Gibson J-45… continued

This is a continuation from Part I, which can be found here.












After the new bridge plate was glued, it was time to reattach the top and install new binding.  After prepping the edges of the top and the sides to meet up once again, I decided to do this in sections to get the alignment perfect so the binding channel wouldn’t need much correcting.



I aligned and drilled a locator pin where the fingerboard will eventually be.  This enabled me to start gluing at the tail first and get the overall alignment just right.



Re-binding the top was a challenge for a number or reasons.  I DID NOT want to refinish this top.  Although it had some scaring from when the top was removed (improperly,) the sunburst looked great and showed some beautiful vintage checking… I wasn’t going to recreate that.  So the binding steps were going to be tedious in order to A) protect the top during shaping, and B) finishing the binding with lacquer to age the look and make it blend with the top and sides.

Here we go:













Scraping and shaping the binding. You can see that is is naturally much lighter in color than the old binging on the bottom.



There were different types of tape used, and many different rounds of taping off the body to protect during scraping and for over-spray with the various finish coats.



The first finish coats were done with a “vintage tint” lacquer to get the color right.  After that, I moved the tape back and feathered in the clear coats.  After some light finish sanding and buffing on the top and sides (and the back to make everything look consistent,) the hardest parts were over.










Above you can see the old bolt-insert holes have been plugged. Now it’s finally time for reassembly.



Gluing the bridge.





After re-setting and aligning the dovetail neck joint, the neck was glued along with the chopped off fingerboard extension.  Now we can re-fret and complete the final setup process.



I like to find the intonation points for the saddle placement after the bridge is on.  I use a drill bit to find the saddle placement for both E strings at pitch (a trick I learned from Jerry Korki.)  This lets me rout the saddle placement for each guitar based not only on the math and compensation factors, but with the guitar’s inherent intonation tendencies.

DSC01577 DSC01578









A beautiful picture of the saddle routing jig.

The final setup work on a project like this can often feel tedious… after having completed so much work.  Fitting and shaping the new bone nut and compensated saddle were the last appointments before strings.



















This guitar has a wonderful new voice and a new life of music to enjoy.


4 Responses to “Gibson J-45… continued”

  1. MacKenzie ChaseSeptember 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    It’s beautiful 🙂

  2. William JohnsonMay 7, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    cost to re-top and attach neck/fret board to 1978 J45 sq shoulder? Tobacco sunburst color.

  3. csiflagMay 9, 2017 at 7:44 am #

    Impossible to say without seeing it. $1k – $2k perhaps.


  1. Gibson J-45 Reconstruction | Custom Sound Instruments - August 17, 2013


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