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Restoration & Repairs
     
Tony is well known for his guitar restorations and repairs, which all take place in his fully equipped workshop in Holbury (near Southampton). No job is too large or small for Tony. This page documents the restoration of a 1974 Gibson SG electric, a Gibson 'Bowl-back' acoustic, and a 1930s Epiphone Olympic.

 

  The story of a 1974 SG  

The picture on the left shows the guitar after all the electronics and hardware had been removed (the fingerboard has been taped by Tony at this point).

The back of the neck is shown on the right in its original state.

Immediately it was obvious that the neck had been broken and repaired at some point in its past.

As Tony removed the existing finish from the body and neck, the guitar began to reveal a turbulent history...

 

 

 

Note the joint in the neck toward the headstock.

     
The existing finish is in the... .. process of being removed. Finally down to the bare wood.
     
Tony notices further old repairs..

 

The strip of wood in the above photo lays alongside a split that runs the length of the body. The neck has also been previously snapped and repaired around the heel as well as the headstock.
     
Two more splits that run the length of the body are visible from the back, and once again have been highlighted in the pictures above by a strip of wood.  
     
Tony takes up the story:

'The SG belongs to a guy called Andy, who had purchased the guitar in the state it arrived at my workshop. He was keen to know if I would be able to restore it to a vintage cherry red finish. The restoration wasn't a problem, with the only issue being getting hold of a couple of the correct black pickup surrounds. However, it soon became clear that this instrument had a colourful history. Andy knew that the neck had been broken at some stage due to an obvious repair near the headstock. But once the guitar had been stripped down additional repairs on the neck by the heel could be seen, and even more interestingly the body showed three separate breaks. This guitar hadn't just been dropped or accidentally damaged, it had quite literally been smashed to pieces! I contacted Gibson on the off chance they might have some sort of history available, but were only able to confirm my dating of the guitar based on the serial number. There aren't too many players who would deliberately smash a 74 SG. However, there is one rather famous guitarist WHO was well known for playing and wrecking these classic instruments. Well you never know!'

     
     
  Gibson Bowl-Back Acoustic  
     
 

This rare prototype mid-1960s Gibson 'Bowl-back' acoustic arrived in Tony's workshop for a refinish on the 'front' of the body - known as the 'table'.

Closer examination of the guitar revealed that the existing laminate (plywood) table was badly cracked, with poorly glued internal bracing struts coming loose on the inside.

The only option was to make a new table for the body.

Tony chose spruce for the new front.

The photograph above centre shows Tony holding the completely hand-made new table, complete with hand-made struts.

The finished guitar is shown on the left in all its glory. Note the wonderfully detailed 'Rosette'.

An amazing transformation!

 

     
     
  1934 Epiphone Olympic  
     

This wonderful example of a 1934 Epiphone Olympic arrived in Tony's workshop as shown in the small oval photograph (upper left).

As was the fashion during the 1960s, many guitarists attempted their own colourful refinishes on classic guitars, and this was no exception!

     
This particular guitar had been purchased by its owner at a car boot sale, and Tony was tasked with restoring it to its former glory. I'm sure you will agree that this is a truly remarkable transformation.
     
     
If you can dare to dream it - Tony will build it!