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My '53 Goldtop Doesn't Have A Hole In It Anymore

Stratoben127

New member
Joined
Jun 30, 2013
Messages
301
It's been a long time coming for this guitar to get repaired- 40+ years, in fact- but it's finally free of unnecessary holes. I'm sure many of you know the story behind me getting this guitar last November from the original owner. It was routed for humbuckers, had some screw holes from a homemade vibrato, and a huge leather patch under the controls to keep the knobs in place over a crack in the top that happened in the late 60s/early 70s. Everything else was original.

Here's a picture from the day I got it with DiMarzio PAFs, an unusably worn original thin-ear wraparound, and the original case.


Under the patch I found this.


For the next 8 months I used it regularly, eventually cutting down the patch to be smaller and painting it black with some clear coat so my sweat wouldn't make it fall apart. I also got a MojoAxe bridge and Sheptone pickups. It looked like this.


In June I gave it to Tom Stadler at Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville to patch up. The goal was to not make it look perfect, since it's already a player, but to put a piece of wood in there and make sure the crack won't get worse while keeping the finish and wood as original as possible. He cut a Maple patch to perfectly fit in the existing crack in order to remove as little wood as possible. Before putting it in the guitar, he carved it to match the top PERFECTLY. It was nuts. Unfortunately, I had to grab the guitar before it could get glued in to use it on the road for a month and half. When I got back in town in mid-August, I gave it back to him to finish up.

He used gold nitro and amber clear coat on the patch to get as close to the original finish color as possible, then glued it in with hide glue and made sure it was stable. He then matched the seams with some more gold and some green to match the surrounding finish cracks. Here's how it looked 90% done last week.


I went home for Thanksgiving and got back late last night. Today I finally picked it up. He filled in the extra screw holes in the top, finished up the patch, and cleaned up the neck pickup route so the pickup could sit lower without the high E hitting it when I play on the 21st or 22nd fret. Again, we weren't so much concerned with cosmetics as we were with getting wood back where it should be. Here's the final result.


And a close up on the repair.


Just wanted to share. The guitar is finally done as far as what I'll ever do to it, and I don't plan on letting it go. I'm so happy with the work. Tom's work rivals anybody else. Highly recommended if you're near Nashville.
 

jhmp

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
717
Thats an honest approach to a player repair, which I appreciate and it continues to tell the story. With many more to come!:salude
 

58burst

Active member
Joined
May 11, 2002
Messages
2,175
Nice- My '58 was "holy" until I restored it, feels good to have a nice piece like that all solid-
 

david.beason

Active member
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
256
I remember that one. I think you handled the hole/repair just right. Awesome looking guitar!
 

Reno_1ted

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Messages
665
I love the way this has been done. Lost none of the story or the mojo while making it stable and matching it all in to look like an old repair. Spot on. Enjoy!
 

sidekick

New member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,060
The work done sympathetically in keeping with the vibe of this guitar which is special to you.

Recall your original thread, pleased all went well and that you are happy ... :)
 

MapleFlame

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
14,032
Glad you got her back and are happy. No more worry of a pot dropping into cavity for sure.
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567


And a close up on the repair.


Just wanted to share. The guitar is finally done as far as what I'll ever do to it, and I don't plan on letting it go. I'm so happy with the work. Tom's work rivals anybody else. Highly recommended if you're near Nashville.

I'd play that! :dude:

:salude
 

KOTR

Active member
Joined
Nov 6, 2005
Messages
1,024
Great approach and excellent result. Congrats.
 
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