It's broken headstock month over here in the shop. This one brought its challenges with the touch up afterwards. Gretsch Japan use Urethane on this model for their finish, which is not as touch-up friendly as lacquer. After repairing the break, I was simply going to sand the break lines smooth for the customer, as he didn't care for any touch up work. Although because there was some wood and finish missing around the break, I found it to be a cleaner fix to just refinish the area - some fill work was required so black was used to cover up the break.
Another beautiful old Victoria Label Larrivee OM model. This one sustained some shipping damage, as well had a couple other issues - a split top and bridge lifting. First things first. That break is nasty - but no problem. I glued 'er back together and prepped it for touch-up which consisted of sanding out the break line until it no longer could be felt. In this case, being that the finish is quite thin, I sanded down to bare wood as you can see. Now at this point before spraying, I've got to use a stain to color the exposed area & match the look of the original finish or it will look patchy.
I didn't have much trouble matching the original tone, so I followed with a sealer then built up some clear coats.
The split top was simply brought together with hydration and cleated. The bridge was reseated, along with the headstock inlay. A supplied nut was installed, and the guitar was restrung, setup. These guitars sound fantastic, if you ever come across one - snap it up!
Pictures above showing a repaired broken headstock, right before touch-up repair around the break area only. The guitar had many chips and dings all over the neck and to keep the costs minimal the break itself is addressed for touch-up for aesthetics and feel. After the break is fixed, all the ridges were sanded down so that it can no longer be felt. I was lucky enough to score some paint that matched the tone of the guitar perfectly!
Once the area is sanded down, prepping it for some lacquer to seal the area, followed by color, then followed by clear coat. Once buffed out, it's looking great! The owner replies by saying, what break?
This guitar was brought to me in 20 pieces, a project guitar with all the parts sourced out from different places. I must say it was a beautiful guitar at final assembly, a nice looking flame on that sunburst top. Seymour Duncan Jazz at the neck, and a mini JB at the bridge, a great combo and just cooks! Add a Wilkinson bridge with compensated style 3 barrel saddle (these only improve, not correct, the intonation problems with 3 barrel saddles) and it's set for many hours of enjoyment. Only problem was, the headstock had been sanded away on the facing and 2 sides. Ugh.
My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to refinish the areas sanded, and economically too. Oh, isn't that always the way? Ok! Quite tricky to blend, as the original finish was quite thick and the tint quite dark. The method that proved most efficient: amber toner to tint the wood, and clear coats over top. Required a few passes of the tint to get the right shade, and then proceeded with many coats of the clear lacquer. As with all refinishes when using lacquer, this type of repair will be in the shop for many, many weeks waiting for the lacquer to cure. Once it is cured, it will be buffed out to a gloss. I will post an article about lacquer and refinishing in an upcoming blog. Btw, these sorts of repairs I do not take regularly, as it is quite labor intensive and inevitably slows done my entire workflow. Besides that, I do not tolerate the solvents very well (they are quite toxic).