Lachlan’s Gretsch project

This is a variation on the BYO concept- a “Refurbish Your Own” project…

This 1968 Gretsch Anniversary was in my workshop for a somewhat tricky refret in 2014. Lachlan suggested at the time that at some stage he’d like to have the guitar refinished.

He also suggested that he’d like to learn a bit about the delicate art of guitar restoration and refurbishment and we discussed the possibility of Lach’s involvement in the process as a way of him learning a bit about the process.

I should also add that what Lachlan doesn’t know about ALL things Gretsch probably isn’t worth knowing…

So, I suggested to him that he could do some of the preparation work at home and I showed him how I would go about the stripping of the nitrocellulose paint from the body and neck and how I’d go about the removal of the deteriorated binding. I lent him a cabinet scraper and showed him the sharpening process and Lachlan has now successfully (judging from the photos he texted me) removed the old paint and binding, ready for the next step.

Here’s how he did it…

I’ve got to approve of this…

About now I need Lachlan to bring his stripped Gretsch to me so that we can check that all is ok.

And the binding channel needs to be accurately measured again so I can order in what will become the new binding.

When Lachlan arrived at the workshop, it became clear that he’d done a very effective job of removing the old finish and now the Gretsch was ready to be sanded but instead of sending him away again to do the job, he’s done that on my workbench.

With the sanding completed, Lachlan has marked out on the top the routing that needs to be done to fit a set of Brian Setzer Signature TV Jones Filter’Trons.

I’ll do the routing because it’s a bit tricky…

The new pickups will now fit and Lachlan and I considered the binding requirements and decided that some of the binding that I had on hand would do admirably…

I’ve explained the process and Lach’s made a start.

I’ve leant a hand on some of the tricky sections…

With the binding all done, Lach levels and sands the body…

…and fills where necessary.

After final sanding, I spray the sanding sealer coats.

Again, Lachlan rubs back the sealer until the Gretsch is ready to be sprayed in its new colour.

And with the colour done, the binding is unmasked, the binding scraped and the clear coats applied.

After a week or so, I’ve polished the paint…

…and then the guitar can be reassembled and the new TV Jones “Setzer” pickups installed.

Rather good outcome…