Best shop for refin/wood work for vintage guitars

VictorB

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His color is fantastic....but his lacquer is absolutely WRONG! Period.

The '57 Goldtop Historic Makeovers did for me has already been refinished AGAIN!
Who did the work for you (the second time) Eric?
 

Pete M

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So if the correct lacquer isn't available anymore is there a best option at all?
I think it would be helpful to be specific about what is wrong or right. Either way I think it's better to just accept that 50 years worth of gassing off and aging can't be replicated. You'll end up having to go with "close enough".
 

red_house356

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So, I've had some time to play the guitar. She is a player through and through. It sounds very open with a sweet top end with 10s. Comes to life when played as you can feel the neck and body resonate. Includes the 4 latch brown lifton case. The seller told me he purchased it from the original owners son (father passed away). Up to that point, it only had one owner and I can see why. He also mentioned that he contacted Gibson and they verified the serial number. They are looking into their old ledgers to see what date it was made and which dealer it was sent to in the '50s. I thought that was pretty cool.

From inspecting the guitar, I suspect a lot of the mods came in the 70s as the pots read 1377620 (20th week of 1976). I was highly impressed that Clive immediately brought to attention that the body has had some work done. I suspect the bridge slot was altered. There are some signs of crude routing that extends into the diagonal wiring slot. Unfortunately, he isn't taking work at the moment.

Might post a separate thread with photos from my cannon lens camera. MLP forces me to compress photos, so I didn't take photos with it for now. I will say, the goldtop does look better in person. Inlays, headstock, and back of the guitar react to black light.

Edit:
1st fret .926"/12th fret 1.04" Soft V to C profile. It deceptively does not feel chunky despite the measurement at the 1st fret. Weight is 8.4 lbs on my shipping scale.

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Pete M

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Cool score. I would say lacquer checking is probably the most overrated thing here on the forum. Everyone wants the lacquer to check a specific way, but if you refinish guitars you'll know there are no guarantees. There are also different scenarios in which lacquer will crack. Usually just a drop in temp will crack the lacquer and you'll get fine spider-web like checking that you'll see in strong light at the right angles. I've had guitars check over night while sat in my living room. It seems the strong horizontal cracks come from extreme temp changes to the whole guitar (in a freezer overnight, then pulled out) and the lacquer being fairly thick. It's also influenced by how long ago the finish was sprayed and the amount of dings present. Opening up the cracks so you can feel them with your finger seems to take time and further extreme temperatures. I would go with someone who is known to do a good correct looking goldtop. HM would be one of those IMHO. One of only a few places that cater for our, let's say, ...specific needs.
 
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eric ernest

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So if the correct lacquer isn't available anymore is there a best option at all?
It's not that it's not available...it's that no one has determined the correct formula.

I know more about colorants than any refin guy I know...and I bitch about the same details over and over...and they completely dismiss my observations.
 

eric ernest

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I think it would be helpful to be specific about what is wrong or right. Either way I think it's better to just accept that 50 years worth of gassing off and aging can't be replicated. You'll end up having to go with "close enough".
I've discussed the inaccuracies of Gibson refins MANY times publicly on guitar forums for years...maybe decades.

Oh, and I can replicate the patina of 50 years of "gassing off" (your description, not mine) in a day.

Aging? that's another matter. VERY few get that right. The more aging, generally the worse it looks.

Also, I'm not interested in close enough. If I were to adopt that posture, I would just play a reissue. :laugh2:
 

libtech

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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.
Who would you say does the most accurate goldtop (minus aging) then? I would agree I have had a few HM goldtops, they look great but the checking on mine seemed to be all over, not the straighter lines you seem to see on vintage. Is that a thickness issue or a lacquer issue?
 

red_house356

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Honestly, I wouldn't touch it. Looks great as is.
Same here. I dig it as is.
Yeah, its definitely growing on me. The seller mentioned that it took about "a year for them to nail the right color". I think it was done about 3-5 years ago. I'm not an expert on vintage les paul carves and how the dish is suppose to look. It looks like most of it remains in tact.

The original frets are getting rather low. It'll definitely needs a refret soon. Previous owner wanted to refret it, but didn't want to remove the original fret wire.
 

Pete M

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I've discussed the inaccuracies of Gibson refins MANY times publicly on guitar forums for years...maybe decades.

Oh, and I can replicate the patina of 50 years of "gassing off" (your description, not mine) in a day.

Aging? that's another matter. VERY few get that right. The more aging, generally the worse it looks.

Also, I'm not interested in close enough. If I were to adopt that posture, I would just play a reissue. :laugh2:
You're not replicating 50 years of anything in a day if you use fresh lacquer. You're approximating it. So by your own description you go for as close as you can get to the real deal in that instance.
 
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eric ernest

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You're not replicating 50 years of anything in a day if you use new lacquer. So by your own description you go for as close as you can get to the real deal in that instance.
I can make the patina look like a guitar is 50 years old. I've spent decades perfecting it.

I cannot make it look like 50 YEARS OF WEAR.

Is there anything else you would like to be wrong about?
 

Pete M

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I can make the patina look like a guitar is 50 years old. I've spent decades perfecting it.

I cannot make it look like 50 YEARS OF WEAR.

Is there anything else you would like to be wrong about?
Then why would you need to send a guitar to HM and then complain about their work? Your argument makes no sense. Anyway I'm outta here. I've seen you fail at basic discussion so many times. I'm not interested at playing the internet tough guy game. Sad really.
 
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BadPenguin

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Leave it alone finish wise. It's perfect the way it is, showing it has had a life. The frets, yeah, do what needs to be done to keep it playing for another 50 years.
 

fernieite

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Here's a guy that seems to do a very nice goldtop refin! (IMO)

 


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