Official Luthiers Forum!

1952 Gretsch Electro 2 finish
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Toxophilite [ Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:57 am ]
Post subject:  1952 Gretsch Electro 2 finish

I found this guitar at a local music store and after bombarding the owner with reality I got it for a price I could live with.
IT had been factory renecked witha 54-55 neck which according to Ed Ball is relatively common
It's a handsome guitar but it had many many issues
The main one being it had been refinished clear! a home job with drips and runs and no sanding or buffing
refinisher had not removed pickups nore had they taped of the fingerboard..hilarious

I had to do a refret and planing so that cleaned up the board

I've been wet sanding and hand buffing (using silvo and sometimes a buffing compound) to smooth out the finish and give it a clear gloss.
It'll never be perfect as the finish looks thin and I'm being careful not to burn through

I'm curious if there is anyway I can determine what the finish is
It buffs up well but seems to be quite soft and easy to mark with fingernails

would like to get it off one side of the gold plated Dearmond PIckups but I hesitate to attack it with solvents..haha

I don't know how old it is but I'm guessing the past 20 years. It has no evidence of checking.

So far I've
-polished about 75% of the finish
-refretted and planed board
-replaced the tuners with Gotoh 510s
- added a bigsby (cause I use one all the time)
- cleaned the electronics and added a pickup selector switch (which might move to a hole in the upper bout eventually)
-replaced the trim on the pickguard(pickup side , it was missing and had been painted on the tortoise shell
-fixed come loose binding in the cutway
-built and fitted a compensated ebony synchromatic style bridge witha bone saddle(Eventually going to do a Brazillian rosewood to match teh board maybe. i had the ebony one to hand already.

picture 1 current incarnation with pickup switch and bigsby added
2. back half buffed
3. back finish unbuffed
4, with bigsby
5. how it came except with top buffed

Author:  Barry Daniels [ Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1952 Gretsch Electro 2 finish

You can put a drop of lacquer thinner on some inconspicuous spot. If the finish etches from this then it is nitrocellulose lacquer. But I would guess that it is probably a polyurethane. That is the most common DIY clear finish.

Author:  Toxophilite [ Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1952 Gretsch Electro 2 finish

hmm maybe a water-based poly ?
All the factory guitar finishes I've seen that have been poly have been tough as nails
Maybe it's cause they're so thick.

Author:  Barry Daniels [ Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1952 Gretsch Electro 2 finish

Yeah, I missed the soft description so it is probably not Poly. It could be varnish or like you said, a water based finish.

Author:  B. Howard [ Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1952 Gretsch Electro 2 finish

You can never know exactly what it was....without an actual lab test of a sample.

The acetone/thinner test can tell you it may be nitro. Or it may be pre cat or post cat lacquer,varnish or shellac will also dissolve under heavy solvents. So the test is really only useful on factory finishes, all bets are off when it comes to what someone did in their shed.

Soft usually indicates an exterior/marine type finish or one designed for modern flooring.......

Author:  Toxophilite [ Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1952 Gretsch Electro 2 finish

Yes soft! and likely thin on the spruce laminate. I've accidentally scratched down to the wood just with the nails on my right hand, they'll dig in that easily.
A lady was looking at the guitar and just after I told her it was 66 years old she proceeded to give it a sharp rat-a-tat-tat with her long evil finger nails leaving a series of small indentations in the top???!! Needless to say I was less than thrilled.

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group