1953 Gibson ES-125 Fire Damaged Guitar Repair
Every guitar has a story. The story can be read through the surface
scratches, dings, dents, missing hardware and worse.
This Gibson came in the shop for damaged guitar repair. It was discovered in the attic of a house after an intense fire.
As a result, the smoke and other particles had settled on top of the finish
and stayed for years. It was almost tossed but the owner decided
to bring it in to Haywire Custom Shop and see what could be done
to make it playable and looking good again. This is the story.
In the eyes of the owner, an old guitar is a trusted musical partner.
At the same time it is full of questions which are never fully
understood. Over the course of time, most musicians develop a
deep and intuitive kind of interaction with their instrument.
We repaired his favorite guitar. There are more questions.
For many years we have helped musicians around the world as they look for ways to improve their guitars or fix a problem or restore it to an
earlier time. The “Patina” or top thin layer on the surface is
considered valuable by many guitar collectors if left completely
alone to age naturally. When deciding to help a player restore
an old instrument it’s best to try and take that into consideration.
The least “invasive” way of repairing it is always a good first choice.
Our decision on this old Gibson to just remove the damage and
preserve it. The fire damage ash “cloak” was
removed. A beautiful Sunburst was revealed. The value of the guitar was restored
to an old trusted friend.
Steps to Restore This Guitar
As always, damaged guitar repair takes on many procedures. Slowly and steadily the guitar comes back to life.
1) Clean with rubbing compound and 6000 grit wet & dry and polish entire guitar body
2) Clean and sand fret board and polish frets with diamond file
3) Level and re-crown frets
4) Straighten neck
5) Add new: nut, arch top guitar bridge, new tuners, tail piece, and knobs
6) Oil fret board
7) Re-wire electronics, test, clean and re-use original P-90 pick up. Add new volume, tone pots, jack and capacitor.
Final steps include:
8) Add new 10-46 electric guitar strings
9) Set intonation and action