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1963-64 Gibson SG restoration


I was more than pleased to be contacted by the owner of this SG, in his own words he had left it locked away embarrassed by how it looked. I was happy in fact honoured to be entrusted with the restoration of a guitar that was worth so much to the owner, not just its monetary value but sentimental value as well.

The guitar had been well used by the current owner since the 1970s, gig'd hard, had its neck broken when it fell out of the back of a van, an amp dropped on it, repaired painted white and used for a last minute gig with the paint still wet! then painted black..... I guess there's a lot more......but I LOVE well used guitars. Lets face it we all look back and cringe at what we did to these great guitars 40 years ago, but back then they were just guitars!


Here's the baby in black, quite a good finish I thought for Woolworths polyurethane paint..! Notice the two extra bolts at the end of the neck, these clamped the neck in place to strengthen the joint

Stripping the paint off, its important to mask the neck INCLUDING the binding as the paint stripper wil attack any plastic.

The body sanded, I was hoping that the original cherry finish hadn't been stripped off but unfortunately it had and the white primer had soaked into the mahogany which proved difficult to entirely remove especially as I didn't want to over-sand the body. Notice that I've started repairs to the neck joint and routed a slot from the front pickup cavity into the neck joint to glue in some mahogany 'biscuits', also the obvious repairs to the control cavity.

Close up of the neck joint repair

Also the control cavity inserts

Things coming together notice that there's a refret going on and NO I haven't cut the fret slots through the original binding I removed the ends of the fret tang, only the playing surface of the fret is protruding over the binding. Oh yes notice that I have plugged one tuner hole for some reason it was oversize so this will get redrilled.

......Like so as original.

Now we're getting somewhere and.... err it was only when I took this photo that I remembered the jack socket hole!!

And the back I have to confess that I had to use a lot of red dye in the lacquer to get an even colour mainly due to the problems presented by the white undercoat, but I'm pleased with the end result

Here's the finished beauty, the owner wanted me to age the finish to match the hardwear, also the trem cover plate which was new and some screws had to be aged, I added some knocks and dings but only to the places that they were originaly.... I love SGs!!!!

I Wish I owned it.... Everything original apart from the Lyre cover plate and a few screws