Headstock inlay question

tweedman2001

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Hope this is in the correct section.

After searching, I am really confused about headstock inlays. So I hope someone would explain this to me.

Referring to the "Gibson" and crown inlays. Are they blocks of MOP/celluloid over painted (reverse stencil) or cut inlays? Or either depending on year or model? I hope that made sense.

I have a '52 LP & '71 ES335TD which look like a cut inlay and a '97 DC Special that looks like a painted block.

Thanks Guys
 

Freddy G

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They are MOP cut inlays.

If it looks like it's outline is painted that because it is painted black around the inlay.
 

tweedman2001

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They are MOP cut inlays.

If it looks like it's outline is painted that because it is painted black around the inlay.

Ok, but are some the actual size of the script (not needing paint) and some a larger painted cut block (larger than the actual script)?

See below:

"One of the interesting characteristics of the pantograph logo is that it was usually (and perhaps always) a big flat piece of pearloid material inlaid into the headstock and the logo part was silkscreened in black over it so that only the letters showed through."

Headstock Logos | The Gibson ES-335

I'll try to get a photo of my DC Special this weekend. At first it looked like a decal but as it ages it looks like an inlaid painted block.
 

emoney

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I thought the DC Special did use a silkscreen?
 

Freddy G

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Oh I see.....he's talking about the cheesy pantograph logos from early Norlin era. Yeah that didn't last long thankfully!
 

B. Howard

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Early models with holly headstock veneers that were painted black had the MOP inlays set into large swimming pool type routs and set in with a black mastic/epoxy. This area was scraped clean after the black was sprayed and disappeared under the clear. Later models with black fiber headstock veneers had the routs for the inlays punched out in the exact outline and were not painted black but simply cleared over.
 

tweedman2001

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Here's the main one that I question. '97 DC Special. I'm not even sure if it could be a thin decal or epoxy around an inlay? It's gotten more pronounced as it's aged.

Thanks, it's the best pix I can do at the time.
 

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Tone_Chaser

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Looks like it was set into epoxy or dyed glue and then masked poorly before it was painted black. Then they just cleared over the top. I have seen a few that look like that from that time period. The other guitar player in my band has a 60 LP reissue from that time period and it looks like that but not as noticable at this point.
 

pshupe

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I don't think they mask them. They route the headstock, which is the outline you see all the way around the outside, put the MOP inlay into black epoxy, then they paint the whole headstock, and scrape the not dry paint off the MOP. Then the epoxy shrinks and you are left with that. I think that is SOP for Gibson, at least the older guitars. Not sure what they do now, they may just route a tighter inlay with a smaller bit in CNC, but they might still scrape the paint, but I doubt it.

Cheers Peter.
 

ARandall

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^ Exactly. The epoxy shrinks, and you get lacquer cracking or checking on the outline. Seen it on a few of my older ones.
 

pinefd

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I don't think they mask them. They route the headstock, which is the outline you see all the way around the outside, put the MOP inlay into black epoxy, then they paint the whole headstock, and scrape the not dry paint off the MOP. Then the epoxy shrinks and you are left with that. I think that is SOP for Gibson, at least the older guitars. Not sure what they do now, they may just route a tighter inlay with a smaller bit in CNC, but they might still scrape the paint, but I doubt it.

Cheers Peter.
This.

Here's a photo of the stripped headstock on my vintage '55 (before it was repainted). On vintage instruments, as well as Historics, you can often see the outline of the epoxy showing through (or slightly separating from) the paint.




Frank
 

tweedman2001

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This.

Here's a photo of the stripped headstock on my vintage '55 (before it was repainted). On vintage instruments, as well as Historics, you can often see the outline of the epoxy showing through (or slightly separating from) the paint.




Frank

Thanks. I see said the blind man. :D
 

pshupe

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yeah that seems about right. Although in the OP's guitar the route seems to be different or at least the outline seems different. It could be the guy that scraped the paint off left a ridge where he scraped?? Interesting. It's almost like he scraped after the clear coat was on.

Cheers Peter.
 

B. Howard

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And this is a black fiber veneer. I had to pull it off to make some repairs so you can see a bit of CA around the pearl. But the fit was very tight.


Here is the reverse side as I prepped to glue it back on, notice you can see the back outline of the lettering. it was set in a black epoxy and there is a bit of it on the back of the pearl as it was a few thousandths thinner than the fiber veneer.
 


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