Best shop for refin/wood work for vintage guitars

red_house356

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I have a pending purchase for a '53 Goldtop. It has a top refin, but the back/headstock remain original (w/ serial number). No breaks. Some non original parts to include the bridge p'up, wraparound, tuners, and knobs (seller is unsure). I was able to negotiate to a fair deal for us while saving $$$$ on the asking price. Local cash pickup is king.

Anyhow, if down the road I decide to refin the top (Goldtop), what shop/company would you guys recommend? I'll more than likely make my choice when it needs a refret. Still has original frets/nibs, playable, but low. Not sure if the angle of the wraparound needs adjustment or not. Should be seeing the guitar in person next week. She looks well played from the back, so keeping my fingers crossed.

I do know Kim at HM is an option. CF Restorations. Shame Yuuki at PlayerGrade Vintage is over the pond, wouldn't hesitate to send it to him (for a Goldtop, not conversion). Just trying to do the guitar some justice. Unfortunately, these early '52-53s get scrapped for conversions.

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red_house356

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I'll take a look, but yeah, shipping across to the UK is an issue. I sent Yuuki my old '69 Les Paul (heavily modified) that he ended up converting. The guitar arrived safely, but shipping is expensive to say the least.

Edit: Yikes, Clive Brown's contact info is hard to find lol. Looking at other forums, there's also Scott Lentz and MJT (although they're more known for Fender Finishes). MJT would be the cheapest option, but I really would prefer to do this right.
 
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jwinger

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I'll take a look, but yeah, shipping across to the UK is an issue. I sent Yuuki my old '69 Les Paul (heavily modified) that he ended up converting. The guitar arrived safely, but shipping is expensive to say the least.

Edit: Yikes, Clive Brown's contact info is hard to find lol. Looking at other forums, there's also Scott Lentz and MJT (although they're more known for Fender Finishes). MJT would be the cheapest option, but I really would prefer to do this right.
Have pm'd you
 

ESchmidt

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CF restorations does very good work for things like this. I have had Chad refinish a few guitars for me. Check out his Instagram to see examples of his work.
 

red_house356

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Thanks guys, will reach out to all parties. I contacted Kim last year about redoing a finish on a '59 Junior headstock (due to a break) and he actually talked me out of it. We had a good chat too haha. Chad at XF restorations almost did a '56 Junior refin. Price and turnaround will factor into this too.

Is there a particular shade of gold that I should request for this btw? I was highly impressed by the eyes on some of you guys in the Reverb husk that sold. They had other prospects and you guys tore through them fast lol.
 

eric ernest

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Contact Kim at Historic Makeovers. They also do vintage restorations and with all of the correct materials.
That is 100% factually incorrect. I know of no one who is using the correct lacquer.

The HM Goldtop (color was fine) they sprayed for me, had about the most stupid looking checking as could possibly be.

Got an explanation for that?

I do, wrong stuff.
 

red_house356

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Do you have photos? Proper goldtop photos from these builders/shops are hard to come by and judge. Everyone wants a faux burst from these old refin'd goldtops. Which isn't a bad thing, I still drool over most conversions lol

The HM Goldtop (color was fine) they sprayed for me, had about the most stupid looking checking as could possibly be.

I do, wrong stuff.
These are examples I have found from CF Restorations and HM.

HM
http://instagr.am/p/CC8Ixg0nxtm/
http://instagr.am/p/CBs689GnNGr/
CF Restorations
http://instagr.am/p/BtGpEtRndaS/
http://instagr.am/p/BtWzIO0HDac/
Edit: reached out to all parties.
 
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delawaregold

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If you are going to Burst the guitar. I have always been impressed with
Dan Shinn, the co-owner of Lay's Guitar Shop.
If you are going to re-do it as a Goldtop. I have not been consistently
impressed with any shops results. Especially when you see it next to
a factory Goldie. The refins always leave me wanting. That's not to
say I have never seen a shop do a great job, but I don't see that happen
on two guitars in a row.
~DG
 

Liam

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If you are going to Burst the guitar. I have always been impressed with
Dan Shinn, the co-owner of Lay's Guitar Shop.
If you are going to re-do it as a Goldtop. I have not been consistently
impressed with any shops results. Especially when you see it next to
a factory Goldie. The refins always leave me wanting. That's not to
say I have never seen a shop do a great job, but I don't see that happen
on two guitars in a row.
~DG
There was a guy who understood how the gold in a Goldtop works. Unfortunately we lost him earlier this year, but I know he would be asking if you wanted it to look great now, in 4 week's time, or 5 years from now.

If he was still around, I think he'd be agreeing with Eric. Wrong stuff, but in the main for good reason. Most of us are not that patient.

Liam
 

red_house356

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Yeah and that's been my main reason for posting this. I'm not entirely sure who to send this to. I'm not doing a burst, I'm going gold again.

Here's one from Yuuki, but he's full of projects. So, he's off the list for the time being.

http://instagr.am/p/BnbeRUTFr0L/
http://instagr.am/p/Bo1ZaRQHTOd/
Unfortunately we lost him earlier this year, but I know he would be asking if you wanted it to look great now, in 4 week's time, or 5 years from now.
That is also in the back of my mind, how are these going to age. That question alone would've made an impact in choosing.
 
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Popeye

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How about Chris Mirabella? I think he mostly worked on Goldtops so he might be a good start?
 

geddy402

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This might be a crazy idea, but what about the Gibson custom shop? I’m not sure what their goldtops are looking like these days but I feel like they’ve upped their game recently and they might want to get the specs from your vintage guitar. So, you might be able to work out some kind of deal. Just my two cents worth...
 

jwinger

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There was a guy who understood how the gold in a Goldtop works. Unfortunately we lost him earlier this year, but I know he would be asking if you wanted it to look great now, in 4 week's time, or 5 years from now.

If he was still around, I think he'd be agreeing with Eric. Wrong stuff, but in the main for good reason. Most of us are not that patient.

Liam
Agree with this. My recommendation for Clive Brown comes purely from my understanding that the person Liam referred to learnt a good deal of his finishing trade from Clive.

Here's some work by the person Liam was referring to.

I think there's an art to taking the aging just far enough that it kicks thing off and allows the natural aging that follows to look completely authentic. As illustrated by first and second pictures.

Guitar on collection


Same guitar after 7 years or so of frequent gigging.



 
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Mike I

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You may want to check out Gord Miller as well.

He does some very nice work.

I have a Tele he did that used to belong to Paul Warren, that looks awesome.
 

cherrick

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There was a guy who understood how the gold in a Goldtop works. Unfortunately we lost him earlier this year, but I know he would be asking if you wanted it to look great now, in 4 week's time, or 5 years from now.

If he was still around, I think he'd be agreeing with Eric. Wrong stuff, but in the main for good reason. Most of us are not that patient.

Liam
Oh dear. I did not know that Dan had passed. The man was my hero, painted my Norlin Lester Standard and was famous for his finish work and conversions. And everything else.
 


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