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

bjordan61

Electromatic
Aug 18, 2021
5
Wasilla, AK
A good professional wood shop should be able to do it easily with a CNC. I'd have them show you their work on a piece of scrap wood before committing to the guitar, though.
 

section2

Country Gent
Dec 21, 2016
2,567
Toronto
Does the guitar have a poly finish?

I think an expert could do the carving with a router, a Dremel, or a CNC machine, but I don't know whether it could be done without chipping the clear coat.
 

1adam12

Electromatic
Feb 25, 2022
81
Atlantic City
Geez...I love the responses of this whole thread. I look at my (painted G) Roundup and think about it now ugh! Of course it is possible. I would inspect one that has been done that you can see, touch and marvel at before considering.
I will say this, whether or not their painted, burned in or carved, they look sorta the same in a photograph or 20 feet away or so... if your playing live.
I wish I could buy some leather binding and fastener/pins to do the perimeter of my particular Roundup.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,961
Where the action is!
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.
They vary so much it's tough to say. Here's an early '55:
qk9pquebzjfm5n0jkzvs-XL.jpg

Well defined edges, Rare slight gap between the G and the underline.

Early '56:
s-l1600.jpg

Way gnarlier, fuzzy edges, shorter underline with no gap.

My own (former) late '56:
CIMG4533.jpg

Kind of in-between. Not so gnarly but not entirely defined edges and short underline with no gap.

There is certainly the possibility they were all routed with a simulated branding effect applied, but I don't believe that to be the case and trust Dan Duffy that he saw an iron (although it would have been retired by the time he got there in 1957). My guess is that the early ones were routed and at some point they decided to go all in and actually brand them. And the most powerful argument in favor of early ones being routed is the 6120 shown in the '55 Guitars for Moderns catalog:
s5z49ffe1bk9kinge6ai.jpg

It's missing the underline altogether. And that's not an illustrator's error. A GDP member owns that very guitar. And it's also not a prototype. Just a regular production '55 6120 whose maker evidently forgot to underline his G and somehow this slightly "defective" example wound up being photographed for the catalog. So I would say that at least some of the early ones were definitely routed rather than branded.
 

smudgey6120

Electromatic
Mar 12, 2009
15
U.K
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. So..is it possible to change the Painted G to a Carved G withouts destroying the guitar?
Yes it is possible,
I did it to my 1993 6120 Nashville Western .
You will need a steady hand and a modellers router and flute bit…. To remove that silly stem between the base and the G you will need to thicken the outline a little … set the router to a depth of no more than 1.5mm .
Once you have carefully routered, you will end up with a natural wood finish ….this will need to be darkened to get that branded look.
Here is a photo of how mine turned out .
Hope this helps
 

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smudgey6120

Electromatic
Mar 12, 2009
15
U.K
They vary so much it's tough to say. Here's an early '55:
qk9pquebzjfm5n0jkzvs-XL.jpg

Well defined edges, Rare slight gap between the G and the underline.

Early '56:
s-l1600.jpg

Way gnarlier, fuzzy edges, shorter underline with no gap.

My own (former) late '56:
CIMG4533.jpg

Kind of in-between. Not so gnarly but not entirely defined edges and short underline with no gap.

There is certainly the possibility they were all routed with a simulated branding effect applied, but I don't believe that to be the case and trust Dan Duffy that he saw an iron (although it would have been retired by the time he got there in 1957). My guess is that the early ones were routed and at some point they decided to go all in and actually brand them. And the most powerful argument in favor of early ones being routed is the 6120 shown in the '55 Guitars for Moderns catalog:
s5z49ffe1bk9kinge6ai.jpg

It's missing the underline altogether. And that's not an illustrator's error. A GDP member owns that very guitar. And it's also not a prototype. Just a regular production '55 6120 whose maker evidently forgot to underline his G and somehow this slightly "defective" example wound up being photographed for the catalog. So I would say that at least some of the early ones were definitely routed rather than branded.
No .. they were all branded… two or 3 piece brand ….that’s why you get a bleeding of the branding over the years on many of the finishes … it bleeds into the orange
 

fluw

Newbie
Jul 11, 2010
2
austin tx
I once used a wood burner to carve out a stenciled design (cattle brand style) on a telecaster. it allowed me to take time to get the rustic uneven texture of the inset shape. This also darkened the inset shape, but I needed to supplement some of the dark tone to make it dark enough, using a stain and charcoal.
 

6187LX

Gretschie
Aug 11, 2022
200
Up Around the Bend
Just went through Ed's book and there's a clear pic of a 6120 without the underline of the brand. Also, the Chet Jet in the catalog seems to have this treatment. It's hard to judge from the photographs, but there seems to be some variation in the thickness of line for the G that you wouldn't expect from a router. But others seem quite clean and even.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,961
Where the action is!
Just went through Ed's book and there's a clear pic of a 6120 without the underline of the brand. Also, the Chet Jet in the catalog seems to have this treatment. It's hard to judge from the photographs, but there seems to be some variation in the thickness of line for the G that you wouldn't expect from a router. But others seem quite clean and even.
I don't have a firm opinion. I can't say that they weren't all branded. Or all routed for that matter. It's the variation that makes me feel like they weren't all done the same way. Routing could be given a realistic branding effect by hand, introducing variability. Or each time they branded it with a hot iron, the outcome was a little different depending on how hard they pressed or how long they held it there. But it's all just speculation on my part.
 

JC higgy

Gretschified
Jun 6, 2008
12,054
Belfast Norn Iron
They vary so much it's tough to say.

There is certainly the possibility they were all routed with a simulated branding effect applied, but I don't believe that to be the case and trust Dan Duffy that he saw an iron (although it would have been retired by the time he got there in 1957). My guess is that the early ones were routed and at some point they decided to go all in and actually brand them. And the most powerful argument in favor of early ones being routed is the 6120 shown in the '55 Guitars for Moderns catalog:
s5z49ffe1bk9kinge6ai.jpg

It's missing the underline altogether. And that's not an illustrator's error. A GDP member owns that very guitar. And it's also not a prototype. Just a regular production '55 6120 whose maker evidently forgot to underline his G and somehow this slightly "defective" example wound up being photographed for the catalog. So I would say that at least some of the early ones were definitely routed rather than branded.
1955 catalog 6120.jpg
 

senojnad

Synchromatic
Platinum Member
Jul 13, 2008
810
Lehigh Valley, PA
No doubt a quirk in me, but there is only one person I know who I would trust to do this on a Pro-Line Gretsch -- Curt Wilson (Hopewell, New Jersey). (A.K.A. Old School Guitars)
 

rshack

Newbie
Aug 20, 2011
2
Gulf Shores
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. So..is it possible to change the Painted G to a Carved G withouts destroying the guitar?

I know zip about this, but I wonder if the bracing is the same for real vs painted f-holes... I'd wanna know that before I tried something that might be impossible: upgrade the bracing, if it's different between the 2 versions...
 


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