tailpiece, suggesting it might have been refinished. But, if you look good, you can still see them so perhaps not?

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    Pickups are correct patent no:
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    Bridge seems original to me, tailpiece is chrome, I assume from whenever the original was taken off.

    Moving to the ugly parts.

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    It's hard to tell but there is some finish missing on the body-neck joint, notice black headstock and neck joint. Also, what seems like broken off nibs that took some part of the binding with it. Measuring the headstock angle on this photo gives 16 degrees. I think the camera position will increase the perceived angle so it probably is 14 making the guitar no earlier than a 65.

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    Yuck. It looks like the neck broke off and it was put in place and reinforced with two screws and painted over in black.

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    Yuck X2. This must be the worst paint job I've seen. Looking at the spider webs it was either put on very dirty surface, or it isn't nitrocellulose at all. Crown hidden by the overspray, logo scraped in a horrible manner. This is clearly hiding a break, but in a strange place. As if the headstock itself broke rather than the headstock joint.

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    Rear consistent with the overspray. The tuners are obviously not original but perhaps quite old. Serial number starts with 3 which is consistent with '65 I believe.


    The price seems a little steep, I think 1500 would be more fair given it just needs a complete re-build, and even then who knows what hides under the oversprays. I would strip at least everything up to the neck joint and try to refinish it as close to original as possible. Filling in the screws with dowels and perhaps re-seating the neck if necessary. Am I crazy?
     
  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    This is way better than I'd expected given the title.

    You need to look up the recent thread of a guy who bought a vintage Firebird essentially sawn into a jigsaw puzzle:shock:

    Anyhow, there are plenty of resources for getting new MOP logos for that period, as well as holly overlays from Bartlett amongst others.
    You can sand back the headstock rear to expose the worst of the break/repair and see what is to be done to make it more cosmetically acceptable.

    The upside is that the wood and construction will be essentially just as good as it was from new if the repairs or fixes are done well.....some think even better given the glue joint is stronger than wood fibres alone.

    This is the sort of guitar that I would look for myself, as I find the huge premium for mint instruments to be money paid for a less desirable guitar
     
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  3. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    You do know there is no headstock joint on a Gibson right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  4. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Yes, of course. But I have no idea what I should call the place where it usually breaks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  5. 1981 LPC

    1981 LPC Senior Member

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    'The headstock'.
     
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  6. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    ^ :thumb:

    To be fair...I would call it the neck/headstock transition.
     
  7. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Well I got no response so far so I suppose it's already gone. Shame because I was quite looking forward to the project.
     
  8. fumblefinger

    fumblefinger Senior Member

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    So ARandall's comment didn't count? He was very specific and addressed several of your concerns.
     
  9. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    I think Tigger may be referring to the seller not responding. :)
     
  10. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Yes. ARandall's comment was actually very motivating and made me really want it :)
     
  11. fumblefinger

    fumblefinger Senior Member

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    Ahh, my apologies. I misunderstood.

    Some projects can be fun. I keep hoping I'll get one some day...
     
  12. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Well, I got more photos, but nothing new. I think there were perhaps 2 headstock breaks with the first one being lacquered over in black, the second one is cleanly glued. That's all fine, but it's 3 hours drive for me and the guy says he has more interested parties and some are "willing to offer more" which I don't know what means. I think he's basically stuck in having put it up for sale for a fixed price and now trying to manage some kind of ad-hoc auction. I should run away but then I'm really interested in having it as a project.
     
  13. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Well......if its taken him several weeks to get to the point of telling you he has more interest that sounds odd. Sounds like he didn't want to sell at that original price then he is trying to get you to offer more to compete with this (potentially imaginary) interest.
     
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  14. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    And as it is his price is way too high. I'd consider paying that for a refin with NO structural issues, and both original pickups.
     
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  15. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    He claims both pickups are original. It's not a refin though, I think, except for the strange black lacquer. I don't know, it's much more rare to find a guitar like that in Europe since it was way more of a luxury item here in the 60s.
     
  16. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    This is still going on and since there are more interested parties, I think there is some sort of a bidding war going on. I do have much better photos though. I'm somewhat puzzled by the lacquer checking and it almost seems to me as if it's been over-sprayed with something. The checking is unusual and doesn't seem to go all the way to the surface. If that is true, it would require a complete strip and re-finish, I think, I probably wouldn't be able to just strip the new hopefully-lacquer?

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    The frets look strange, I think it's been refretted and the binding sanded off almost completely?

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  17. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Somehow seeing all the work it requires makes me want it more. The finish though is really silly and I very much hope it's not poly sprayed over lacquer. And if yes, then hopefully only on the neck and not on the body.
     
  18. cavi

    cavi Member

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    or acrylic sprayed over laquer.
     
  19. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    If I end up buying it, I'd probably first attack the neck breaks that are covered over with black with acetone and see if it can be wiped off and what lies underneath. The neck will need a refin or at least some sort of polish to remove the strange cracks. And a re-fret and re-bind.
     
  20. straightblues

    straightblues Senior Member

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    Obviously, you can do whatever you want. You need to consider, a guitar with that many issues will never be a collectors guitar. It will be a player. By the time you buy it for $2,000 and put another $500 or so in fixing it up, you will have a very expensive player. It will always be hard to sell in the future no matter how good of a repair you do. I have several guitars that would fall into this players conditions guitar. But the reason that I own them is that I got them for really cheap. $2,000 even in Europe sure doesn't sound cheap.
     

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