'59 6120 tribute build

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by guitarmaker, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    Hi everyone! I had mentioned before that I wanted to post the process of building a 6120. This is the start of it. Not a whole lot to begin with but still interesting (I think so, anyway). The first pics are of the blueprints/schematics that I am working on. I like to have a full scale drawing to refer to with all the specs layed out. It helps make my life a little easier. The next is the body mold which I'll use to bend the sides. And the last ones are of the uncut factory top and back with a little hardware on there just to look pretty. More coming soon![​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  2. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    Wow! I will follow every step of this adventure!!
  3. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    Cool thanks! Here are two more little steps. Tracing the outline using the body mold and tracing the f-holes.[​IMG][​IMG]
  4. JohnnyRingo

    JohnnyRingo Gretschie

    Jul 13, 2008
    Now that will be one of the coolest things anyone has ever done,EVER!!
    You may find yourself with a lotta new best friends for this.You look to have the skill well in hand.Very interesting project.
  5. rockabilly-rebel

    rockabilly-rebel Country Gent

    Jul 21, 2009
    Derbyshire, England
    I'll be watching this thread with much interest - top marks sir!!
  6. Telefan

    Telefan Synchromatic

    Jun 2, 2008
    I'll be watching this one. Good luck with it!
  7. Quietly

    Quietly Banned

    Jul 31, 2009
    Yes Sir thanks for posting this Guitarmaker and I will happily watch your progress. I am envious of your skills and I can think of no greater buzz than building your own guitar and eventually playing it.
  8. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    Thanks everybody, I'll post more progress asap!
  9. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

  10. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    Just a small update. I got my hands on a rocking bar bridge and today I am picking up the veneer I ordered to make the sides. I will be working on them this week and possibly putting the binding in the f-holes if time allows. I'll be posting more pics as I go.
  11. cal01

    cal01 Electromatic

    Jul 8, 2008
    Tyler, TX
    What an awesome project! Thanks for taking the time to share your progress with us. What type of bracing have you decided on (trestle I would assume)? Lacquer or poly?

    Geez, I can"t wait!! I'm hitting my refresh button every five minutes, just in case!

    SysOp: Can this thread be a "sticky"?

    Cal in TX
  12. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    It will have trestle bracing of course, what else? And I will use lacquer for this one because I want it as close as possible to a '59. I'm glad there's so much interest, but refreshing every 5 minutes might be a bit much!

    Just picked up the veneer, so... more progress soon! (But not 5 minutes soon!)
  13. bobkat

    bobkat Country Gent

    Jun 2, 2008
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Can't wait! this is awesome Kewl!!
  14. built4speed

    built4speed Synchromatic

    Mar 9, 2010
    Wow, you are hardcore! I'm way into guitar modding, but this is DIY taken to a whole new level. I'll be watching with great interest!
  15. bandstuff8385

    bandstuff8385 Synchromatic

    Hey Guitarmaker! Thanks for posting! This is a very cool thread!

    Did you happen to get the back and top from Stew-Mac??

    I'm hoping to try something similar (one of these years) and find your
    info to be excellent.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  16. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    No, the top and back are supposedly from Gretsch. I got them on ebay from a guy who said he's got about 300 of them from the 60's. He tells me that he's selling them for Fred Gretsch. They are very accurate to Gretsch's profile and shape so the story might be valid.

    Stew-mac only makes pressed maple backs for archtops. Technically, you could use one for the front but it would look weird and lumpy. They are high quality though, I've used a few.

    If you're looking for a nice matched set, I recommend acme-archtops.com. They have a really nice variety of woods and they will custom make any tops, backs and sides in any configuration you want. On their website is a gallery with pics of their customers builds and there is a nice green, flamed maple gretsch 6120 copy.

    Or, you could go the stew-mac route and carve a top and bend your own sides, but there are places to get the wood cheaper and bending involves expensive equipment and a lot of practice. Let me know when you get started, I'd be happy to help however I can.
  17. bandstuff8385

    bandstuff8385 Synchromatic

    Wow! Genuine Gretsch tops! That is amazing!

    I've only made a "parts-caster" so far, but I've read Benedetto's book etc. and bought
    about a grand worth of tools, including a side-bending iron.

    The dream is alive, just having trouble getting started.

    Your generousity in sharing knowledge, pics and info will be a big help to
    plenty of people.

    PS. I just checked out the acme-archtops.com site. It's great, thanks for the tip.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  18. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Hey, if you've got the tools and the drive, you're a good part of the way there. I wish I had room for all the tools I want...

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