1960’s Gretsch Anniversary Model: Phase I

This guitar is basically my dream project: taking a vintage Gretsch archtop and restoring it to its former grandeur. This particular model was apparently a step down from the nicer 6120’s, etc., which means that it isn’t nearly as valuable. This means I can drill holes without guilt.


The original colors of this guitar (as seen above) were so heinous that a previous owner, in a fit of rage and disgust, stripped all of the paint and parts off, leaving the guitar for dead in its case. That weird light green vs. olive green? It’s certainly distinctive. And as a solid paint job? It’s weird, but not interesting enough to me. I want to see some grain. Since the guitar has been cosmetically abused, I will take some liberties.


I’m staining the natural wood approximate colors. I’m going to sand the body down slightly but leave many of the dark patches of color as a relic of what the guitar had been. The only significant physical alteration I will have to make will be drilling a hole for another TV Jones classic pickup to fit in. I will use 1 pickup selector switch, 1 tone knob, and I will drill a hole in the large pickguard to install a volume knob (without drilling into the guitar top). This might seem like a bad place for a volume knob as it may be hit if the guitar were being strummed, but I think it will be handy for quick volume changes and interesting technical effects. My picking / strumming style isn’t wild and loose, so accidental volume shifts should not be an issue.

See Phase Three, the completed project, here.

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