Old Gretsch repair project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Lou G., Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Thanks lowatter, I appreciate the encouragement. I think I would be sweating bullets if I was working on someone else’s guitar or if it were very rare or expensive. Good job saving that old Harmony for your buddy!
     
  2. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    251
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Depending on the scale length.... and your willingness to reslot a blank fretboard.... I dunno, it might just be easier/better to run that (defretted) neck through a joiner and plane much (or all) of the old board and start fresh.
     
  3. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Ok, finally got back to work on this after some fall chores, Thanksgiving, and a last minute trip to one of my favorite cities, New Orleans. Spur of the moment trips are always the best! 42AF228D-017A-4AC5-9AB0-3970D0FB9DB1.jpeg i made a quick fretboard protector with some metal tape. I just folded it over so it stuck together and cut a slot. Then I heated up the first fret with the soldering iron. 21B7A89F-0D9F-4DC1-A54F-97012E9771C0.jpeg
    I slowly worked the fret out of the slot. D5ACA8EE-0453-4111-9B07-DD3E5B1EC5B8.jpeg it came out pretty clean.
    109C4242-97A2-4F9A-A834-0D23A7DE9586.jpeg I drilled a hole to index the fretboard for replacement. I then repeated this procedure at the thirteenth fret with the same result. FC2D4EEE-3DD9-419F-BD31-CB9D298FE029.jpeg A0AE4154-42AD-4D59-8734-82F59A0FADF5.jpeg 7075FC76-932C-4576-BC37-641D50CBE9F1.jpeg Fretboard removal is up next. Stay tuned.
     
    Bad Juju, jc2000, w666 and 1 other person like this.
  4. w666

    w666 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    333
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Good work! Also, I admire your vise.
    Q: What kind of metal tape is that? Like what the tin knockers use on HVAC ducts?
     
  5. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Thanks w666! The tape is this stuff 88DDBA8D-F9C6-4DF2-98FB-5B0DF3176CCF.jpeg I think it’s Called aluminum foil tape. The vice is fantastic! Most used tool in my little workshop.
     
  6. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,601
    Likes Received:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    WOW! I am fascinated.. this is quite the undertaking, but the final result should beautiful. I will stay posted for this one.
     
    Lou G. likes this.
  7. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Ok now it’s getting interesting! My first fretboard removal. I picked up an iron at the thrift shop for 5.00 and went at it! 7F406750-A9FB-49C9-A66B-B460D69C09D7.jpeg I heated up the fretboard for a few minutes checking frequently to make sure I wasn’t scorching the board or damaging the fret markers. A45E0C39-2D8F-421F-87F7-A0026DC59E86.jpeg as this was my first time doing this I tried a few different tools to work under the board. I settled on the putty knife. At first I was struggling to get the knife under the board. I decided to heat up the blade of the putty knife, that did the trick but it scorched the wood under the fretboard a bit. I should have been patient and let the iron do it’s thing. Oh well, could have been worse I guess. 053972FF-E6A9-4874-8FE6-327B80573007.jpeg 6EE2E52C-ADA6-4DFE-859E-AFD93E77DBC6.jpeg
    Once I got it going I slowly made my way down the neck. It want pretty smooth until the fretboard extension. 08A49862-733B-49D0-B62D-B17C9387FFF6.jpeg Remember this funky bit? E9E40FF9-B70A-4E02-8818-F51ED59B0CE4.jpeg the board broke right at the fretboard extension. It wasn’t that surprising really. 7DB498E6-C781-4D1D-83F5-7B005F678FD1.jpeg 4ADAC673-9B0C-45CD-A3FE-787E1EF4ECE3.jpeg Finding that the extension was nailed on was a bit surprising though. Now with the fretboard, fretboard extension, and the metal bar removed I squeezed the headstock together to close the crack and this happened. 37F97ABE-F0AB-4BA2-965F-4BDC75B4EDE3.jpeg it just fell apart! All that was holding it together was the heel cap and a small section of the filler strip. Here’s a few more photos of what I’m dealing with. 14EB15A2-968D-4138-896F-1D6C66D49793.jpeg 38839A58-39EE-4A32-BEFC-D4C5B9BAA7A4.jpeg A754189F-7AFD-4F83-A10D-1DB0DA773ADD.jpeg 723B3AEB-5F0D-407B-B0ED-954B3FAC4B3A.jpeg Any ideas? How would you approach getting this glued up and clamped?
     
    1981 LPC likes this.
  8. w666

    w666 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    333
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    I'd glue it back together with a wood filler strip in place of the metal bar. Use Titebond II. Try surgical tubing to clamp the center neck section, ordinary clamps on the head stock section, and that nice vise of yours can clamp the heel. Afterward, route a channel for a Gibson style compression truss rod.
     
    TheZ likes this.
  9. w666

    w666 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    333
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    I have a collection of kitchen pallet knives/spatulas that I use for disassembling things:

    [​IMG]

    As well as a whole bunch of artist's knives:

    [​IMG]

    The Goodwill store is a great source for all kinds of cheap kitchen paraphernalia (irons, espresso machines, hot plates, etc)...the artist knifes are hard to find cheaply.
     
    Lou G. likes this.
  10. Crunchy

    Crunchy Junior Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Great work! You're infusing this guitar with new life!
     
    Lou G. likes this.
  11. strömsborg

    strömsborg Member

    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Doesn't that involve cutting a hole in that beautiful headstock veneer?
     
  12. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Thanks! That sounds sensible. I am curious why you recommend Titebond 2? I have never used it before.
     
  13. paulmarr

    paulmarr Senior Member

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    56
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Titebond II is moisture resistant - and heat will not allow glue to give way - in other words neck won't come apart at glue joint ever again!
     
  14. w666

    w666 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    333
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    What he said...

     
  15. w666

    w666 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    333
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Ja, but life is all about compromise. For me (and I can only speak for myself) the trade off is acceptable.

     
  16. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,601
    Likes Received:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    WOW! I've never seen anything like that! Maybe you should have just put new string on it instead...:rofl:
     
    Lou G. likes this.
  17. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Titebond ll it is then! I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this! Lol!
     
  18. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    I’m with you. I’m willing to make that compromise on this particular guitar. If this was a D’angellico... probably not. Come to think of it I wouldn’t attempt any of this on a valuable vintage guitar!
     
  19. Mr.Fingers

    Mr.Fingers Junior Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Not sure if it will fit, but Gotoh has a side-adjustable trussrod. Requires some routing in the heel though.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Lou G.

    Lou G. Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    That seems like a good idea. Have you ever tried one?
     

Share This Page