Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Final Crack Touchup, Polish and Setup on the ca. 1931 Gibson TG-1 Guitar

I finished up the Gibson TG-1 a few days ago.  Thought I should go over the last bits of work I did.

So I tried to match up the finish and touch up the crack-repaired areas.  You can see here that I took a small spruce board and tried a few mixes of brown nitro lacquer.  I got one that was close and used that.

I touched up the worst areas and let the lacquer dry a few days.  As it turns out, a lot of color came off when I polished it out.  Duh.  Should have let it dry longer.

Here I'm doing the finish sanding before rubbing it out.  I wet sanded, using 400 grit up to about 4000.

The cracked areas are nice and smooth now.  I also hit the repaired areas with some blush remover to help blend the repairs in.  The lacquer on the guitar is so old that it really didn't remelt so much - not surprising.

Here's the side repair.  It actually looks better in person - you can see my paint was a little light and some did come off.

The owner is pretty happy with it though.  It carries my limited lifetime warranty, which means if she wants me to take another shot at touching it up, I'll gladly do it.

And wait a month for the lacquer to dry this time.

And the top.  Not too bad, all things considered.  The damaged areas are visible, but they're smooth to the touch.

And neither area affects the tone in any way.

Now to finish it up.

The nut was a plastic replacement.  It cracked on the bass side (see the yellow arrow in the picture), so I needed to make a new bone nut.

You can also see a big gap on the nut 'ledge' between the headstock veneer and the nut (green arrow.)

After I took the nut off, there was a lot of old glue.   I scraped it off with a small chisel and a file.

Naturally, when I was cleaning and leveling the nut slot, I chipped a tiny bit of the ebony headstock veneer.  The yellow arrow shows the gap that opened up, and the red arrow shows one of the two chips that came off.

I used some black CA to put the chips back on.

They fit perfectly.  If this sort of thing happens, I find that the less you handle the chips or broken bits the better.  Even a little handling will change their shape (breaking off more tiny bits) and they won't fit as well.

Here's the repaired area.  Looks like new.

So, I made a new nut, but I forgot to take pictures of it!  I figure there are pictures elsewhere on the blog - you can see how I make nuts on other posts.

Yet another filthy old fingerboard.  I do a pass or two with Simple Green first, then switch to Dunlop fingerboard cleaner.  Brush the board, wipe with a cloth, repeat until you don't see any brown gunk.

I think I did 5 or 6 passes on this one.

The wood is Brazilian rosewood.  Really nice grain.

Lately I've been using Stew Mac fingerboard oil instead of lemon oil.  I like it.  You get a nice finish and supposedly it helps prevent cracks.  This board was so dry that it took two applications of oil - the first just got immediately sucked up by the wood.

This guitar has a truss rod!  I'm so used to working on Martins that it's a pleasant surprise to have a truss rod on a small instrument.

I only had to put about a quarter turn on the rod to get the neck nice and straight.

By the way, you can see the new nut I made if you look carefully.

I polished the frets and also polished the whole guitar with Virtuoso cleaner and finished with Virtuoso polish.  This stuff is simply fantastic.

The finish on the guitar is in excellent shape and the polish enhanced it.

The whole guitar has fantastic gloss.  Remember this is an 85 year old finish!

And the top.  I love these older Gibson sunbursts.  Simply beautiful.

Check out that fingerboard!  And that classy point at the end.

Tonally, the guitar has a fat, deep voice.  Very rounded.  I played it and then played my Martin 0-18T and the Martin sounds like a banjo compared to the Gibson.  This is one amazing guitar.


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