Is it possible to turn a painted g to a Carved g on a Gretsch 6120?


Jan 11, 2013
Puerto Rico
Hello, I once gad a Grestch 6120 western with dynasonics and a carved G. I lost it in a Carjacking. I have had another 6120 western for quite a while but with Flitertrons and a painted G. The Carved one looked way cooler. it possible to change the Painted G to a Carved G withouts destroying the guitar?


Jan 11, 2013
Puerto Rico
Sure it is. All you'd need is a router with the bit set shallow and some black paint. The trick is finding somebody who you'd trust taking a router to the top of your guitar. It's not going to be a DIY job for most people.
definitely Wouldn't do it myself. Thanks!


Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
Where the action is!
The original '50s Gretsches were actually branded. The top ply was burnt through.
I thought the consensus was some were, but most were routed. My understanding is that the clean looking ones were probably routed, while the gnarly ones with black around the edges were likely branded. I've only owned two and I honestly never could say definitively how they were done.


Aug 11, 2022
Up Around the Bend
My '56 6120 (#20039) was definitely branded. I assumed that all of them were since there were no more G brands after '56 (dunno what was on the '70s Country Roc). IIRC Dan Duffy mentions the branding iron. I'll go back and what Ed said in his book.


May 11, 2016
I would look up routing planer / Paul Sellers on youtube. You would still want to cut the outline with a sharp and small chisel first. The hardest thing to control for is depth of cut. Definitely practice on some similar plywood first...


Nov 26, 2013
a handheld dremel with a base and router bit would clear away a majority of the G .... a small chisel to the edges after scoring with an exacto knife .... you could also try the soldering iron on some painted scrap and see if that does the trick ..... or a combo of both .... it could look original if you took your time and were careful but in these finese mods there is a good amount of stress .... best to perform your moves on something other than the guitar to perfect your technique


Friend of Fred
Jun 30, 2008
Pensamiento Infundado, Colorado
I used Joe Carducci's branding iron 'G' on a partscaster at a Tucson Gretsch event. It came out truly gnarly. I have lived with this for many years without too many adverse effects. It gives my belt buckles belt buckle rash. Abraises the abdomen like an accordion backed with sand paper.

Would I do it again? Sure.

Certainly not for everyone. I wouldn't do it on a proline or electromatic laminate.

Routing probably would be a different story. But I cannot speak or write to that.


Last edited:

Latest posts