1968 Gibson Dove: Logo Repair

This amazing old Gibson Dove dates back to 1968. It’s a clean guitar with few bumps and knocks; it’s amazing to see a guitar of this age without any splits or cracks.


However, there is one nagging issue and that’s with its logo, half of it is missing!

It was made in the days when Gibson, in their wisdom, inlayed a M.O.P. plate into the headstock, attached the logo stencils and spray-painted the negative space.  After many decades the paint has begun to flake off.  I wonder how many more of these from that era are out there with similar peeling logos.

The remedy is quite straightforward. A logo stencil will need to be created. Care must be taken in masking off the area around the stencil because of the fragile finish.

A positive logo is made up and attached. The remainder on the head is masked-off


Numerous coats of nitrocellulose lacquer must be applied to build a suitable thickness

This is the result after many layers

The new logo is carefully cleaned-up and cut-back
The logo and headstock is treated to several coats of shellac to seal,  protect and help with the aging effect.



Gibson Guitar Repair: Therapy?

The Rock group Therapy? are just about to go back on tour. They are scheduled to tour the UK and Europe starting mid October until December.

Stevie, their guitar tech, came in yesterday to collect a Gibson SG that was in the workshop for a neck repair.

The SG had arrived back from the band’s previous tour of Russia in a bad state.

When Andy Cairns removed it from it’s case and strummed a few chords he noticed a very unusual tuning (that slack snapped headstock tuning). It had been mishandled by the carrying airline and suffered a broken headstock whilst in transit.

Click image for more snaps

The guitar was successfully repaired and is now back as part of the Andy Cairns’ armoury.

This lovely old SG, which has a crazed black finish that has just gone that way over time, is one of 6 SGs that tour with the band.

Stevie is responsible for their maintenance, upkeep and performance. Part of Stevie’s brief, when on tour with the band, is to re-string each guitar every other day. Check their action, intonation, electrics and generally keep the set-up of the guitar up to performance standard that befits a top band. Each of the SG’s are strung with heavy gauge strings and have different tuning: C, E, A# and D.

Meet Stevie, guitar tech for Therapy?

Stevie emailed this pic (below) of the SG ready for action. All 6 guitars have different drop tunings.

Stevie says, “I use Rotosound blues 10 – 52 on the E tuned SG and Roto custom 13 –
56 on the C and D and other dropped tuned guitars”

The SG’s first gig will be a recording at XFM London on Friday 9th October.
Listen out for the show or better still catch them on tour.

Guitar repair: The Heritage H 535 Guitar, Kalamazoo

The Heritage H 535 is a beautiful guitar manufactured in the old Gibson factory at Parsons Street in Kalamazoo.
The factory is over 90-year-old and it’s where Gibson designed and made many of their masterpieces.

Heritage guitars have been producing a range of guitars from here for several years now. Their quality is extremely high.

Click the image to enlarge

This H 535 suffered a broken headstock when it crashed to the floor in spectacular fashion. After several weeks in the workshop we had it looking, playing and sounding as good as new.

An invisible headstock repair

For Flickr catalogue click here

Watch the repair process

Guild 302A Bass Guitar Broken Neck Repair

The Guild 302A , a unique vintage bass.

This Guild 302A bass was brought  into the workshop with a split in it’s headstock. This presented a fairly routine repair. It was to be a visible fix because of budgetary constraints.

During the course of the repair it was decided that the existing Badass bridge should be removed and an original BT-4 bridge be installed. The chances of finding a BT-4 were fairly remote and the original for this bass had been lost several years ago. However, with much internet searching and to the great surprise and delight of the owner a second hand BT-4 was located for sale in the U.S.

On receipt of the new BT-4, the Badass bridge was removed and the old style bridge installed. The frets were polished and fingerboard cleaned. All the electrical components were overhauled and cleaned. The bass was fitted with new Rotosound strings, the truss rod adjusted and the string spacing and intonation set.

What resulted was a unique vintage guitar restored to it’s former glory.

Apparently only 500 of these basses were ever produced.

Spec for B-302A

Manufactured: 1978-81

Body: Ash

Neck: Set 3-piece maple, with 20 fret rosewood fingerboard

Scale: 34 inch

Overall length: 46 1/4″

Width at nut: 1 5/8″

Electronics/pickups: Two Guild single coil bass pickups, two volume and two tone controls, selector switch

Hardware: BT-4 bridge