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Any Historic Top Re-Carves? (to look more vintage)

pinefd

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Jan 22, 2004
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I'm just curious...

Many of us go through great lengths to make our historics look as vintage as possible. And as I'm learning more and more about the differences between the top carve of historics versus vintage bursts, I can't help but wonder whether anyone, during the refin process, has also done some re-carving of their historic top to make it look more vintage? I know many have done neck re-shaping (including HM), but was wondering about the tops?

If so, could you post some pics?

Thanks!


Frank
 

alexanderja

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Feb 12, 2007
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Frank.......you and a few others here have cost me enough money already........please dont get me started on thinking this is essential too :rofl
 

bluesforstevie

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Jun 20, 2002
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The difference is striking in the newer guitars when compared to the old ones....the biggest mistake made in the new ones is that the carve doesn't follow the outline of the top like it used to. If you shine a light on an old one and get the light to shine on the carve...you'll see that the carve follows the curve (the edge) of the top goes around the waist of the guitar and actually curves to the TOP side of the pickup switch at the top bout, where on most Historics the carve follows the lower bout nicely but as it goes into the waist of the guitar it doesn't end up following to the top edge of the switch on the top bout but more often than not sort of ends at the midline or lower part of the switch.

The belly of the guitars can be made more prominent by carving a little more wood out on the bottom bout....but there's really no way to get that top part better....
 

sine_wave

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Jan 4, 2007
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That's what's known as the "recurve". Yeah, the old guitars have it in spades and it's a beautiful thing. The new 50th's have it a lot more than the previous years, however I have seen some nice examples pop up randomly from the last few years. It's so simple to carve a nice recurve. All it takes is a round scraper! Why doesn't Gibson do it?
 

pinefd

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Jan 22, 2004
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Having built some of my own guitars now, and having intimate knowledge of Historics, I'd love to try and do some re-carving of a Historic top myself, if I ever get one in need of some work or a refin. It seems to me that you can do the recurve, get the carve better in the switch area and flatten the mid-section a bit so as to make it a lot more vintage looking. Add to that a slight forward move of the treble side tailpiece post, and you'd be so much closer to a vintage looking guitar. I'd be surprised if no one has tried this yet.
 

Electric Lloyd

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Feb 5, 2005
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It's been done. I can't remember who did the work, but there was a post of a make-over (pre Historic Makeovers, I think) where they photographed the re carving of the top. It looked awesome. Hopefully they will see this & repost.
 

shuie

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Aug 26, 2005
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The guitar that Roy from RS has is posted is the best example I can think of. He moved the tailpiece also :ganz
 

BluesForDan

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Aug 31, 2002
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There was a replica that had been massaged by Johann, a Keebler, I think.

Is there enough wood in the way to recarve a Historic top to an original's carve? You can't take away what isn't there.
 

bluesforstevie

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Having built some of my own guitars now, and having intimate knowledge of Historics, I'd love to try and do some re-carving of a Historic top myself, if I ever get one in need of some work or a refin. It seems to me that you can do the recurve, get the carve better in the switch area and flatten the mid-section a bit so as to make it a lot more vintage looking. Add to that a slight forward move of the treble side tailpiece post, and you'd be so much closer to a vintage looking guitar. I'd be surprised if no one has tried this yet.

And then paint it so that it has a wider band of paint on the bottom bout. I agree %100!!
 

bluesforstevie

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Jun 20, 2002
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That's what's known as the "recurve". Yeah, the old guitars have it in spades and it's a beautiful thing. The new 50th's have it a lot more than the previous years, however I have seen some nice examples pop up randomly from the last few years. It's so simple to carve a nice recurve. All it takes is a round scraper! Why doesn't Gibson do it?

I'd like to see DJ do it on some of the HM guitars too.
 

oldflame

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Jan 11, 2004
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I really can't see the point of doing the work on a historic. No point in just doing the top carve. You would have to go the whole Hog and get every detail right including a good aged refin, scraped binding, correct fingerboard inlays (shape and material, depending on what year your historic is), silk screen logo, truss rod cover position, truss rod.. blah, blah, blah... the list is long. Also, a lot of historics have pastey looking fingerboards so that's something else that would need sorting.

Most historics are great geet's in their own right. You wouldn't want to mess with a nice one and a bad one wouldn't be worth messing with now would it.

If you're in the know and know who to ask, get a replica done. There are guys out there who can make them spot on (apparently) and it will cost a lot less than messing up a decent historic.
 
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Cogswell

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Wouldn't you need to take off the neck (or the fingerboard, specifically) to really do it up right?
 

pinefd

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Jan 22, 2004
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FWIW, I truly think it can be done, and I don't think you'd need to take off the neck or fingerboard in order to do it. Although, I suppose the best time and way to do it is when and if you're having a Package A done by HM (or any similar Project X) where they're replacing the fingerboard anyway. I'll see if I can get an expert's opinion on this hypothetical question and report back on what I find (if anything).
 

Cogswell

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I wondered because I have a '96 Std that needs a refinish. When I A/B'd it w/my old R8, I noticed how flat the top was on the Historic compared to the Std (it was a late '01 R8). On the production LP the top between the p'ups & up toward the end of the fingerboard it is very rounded or convex. I figured in order to flatten the deck properly the fingerboard would need to be removed.
Either way I don't think I'd be smart to attempt it myself.
 

lpnv59

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Jul 15, 2001
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I would only flatten the mid section if the neck set was on the shallower side. I like my ABR sitting on a post that just fits 2 thumbwheels. When I refinned my Realfeel, I massaged a deeper dish somewhat. When it was originally Chablis, it had very shallow dish around the edge. I didn't work the mid section because it would have raised the bridge height. I don't have any really good pics anymore that show the carve.
normal_DSC00239~3.JPG
 

Luke Gibson

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Jul 15, 2001
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I had Dave Johnson recarve the top on my GT, I'll try to post some pics tomorrow.....
 
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