I was asked to refinish the top of this 1981 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe which was originally sunburst but had been “goldtopped” using what looked like car spray. The colour was completely wrong and bizarrely, mini-humbuckers and P-90 pickups (which are the same size of course) would not fit in the cavities! For this …

This Les Paul Junior has had a hard life. When it came to me for a refinish in nice thin nitrocellulose it was coated with a thick layer of yellow paint which on closer inspection revealed a history that the owner was completely unaware of. It seems that at some point in its life …

Relined case with ES-330

I quite like the new Gibson Custom Shop cases with the yellow lining that come with the newer ES models. It harks back to the cases of the 1960s and shows off the guitar beautifully. The case that came with my ES-330 has a mottled grey fur interior and the outside is heavily marked …

Nashville bridge bowed

Tune-o-matic bridge as found on Gibson and other guitars was designed by Ted McCarty and introduced in the mid 1950s as the ABR-1. The design was updated by Schaller in the 1970s and the new bridge being termed the “Nashville” bridge by players as its introduction coincided with the Gibson factory’s move from Kalamazoo to …

Shows the body of the completed guitar, sporting a fetching tortoiseshell style scratchplate

I often get asked how to spray a TV Yellow finish and have been meaning for a while to demonstrate the process, so here it is. I think it’s unlikely that TV Yellow guitars left the factory as yellow as they are today. As with “butterscotch” Telecasters the colour has become more yellow over …

These two Vintage Gibsons came in, each needing a new nut. The mid-1960s SG Special had a nut cut too low meaning that the unfretted strings were buzzing against the first fret. I replaced this with a nut made from bleached bone. I had to use an oversize blank as the person who previously …

Unwind until the saddle is against the far wall

NOTE This applies only to the original Schaller bridge and exact copies. I often read that people find it difficult to change the saddles in a Gibson “Nashville” bridge. This bridge was introduced in the mid 70s, replacing the original ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge which had been designed at Gibson in the early 1950s by Ted …

Switchcraft coil tap switch (left) and modern donor (right)

In the mid-70s, some Gibson semi-acoustics such as the ES-335 and ES-347 were fitted with coil splitting switches, which shorted out one coil of each pickup to provide a single coil sound. I think this was a nod to fashion as thanks to disco and in particular Nile Rogers, the Fender Stratocaster sound was …

Richard Gold Top Lacquer

I thought I’d share some photos of a Goldtop finish that a customer has sprayed with my Gold top lacquer. Here is what he said: “I must say that Goldtop Lacquer was incredible, quite possibly even better and more in keeping with the original 50’s Goldtop than gibson now spay their guitars with, it …

1982 Gibson Ripper Bass

Following on from the “70s Bass Extravaganza” earlier this year I have two early 80s basses in for set up this week. Gibson Grabber Bass The first is a lovely 1982 Gibson Grabber Bass. It was suffering from uneven frets and a rising tongue caused by some unwise heavy shimming of the neck with …