To all left handed Gretsch players: Converting right handed G6120DC to left handed G6120

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by StrayCat, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. StrayCat

    StrayCat Electromatic

    28
    Aug 12, 2011
    Since Gretsch to date has been neglecting my (and probably other left handed Gretsch people) requests to start producing G6120DC for left handed people I am seriously thinking about converting right handed G6120DC to left handed guitar. I really like this guitar and Quite frankly this project sounds exciting. Inspitation for this comes from absolutely fascinating article I found on converting well worn G6118 to G6120 with all the renovations to this guitar made on the way

    link: https://guitar.com/guides/diy-workshop/diy-workshop-gretsch-conversion-part-5/. This is where I got this idea from. Anyway here is what I think: as G6120DC is symmetrical guitar I thought that it would be possible to take the top part off the guitar body and shape it properly so that the underneath side becomes the top side. Once it is done the rest is fairly easy. Putting this part back on the guitar and suddenly we’ve got left handed guitar body. Then the easier part: orange stain, lacquer, hardware and wiring. In terms of the neck fretboard I thought that there are two possibilities:

    1. using existing fretboard
    2. using fresh fretboard

    When using the existing fretboard the inlays would have to be taken off and the fretboard would have to be sanded to make the surface underneath thumbnails even. Then the thumbnails could be used and put on the other side of the fretboard. I am not sure how deep they go into the fretboard but probably the fretboard would have to be taken off in order to put some layer underneath to keep the height unchanged from the original.

    The second option is to get the new fretboard and use old fretboard markers on the ‘proper’ left handed side.

    At this point this is just an idea. Probably a lot of work involved but I think it can done. I wonder what you guys think. Or maybe this idea has been implemented already? Please share you thoughts
     
  2. Nubs

    Nubs Electromatic

    35
    Sep 10, 2019
    Houston, TX
    Here's another suggestion. Have you tried reaching out to Jerry @ Jerry's Lefty Guitars in Sarasota? He often gets Gretsch to do special runs. Perhaps he can convince them to produce a limited run of them like he did with the lefty CVTs and the blue & white Streamliners with the racing stripes.

    Might be worth asking him before you set off to do all of this work.
     
    section2, ishtar and MotorCentaur like this.
  3. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Would you do all the work yourself? If not, it might be competitive to just buy a LH custom.
     
  4. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    You know, some vintage Gretsch guitars had fret makers on both sides.
     
  5. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    49
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Other than the Monkees and Ronny Lee model, vintage Gretsch left handers had double neo classic thumb inlays ,they just used a regular righty neck then inlayed the other side ,i think they look kinda cool
     
    section2 and Hammerhands like this.
  6. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Ha ! I never had any reliable answer from him - when I had one ! -like "It's possible, I don't know, no there are not ready, I pictured them but I don't have them yet", etc... OK. In France, we call it "L'Arlésienne"... :D

    I wanted a Lefty Corvette, a Lefty Hallmark Mosrite-like. Both howerer were offered on the website for sale at the time... "Well yes, but no..." C'est ça, ouais... I gave up. No way. :(

    @StrayCat : I'm sure that there are Lefty Dual Cut Gretsch that can nearly match you expectations, provided you had it refinished in Orange Stain and added the suitable accessories locally. Personally, I'm not very fond of the Gretsch DC hollowbodies - my great regret is that they never issued the single Cut Thinline Center Block G5620T in LH ! :(

    A+!
     
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  7. StrayCat

    StrayCat Electromatic

    28
    Aug 12, 2011
    I inquired about my ideas with few luthiers and it looks like it is an expensive project. Making new top alone may cost 2000-3000 usd not to mention taking an old top off the guitar body and fretboard work. Can’t believe it cost that much. I may as well get some knowledge and do it myself. The guy in the linked article took the top off G6118 in 40 minutes. What can I say? This is the guitar I do want. I think it has uniquely captivating sound and look. Some say it has the gretschiest sound of all Gretsch guitars. So the other LH Gretsch double cuts stained in orange won’t do I’m afraid.
    The other option is to lobby at Gretsch for doing this guitar for lefties. There is always a possibility that finally someone there will see the need.
     
  8. Nubs

    Nubs Electromatic

    35
    Sep 10, 2019
    Houston, TX
    Well that just sucks. We lefties often get screwed out of models righties have.

    I wish you the best of luck convincing Gretsch to build them. Usually they will make a limited run for dealers if they buy the entire lot.

    I still think reaching out to Jerry would be your best bet. He's gotten Gretsch to make quite a few limited edition runs.

    If it will help round up the troops, post over in our sub-reddit leftyguitarists. I started it a few years ago and it has about 2300 subscribers. Or let me know if I can help further.

    Good luck!
     
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes. That was the case for my G5622TLH SRF GRN - a batch of 10 Lefties issued in Surf Green for a French Shop specialized in Lefty in Paris : "Le Gaucher" :

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
    ishtar, MotorCentaur and Nubs like this.
  10. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    At that price, on top of buying the right handed 6120, you may as well just order a custom shop and not deal with the risk that all the refurbishment entails.
     
    ishtar, section2, hcsterg and 2 others like this.
  11. StrayCat

    StrayCat Electromatic

    28
    Aug 12, 2011
    I just cannot believe that shaped and arched piece of maple can cost 3000 usd. It is not a rocket science. I think this is faily easy part to do especially when you have exactly the same part taken off the guitar. I think it can be done much cheaper.
    Anyway here is a response I got some time ago on my enquiry to Gretsch on the possibility to start making premium double cut G6136DC for lefties:

    “We appreciate your desire that FMIC would produce more left-handed instruments. Gretsch, like most companies, is a market driven company and as such, it is imperative that we understand exactly what our market is, so that we may meet those needs. With a 50-year history of musical instrument manufacturing, and a 50-year history of offering more lefty models than most of the other instrument companies, we feel we have a good understanding of the marketplace. Demand for the product must be there to justify the cost of the development and tooling up process to build more left-handed instruments. However, at this time such a demand to produce more left-handed models has simply not been shown to be there.
    It is absolutely true that we do not offer as many lefty models as righty models, and these differences reflect the numbers of left-handed guitars we have been able to sell in the past and what we project that we will be able to sell in the future. There are far fewer left-handed guitar players in the world than right-handed players and consequentially that distinct market segment is also quite smaller proportionally. The hard fact is, that as a manufacturer, if certain instruments do not sell, we simply cannot afford to make to make them. Even so, Fender is committed to continue to expand our selection of left-handed instruments as the market dictates, and as it is possible for us to do so, to meet the needs of left-handed guitar players.
    If it was as easy as you suggest to proliferate left-handed models and still make a profit, we would absolutely be doing it. After all, that’s the business we are in. It’s not that we have a “stance” against left-handed guitarists, it’s that it is not feasible from a business standpoint.”

    While we are limited as to what our regular "production" facility is capable of, if someone does not find what they are looking for among our stock offerings, the Custom Shop is always an option for building an instrument to one’s precise specifications. It is a surefire way for anyone to get exactly what they want.

    Once again, we thank you for your interest and we hope this information is helpful to you.
     
  12. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Plug the holes, Refinish, and redrill holes, cut new nut, or am I over-simplifying? :)
     
  13. StrayCat

    StrayCat Electromatic

    28
    Aug 12, 2011
    I tried to contact Jerry several times and no answer from him at all. It is like throwing stones to the well. No feedback at all. Whether I ask about some guitar on offer or suggest to lobby for limited run of certain models. Nothing, null, nada. I don’t know what is happening there.
     
  14. StrayCat

    StrayCat Electromatic

    28
    Aug 12, 2011
    You’re right - there is more to it but I think it can be done at much less cost involved.
     
  15. StrayCat

    StrayCat Electromatic

    28
    Aug 12, 2011
    A bit off the topic but not quite. Just wanted to share with you the picture or two of my other axe that was refused by the maker to be made for lefties. I like it:
    upload_2019-10-24_13-5-7.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Nubs

    Nubs Electromatic

    35
    Sep 10, 2019
    Houston, TX
    Yeah apparently you have to call him. He won’t respond to emails which I think is a big mistake. I tried emailing him months ago asking about the blue Gretsch he had for sale and I got no reply either.

    Gotta call him.
     
  17. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    By my experience, not surprising... :D

    Oh ! The best would be going to his shop on the spot in USA, and be the 1st at the opening, and by chance, maybe... o_O:D

    A+!
     
  18. StrayCat

    StrayCat Electromatic

    28
    Aug 12, 2011
    I wonder how many lefties is ‘significant number’ for Gretsch to consider doing limited run of certain models.
     
  19. Nubs

    Nubs Electromatic

    35
    Sep 10, 2019
    Houston, TX
    I am gonna say 12. The CVTs which were custom built were 12 in each config. They had the red standard, red bigsby, white standard, and white bigsby. They made 12 of each.

    I believe the same is true for the blue/white Streamliners with the racing stripes. So get 11 other people to go in with you and you'll have your model!
     
    MotorCentaur likes this.
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