Extreme Makeover: Blue Sparkle Jet Edition

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by section2, May 14, 2019.

  1. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Ah, I remember @wildeman's guitar! It looks amazing. He did a fantastic job on it.

    I wanted a large-flake sparkle top rather than a metallic finish, and since there wasn't much flake coverage on my guitar's original finish, I'd have needed to spray flakes in order to get the finish I wanted. That would have turned into a much bigger job than I wanted to take on.
    Merc and sh4rkbyt3 like this.
  2. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    What a fantastic effort! That guitar looks awesome!

    Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
    section2 likes this.
  3. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    I just think this is a cool project! Way to get after it!
    Hats off to you!
    section2 likes this.
  4. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Great work! You are so much more patient and precise than I am!
    section2 likes this.
  5. 64ChevSS

    64ChevSS Gretschie

    Dec 24, 2016
    Innisfil, Ontario
    Fantastic work - I dig it!!
    section2 likes this.
  6. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Really nicely done! Love the way you tackled the outer binding.
    section2 likes this.
  7. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    It's hard to see, but on my Sparkle Jet the drum wrap has been clear coated with poly, which I supposed adds a bit of stability and protection. I'd love to see more colours like these in the range.

    Merc, sh4rkbyt3, JC higgy and 7 others like this.
  8. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Great job! Any chance of wiring it up like a Hotrod? :)
    section2 likes this.
  9. Beardog

    Beardog Country Gent

    Apr 15, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Nice work
    section2 likes this.
  10. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone! This has been a fun project so far. A year ago, I wouldn't have thought that I was capable of it. Five years ago, I would have said the same thing about playing the guitar. I'm learning that a lot of things are possible if you go slowly and start with the question, "hey, how hard could it be?"
  11. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Mmm, that's a stunner. The scripty logo adds extra class.
  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Very nice work! Giving me some inspiration to finish my Sparkle Jet-Tele :)
    Merc and section2 like this.
  13. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Job well done. Looks stunning.
    section2 likes this.
  14. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    section2, you've done a nice job, especially for a first make-over. As a fellow drummer, I sure get why you wanted to use a material with which you were familiar. As I said, you've done a nice job, and I'm looking forward to see the continuing progress, as well as the finished product.
    drmilktruck and section2 like this.
  15. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Looks pretty cool!
    section2 likes this.
  16. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Update on the tuner problem: these tuners have a 21mm string post length; it turns out that Hipshot also makes the same tuners with a 23mm post. I've contacted the dealer about an exchange.

    My next problem is getting the bridge set up. The guitar came with a fixed Adjusto-matic bridge, but I'd like to use a solid Bigsby bridge on a floating rosewood base. Bigsby bridges have an odd post spacing: most of them are 2 13/16" centre-to-centre, which is too narrow for the post spacing on my rosewood bridge base. So I ordered a Guild-spec Bigsby bridge, which has a 3" post spacing. That's too wide for my base, but I can file it down to fit. When it arrived, though, I realized that unlike the standard Bigsby bridge, the Guild-spec bridge doesn't come with the saddles pre-slotted, and I don't have a set of nut files. I can't justify buying a proper set of nut files just for this job. I could take the guitar to the shop and have them slot the saddles for me, but I'd like to be able to do this whole rebuild myself. It's MacGyver time yet again.

    I have an old set of feeler gauges kicking around. I used a file to cut teeth into the edge of one of the gauges. Instant file! I tested it out on the Bigsby bridge on my 5620T: the string slots on that bridge were cut very shallow, and I'm using a Bigsby B6 on a guitar that was designed for a B70, so my high E string kept popping out whenever I bent it. I remembered that @calebaaron666 had his Tru-Arc bridge cut with deeper notches to avoid the same problem, so I gave the high E slot a few careful passes with my "file." Problem solved! I'll double-check this weekend to see whether my filing job has caused any new issues. If not, I'll make nut files out of the other feeler gauges and use them to slot the Guild-spec bridge for my Jet.

    Once the bridge and the tuners are sorted out, I'll be just about ready to wire this guitar up and see how it sounds. Almost there!
    blueruins and new6659 like this.
  17. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Made a bit of progress yesterday. The finish on the headstock was chipped around the tuner holes, and I didn't love the painted-on logo anyway, so I decided to follow
    @calebaaron666's lead and sand down the headstock. I went a little further than he did.





    I'll spray it black and then use a blade to scrape the overspray off of the bindings. As you can see, there's some black remaining at the base of the headstock. I didn't want to sand too aggressively down there, as I was worried about interfering with the nut slot. And some areas of the bare wood are lighter and duller than others. Do I need to keep sanding until everything is even, or can I spray over what I've got here?

    I'm told that flat or satin lacquer is the product to use here, followed by a clear gloss, but I'm new to painting. Any suggestions for products and methods would be welcome.

    Caleb and @John Drummond recommended an eBay seller who makes headstock logos out of pearlescent vinyl decals. I sent him a vector image of a Duo Jet-style Gretsch logo last night, and he's mailing me the finished product today. I'll paint the headstock, slap on the decal, and spray the clear coat overtop.
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  18. Wjensen

    Wjensen Gretschie

    May 25, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
    A nice job, and very stunning!

    section2 likes this.
  19. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    The dark(not the black) bits are from the pore filler. If you remove those, you'll need two passes of black, to ensure the surface is absolutely smooth for your decal.

    I don't think it matters much. The gloss(or lack of) is from the clear coat, not the black underneath.
    section2 likes this.
  20. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
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